It’s bad enough that LinkedIn was hacked. But this is how they tell me (emphasis mine).
“We recently became aware that some LinkedIn passwords were compromised and posted on a hacker website. We immediately launched an investigation and we have reason to believe that your password was included in the post.
To the best of our knowledge, no email logins associated with the passwords have been published, nor have we received any verified reports of unauthorized access to any member’s account as a result of this event. While a small subset of the passwords was decoded and published, we do not believe yours was among them.”
So my account was compromised or it wasn’t?
Note: This is a cross-post from my tumblog – mikedibenedetto.tumblr.com – that I wrote for my Social Media and Entrepreneurship class.
Perry Chen, CEO and founder of Kickstarter, and Scott Heffernan, CEO and founder of Meetup, visited our Social Media & Entrepreneurship class last week. They were quite an inspiring pair; they urged us and all entrepreneurs to create companies that enabled behaviors and actions that were not previously possible (or were sufficiently difficult in the past) but have profound positive impacts on users’ lives.
Hearing about Kickstarter got me thinking. Its service strikes me as very much akin to Groupon‘s model. While these two companies are using the same core idea – group buying triggered by a critical mass very successfully in their own right, it occurs to me that two related opportunities still exist in this space. Think about these services in terms of who initiates the opportunity and whether or not the product exists yet. In Kickstarter’s case, a seller/creator solicits support for something that does not yet exist and with Groupon, a seller seeks buyers for something that does. Why not let buyers indicate intent to purchase something (discounted or not) if and only if other users join them? [This idea is not mine, rather it was inspired by a very cool project from the brains of my fellow students Shehab Hamad and Mike Podwal.] This would probably work best for groups of friends planning movie nights, book clubs, vacations, etc. But perhaps there are use cases for strangers buying together at their own instigation. The other potential critical mass purchasing opportunity would involve a user indicating interest in buying/supporting something that doesn’t yet exist. Suppose I am not a developer but I really want an Android app that does this one really cool thing that no one has thought of yet. I could indicate a willingness to pay five bucks for it and encourage others to pledge money for it as well. A developer could come along and build it and, upon verification, collect the money. This is just one use case and many more can be imagined: I want a Vietnamese restaurant in my town and would commit to spending $100 in one in its first month in existence; I want an ipod dock that does X and would pay $50 for one; etc. You would have to work out some hairy logistics but I think these two opportunities are real and would love to see a promising entrepreneur run with them.
Image via CrunchBase
My friend Mason Sexton is the co-founder of Moonit, a social app/service that predicts the strength of your relationships based on its own private algorithm. While I may not understand how they come up with the predictions, I know that reading them is absolutely addictive. It’s hard to resist seeing an analysis of your chemistry with friends, love interests and family members. But you don’t have to take it from me, Techcrunch thinks so too. The service was pretty great as a web site but I have seen the designs of their upcoming iPhone app and it is going to be amazing. If you have an iPhone, head over to Moonit’s early adopter signup page and leave your email address so they can ping you when they launch the app.
Image via CrunchBase
Last night, Barry Silbert from SecondMarket gave a talk to InSITE, the graduate student entrepreneurial fellowship. He told countless stories and relayed some great pieces of advice that he has been given over the years. One in particular stood out because it allowed Barry to create a company that was profitable in month one.
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Image via Wikipedia
Imagine a store where you could only buy one thing at a time and as soon as you made a purchase, they threw you out. So if you wanted to buy something else, you’d have to go back in. And if you wanted to buy ten or fifteen items, you’d be basically screwed and have to spend a long time navigating your way back to where you last spotted the next item you want. Sounds terrible, right?
Well, inexplicably, that’s exactly what the App Store does. Every time you download an app, the store force closes itself. So when you’re looking to download a few games, it’ll take you quite a while. Why on earth has Apple let this joke of usability go on for so long?