Visualizing Kickstarter

A visual data company company called Polygraph looked at over 100,000 Kickstarter projects in the US and wrote a really cool blog post about them.

This table shows the different character of the biggest cities on Kickstarter:

table

  • NYC over indexes for film, theater, and dance.
  • LA over indexes for film in a big way.
  • SF over indexes for art, design, and tech.
  • Chicago over indexes for publishing and theater.
  • Seattle over indexes for music, publishing, design, and theater.

Even more fun are the bubble charts that they created for all of the major locations on Kickstarter:

bubble_charts

Nashville is almost all red because its a music city. Atlanta produces some huge game projects.

You can learn some interesting things.

Here are the places that over index for table top games:

table-top-games

And here are the places that over index for comics:

comics

The Polygraph blog post is super interactive (unlike this post) and if you want to dig into the data, you can do it there.

Creativity is alive and well all over the world and you can learn a lot about it by studying what goes on on Kickstarter.

Host a ScriptEd Advanced Class This School Year

Here’s something great your company can do to help inner city kids, engage your employees in rewarding volunteer work, and do all of this inside the four walls of your office.

ScriptEd is a non-profit working to help youth from low-income high schools access careers in the tech industry. They recruit developers to volunteer to teach a foundational course in front-end web development in high schools around the city. After completing this course, students move on to the Advanced Class, a project-based course that focuses on advanced JavaScript skills.

These classes are held once a week throughout the school year in the offices of ScriptEd’s company partners. Classes typically last for 2 hours and are held in the late afternoon (usually 4-6pm). Volunteers teach in teams of four, supported by a ScriptEd Program Manager. Training and curriculum is also provided.

This year, classes will take place at Etsy, Salesforce, and HBC Digital, amongst others. ScriptEd is still looking for a couple more companies to host classes. This is a great opportunity to do skills-based volunteering without having to leave the office. It’s also a way for your company to create opportunity for a group of students, and to make a meaningful contribution to diversity in tech.

If you think your company might be a good fit for a ScriptEd Advanced Class, please contact Corporate Partnerships Manager Kate Holzman at [email protected].

AVC Down Time?

Yet another post about something I supposedly don’t actually care about πŸ™‚

I am pursuing a theory that the cause of the AVC down time that I posted about last week has to do with a burst of traffic from social media (mostly Twitter) that happens right after I publish a post on AVC.

I almost always experience this downtime in the 5-10 minute period right after I post. That is also frankly the time when I pay most attention to AVC each day. After that I tend to move on to other things.

So I am curious. For those of you who have experienced this downtime (I realize many of you have not), do you recall when it typically happens to you?

Video Of The Week: Citibike Rage

AVC regular Rob UnderwoodΒ sent me this video a couple days ago:

This happened at a Community Board 6 (Cobble Hill Brooklyn) meeting this week. Here’s a news report that explains the context of what happened here.

I am posting this for several reasons.

I am a huge Citibike fan and user. I’ve already used it three times today and its only 8:30am

citibike

Citibike has made living in the city so much better for me in so many ways. So I am thrilled that Citibike is expanding in NYC and becoming available to new neighborhoods and providing Citibike access to new neighborhoods.

But I realize that not everyone is a fan of bikes, bike lanes, and bike stations. This man certainly is not.

The anger and resentment this man is feeling is an example of how many are feeling in the US (and the world) right now. Things are changing around him and not for the better, at least for him. It’s worth mentioning that he was initially set off because there were no american flags on display at the community board meeting. If you want to understand the appeal of Donald Trump, this man might help you do that.

Finally, a suggestion. Why doesn’t Citibike offer free monthly passes for all residents of homes and buildings that are next to a Citibike station? And why doesn’t Citibike allow these homes and buildings request a Citibike station next to their building so that they can obtain this benefit?

Rob has a Citibike station in front of his house and he is mostly happy about it. I would love a Citibike station in front of my house. I realize not everyone feels this way. But if you provide some incentives for having one, the folks that are open to it would compete for it and the folks that are not open would likely not have to have one. It would be worth trying this in a new neighborhood and seeing if it works.

Local government and politics is not easy. But finding ways to move forward in ways that people can accept and get behind is the work that must be done. Staying put is certainly not the answer, as much as some would like to do that.

Feature Friday: The NFL on Twitter

Last night was a revelation for me. I’m not joking. I wasn’t really expecting to be blown away by the experience of watching football on Twitter. I was.

