Showing posts from February, 2010

Kevin Rose is SQUARE? Nerd Stalker #67

Interview with Beth Halel of the red hot startup Square at MacWorld 2010. Start accepting payment cards immediately with Square. No contracts, monthly fees, or hidden costs. Effortlessly manage all the money you take with an easy and intuitive interface. In February 2009, Jim McKelvey wasn’t able to sell a piece of his glass art because he couldn’t accept a credit card as payment. Even though a majority of payments has moved to plastic cards, accepting payments from cards is still difficult, requiring long applications, expensive hardware, and an overly complex experience. Square was born a few days later right next to the old San Francisco US Mint. Today the Square team is focused on bringing immediacy, transparency, and approachability to the world of payments: an inherently social interaction each of us participates in daily. We’re starting with a limited beta and rolling out to everyone in early 2010. Square is backed by Khosla Ventures and a team of angels. Square, Inc. has of

Schedule With Smedule - Nerd Stalker #66

After years of frustration trying to quickly book last-minute services and being met with voice mails and unavailability, Sarah Chapman was inspired to create a solution to make it easy for anyone to book appointments quickly and easily based on their requirements. Smedule provides a way to book personal services(haircuts, massages, facials, manicures, waxing treatments, etc) based on your criteria; time, location price, even vendor rating. In turn, businesses attract new customers and generate revenue based on their published availability. Smedule went live in Denver late 2009 and is coming soon to an area near you! For more see: or contact

Designers Are Like Navy Seals? Nerd Stalker #65

Amazing in depth talk by Designer Al Abut at a recent IXDA San Francisco meetup. The topic is Product Manager vs. Designer, what is more important in a startup? Al presents from the Designers perspective followed by a Q&A of both sides. Al Abut is an interaction and visual designer specializing in building applications and websites for technology startups, with an emphasis on usability and collaborative team prototyping. He brings a unique understanding of how to bridge the gap between design and development and is currently exploring the intersection between agile programming and user-centered design on small teams with short timelines. More info at .

Finlands Startup Funding Scene - Nerd Stalker #64

Ramine Darabiha, interviews Kai Lemmetty about the down and dirty specifics of the Finnish startup funding scene. It's a very educational listen, they even touch upon the rest of Europe.

Finland - Timo Vuorensola (Star Wreck, WreckaMovie, Iron Sky) #63

For my second post about interesting Finnish startups, I decided to interview Timo Vuorensola . Timo is the director of the scifi movie Star Wreck , the most popular Finnish movie ever. He started a new crowdsourcing startup called Wreckamovie , which helps directors create movies the same way he did, as well as their next movie called Iron Sky (it's about Nazis on the Moon!). We discussed his past, current, and future projects.

HOW Design Names 2010 International Interactive Design Winners

How Design names it's picks for Interactive Design Awards Best Of Show and the winners are: Best Of Show We Choose the Moon - How do you celebrate Apollo11? By re-creating the historical mission online. Business - To - Business Herman Miller - Design Firm, Hello Design. Moodstream - Design Firm, The Barbarian Group The Realm - Design Firm, Ogilvy & Mather Consumer Websites Outstanding Microsoft Research WorldWide Telescope - Design Firm, Artefact Merit Ben 10 Alien Force Game Creator - Design Firm, Cartoon Network Digital The ModKat Litter Box - Design Firm, Fulton Street Design Inc. Puma L.I.F.T. - Design Firm, Droga5 Shortcut to Brilliant - Design Firm, Heavenspot 2010 Ford Mustang - Design Firms, Team Detroit, Firstborn Diller Scofidio + Renfro - Design Firm, Pentagram Design Oregon Historical Society Timeweb - Design Firm, Second Story Interactive Hammer Museum - Design Firm, Hello Design M&M: Join The Hunt - Design Firm, Proximity, Firstborn Yellow Bird

Product Management vs. Design Part 1 & 2 #62

Part 1 Part 2 While product managers and designers usually have well-defined roles at established companies and agencies, roles at startups are less defined, requiring each employee to wear many hats. The average early-stage startup is made up of one or two engineers; many also have a product manager, but few have a full-time designer. These observations raise several questions: - Why are there more product managers than designers at early-stage startups? - How can product managers and designers work with small engineering-focused teams to create engaging and usable products? - Can a research-centric UX process work in the high pressure environment of light speed release cycles? - At the end of the day, what are the key differences in what a product manager and a designer bring to the table at a startup? Designer Al Abut and product manager Dan Olsen will be debating these points and more. Al Abut is an interaction and visual designer specializing in building applications and websit

Finland - Floobs goes bankrupt #61

Nerd Stalker Finland's very own Ramine Darabiha , interviews Kai Lemmetty , co-founder and CEO of Floobs . Floobs was a video streaming service, comparable to Qik or Stickam , which was funded, got a fair amount of traction and started to monetize. However, the service went bankrupt 2 weeks ago. Kai tells us about the story of the company, how it came to be, how things went wrong and what lessons were learned.