Scott Kirsner

Columnist
skirsner
Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Boston Magazine, and Variety. Scott is the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." He is a founder of the site Innovation Leader, which focuses on innovation initiatives inside big companies. Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and the Convergence Forum. His recent Boston Globe columns are here.

Articles By Scott Kirsner

Less than 24 hours after the Cambridge marketing firm HubSpot dropped a cryptic press release announcing that they had fired an executive for ethics lapses, HubSpot chief executive Brian Halligan said that the chief marketing officer in question, Mike Volpe, had engaged in “some really aggressive tactics” to try to get a copy of the manuscript to a forthcoming book by a former HubSpot employee. But Halligan wouldn’t reveal much more, saying that company attorneys had advised him not to describe what exactly those tactics were — even to the company’s employees, whom he addressed in an 11 a.m. meeting on Thursday.More →

Boston’s most transparent tech company went all opaque on us yesterday.

HubSpot, the publicly-traded maker of sales and marking software, tossed out a press release at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday announcing a new chief marketing officer, Kipp Bodnar. Oh and by the way, the release added, HubSpot has fired its prior CMO, Mike Volpe, for trying to obtain a copy of a not-yet-published book about the company. And the board had “sanctioned” HubSpot’s CEO and co-founder for not telling the board quickly enough what he knew about Volpe’s efforts to procure this unpublished manuscript.More →

Last October, I broke the news that several companies, research labs, and trade associations were working together to create a shared workspace for robotics businesses.

Ten months later, things seem to be gaining momentum — but the crew behind MassRobotics is still trying to line up financial backing from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Earlier this month, Vecna chief technology officer Daniel Theobald, one of the key players in the project, met with Governor Charlie Baker and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash to talk about the plan for MassRobotics.More →

As part of my latest column, on the ripple effects of the pioneering Cambridge startup Viaweb, I corresponded by e-mail with Viaweb co-founder Trevor Blackwell. Blackwell is now a partner at the accelerator Y Combinator and founder of the robotics company Anybots.

Blackwell shared some of the lessons he learned at Viaweb, which was founded twenty years ago this month, including this: “Fundraising is not success.” Here’s our exchange, which didn’t make it into the column…More →

The summer of 1995 was a “big bang” moment for the Internet. Amazon.com switched on its servers two decades ago this month, and the founders of AuctionWeb — later renamed eBay — were busily preparing to launch their site on Labor Day weekend. Browser-maker Netscape went public in August. And a company you likely haven’t heard of, Viaweb, was founded in a triple-decker in Cambridge.

Viaweb never became as well known as the others, but it played a pivotal role in the evolution of e-commerce, and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.More →