Month: August 2013

PayPal+Customer Service+PR=Longevity

Reading this at Venture Beat just annoyed the crap out of me: GlassUp raised $100K on Indiegogo — but PayPal is refusing to pay up. This isn’t the first time PayPal has dealt with similar issues, even to the point where their president publicly intervened in a resolution. This troubles me regarding PayPal’s future.

These rules need to significant repair if PayPal wants to remain relevant in this space. StartUps, heck, any business CANNOT operate with random and inconsistent access to funds. I think PayPal’s growth as a purchase transaction processor might be the root of these aggravations. At a brief glance, I see vigorous efforts to protect buyers from fraud. Noble, but hampering these transactions that vary from that model. Policies need to evolve with market changes. Especially market shifts that reflect your company’s goals and objectives. David Marcus has publicly tried to change this, to better align themselves with the startup community’s needs. However, high profile breakdowns like this run the risk of major damage to the brand. And, I guarantee you that someone out there is getting ready to come in and out innovate PayPal.

PayPal has been a disruptive innovator in their field, and have brought a lot of value. However, these gaffs have eroded trust and that goodwill will be hard to earn back. These are ripe fields for competitors to come in and win.

Reflections of a “Shusher”

I enjoy Anil Dash’s commentary. His background diverges significantly with mine; he provides me food for thought. His writing challenges the way I see the world. Sometimes with rather profound topics; though, today, he looks at the mundane world of cinema. More specifically, the cultural variation regarding the act of viewing. Read: “SHUSHERS: WRONG ABOUT MOVIES. WRONG ABOUT THE WORLD.

Ok, I assume you finished reading. So, full disclosure, I come out of cultural world of the “shushers”. My norms dictate quiet, church-esque near reverence during cinematic experiences. Mr. Dash’s essay, though, reminds me (with a delightful wit, IMHO) that my view is one built through ONE cultural lens. Not the only one, not the right one, just one. That varying from my norm doesn’t impart inferiority, lower class-ness; simply difference.

I finished with thoughts of “how do we, in this global culture, navigate these differences without clashing too painfully?” Reading some of the comments reinforces that point. It’s very hard for us to break free of our underlying cultural upbringing and see the “other” in a balanced, respectful way. I expect this will be a continuing aggravation to an embracing, diverse and peacefully co-existing society.

Online Music Explorations

Another thing that makes me *heart* the internet: music. The ability to connect, on myriad levels, with a huge variety of artists just delights me.

Today I started exploring both Reverbnation and SoundCloud. They seem like great ways to dive deeper into lesser-covered music. One of my hipster-eque traits: I love to be able to say “I knew that band back before they were famous”. Just need to get paid for such.

I like both sites pretty well, though they’re pretty different. I spent more time at ReverbNation, but mostly to explore a friend’s band (check out Verdant Mile). SoundCloud hosts one of my favorite podcasts, Story Collider. Having the larger library of content is particularly delightful to me. I’ll need a deeper dive, though, until I really can form an opion.

Any of you use either of these much? Love them? Hate them? Know of another site that’s way better? Let me know!