Book Club Wars
Zuckerberg's no Oprah: His book club is a dud
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
It all started on Jan. 2, 2015, when Mark Zuckerberg shared one of his New Year’s resolutions with the world. He wanted to read more books in 2015. So he set up a Facebook Group called A Year of Books and quickly had over 200,000 likes overnight. He was going to be the next Oprah, TechCrunch reported rather breathlessly. It hasn't quite turned out that way. Read More
The second screen
MassChallenge alum Grapevine gets $1.1 million for YouTube marketing
Grapevine CEO Brendan Lattrell
If you think that the interruptive advertisements at the beginning of YouTube videos are as far as the Google-owned video network can go in terms of online video advertising, you'd be mistaken. A local company has figured out a way to leverage the popularity of a growing number of young YouTube personalities that have large numbers of online followers. Grapevine, a Boston-based YouTube native marketing startup, announced today that it has raised $1.1 million in funding. The company, which was awarded $50,000 as a MassChallenge Gold Award winner in the fall, connects YouTube stars with lifestyle, fashion, and beauty brands to advertise its products. Read More
Subscribe to the friendly skies?
All-you-can-fly aviation startup Beacon plans to link Boston, New York
Beacon initially plans to fly between Logan, Nantucket, Westchester County Airport in New York, and East Hampton on Long Island.
Regular people buy plane tickets. The super-rich buy the whole plane. And now a startup called Beacon is proposing an intermediate option: a "subscription" to its travel service, which will offer frequent trips on turboprops linking Boston and White Plains, N.Y., as well as the vacation destinations of Nantucket and East Hampton. The price starts at $2,000 a month for unlimited travel for one passenger. Read More
In the event this winter ends...
Kendall Square may soon get a 'pop-up park'
Aerial view of proposed "pop-up park" on Kendall Street in Cambridge. (Courtesy Glenn KnicKrehm, Constellation Center.)
I wrote last week about the long-delayed Constellation Center project, which aspires to build a $300 million performing arts center in Kendall Square. The project's acre of fenced-off land is basically the front yard of the Genzyme Center and the Watermark East apartment complex, just off Third Street. (See the map below.) Read More
One Big Move
Actifio launches Actifio One to bring cloud data virtualization to mid-market organizations
Actifio founder and chief executive Ash Ashutosh (courtesy of company)
Actifio is not coasting into 2015. The Waltham-based copy data virtualization company, which is expected to go public this year, is holding a major event in Austin, Texas, later next week called the eCloud Summit. It's also one of the few local "unicorns," or privately held companies valued over $1 billion, in the region. In the company's Waltham office, there's tangible sense of that big things are on the horizon: There's a beehive-like buzz of people moving from meeting to meeting, a din of sales calls and teleconference strategy sessions, and even the whir of wood saws and power tools as it is in the midst of an office expansion.   But for all that is happening at Actifio these days, it's executives say that nothing is more vital to the success of the company moving forward than today's launch of Actifio One, a product that enables smaller, mid-market companies to take advantage of its virtualized data backup and storage offerings. Read More
Social Media
Putting the face in Facebook: How the social network shapes body image
Spending time on Facebook can influence how some women feel about their appearance.
Some people on public transit may glance over the shoulders of fellow commuters fiddling with their Facebook pages only for the voyeuristic pleasure of having a peek into someone else’s life. But behavioral science researcher Jasmine Fardouly, a doctoral candidate at the University of New South Wales in Australia, saw an opportunity. Read More