I installed the new Twitter app on our AppleTV and watched the entire Jets Bills game on Twitter last night. It looks like this on the TV in our family room:

I was talking to folks on Twitter throughout the game and many said that they don’t understand the difference between having the tweets flowing up on the screen vs on your phone.
For me, it’s a huge difference. You can watch the game and follow the conversation about it without having your head in your phone.

But there is so much more Twitter can do to make this experience even better.

For starters, I would like to be able to log into the Twitter AppleTV app and then have options to only see tweets from people in my timeline or to have those highlighted or prioritized.

And, I would like to be able to use the Twitter app on my phone to control the AppleTV Twitter app like the Apple Remote app controls the AppleTV. Then I could tweet from the AppleTV app and be able to reply and engage right up on the screen.

I expect Twitter to showcase all sorts of live sports in the coming months in their apps. You can watch these events on your phone in your Twitter app. Or you can watch them on AppleTV and XBox and, I think one other device. I expect Twitter to add apps for other devices as well.

Everyone here at AVC knows I am a huge fan of Twitter and very long on the stock. So take all of this in that context. I think the addition of live content to Twitter is a game changer for them. It amplifies what is unique and different about Twitter and the experience is fantastic. Well done Twitter.

The CS For All Consortium

Over the past couple years, it has become apparent to school districts across the country, particularly in inner city schools, that teaching computer science to ALL students (CS4All or CS For All) is a good idea and must be done. I am proud to have been one of the people pushing this idea for the last decade and I am even more proud of how far we have come in NYC highlighted by Mayor de Blasio’s announcement of NYC’s CS4All effort a year ago this month.

Earlier this year the White House realized that getting all of these CS For All efforts around the country connected and communicating was a good idea and the President announced a national CS For All in January of this year.

The thing that is so great about this CS For All movement it has been “bottom up” instead of “top down.” The elected officials are getting on the bandwagon and providing funding and other resources for it (not anywhere near enough yet) but CS For All has emerged from the classrooms, from the students and teachers, aided by a bunch of computer science and education researchers in higher education. There are literally hundreds of organizations, almost all non-profits, that have built the curriculum, professional development, and other tools and resources that together make up the CS For All movement around the country. There have been some unsung heroes, many of them women interestingly, like Jane Margolis, who started working in the LA public schools a decade ago and wrote a book about that which woke a lot of people up, including me, and Jan Cuny at the NSF who has funded a lot of the curriculum development work over the past decade, and many others who have been working for a long time to make this happen.

But happen it has. CS For All is expanding all over the country at a very rapid pace.

And yesterday, at the White House Summit on Computer Science Education, the CS For All Consortium was announced. The CS For All Consortium will serve as a hub for families, schools, and districts looking for resources that match their needs, including content by grade level and target audience. The consortium website at http://www.csforall.org/ will help connect members of the national CS education community, provide an avenue for disseminating their work, and track our collective progress toward the goal of providing every student with the opportunity to learn CS.

For now, our CS For All organization in NYC, CSNYC, that I co-founded a few years ago will be leading this effort. A lot of our work in NYC has influenced the national movement. We believe in a bottom up approach where there is not one standard curriculum or one standard pathway for a student to study CS. We have fostered an approach in NYC where literally dozens of computer science education organizations are active helping the NYC school system get CS in every school in the city (>1700 of them). We have built a big tent that allows all schools, all students, all teachers, all parents, all curriculums, all approaches, and all volunteers to participate. Literally CS for All.

And we are excited to bring that approach to the national effort. Michael Preston and Leigh Ann Delyser of CSNYC have been leading this work and I am very appreciative of their efforts to make this a reality. If you are a teacher, a student, a parent, a principal, or anyone else who wants help getting CS for all of your students, you can visit the CS For All consortium website and find resources that can help you do that. I encourage you to do that.

Mobile Matures and Consolidates

comScore released its annual US mobile app report yesterday. The data comes from a large mobile panel of US smartphone users that comScore maintains.

The story is one of maturity and consolidation, themes we have visited a lot on AVC in the last few years.

This is the most interesting slide in my view:

digital-media-time-spent

If I am reading this chart correctly, digital media time spent across desktop web, mobile app, and mobile web only grew 2% in the last year. That is a significant slowdown from prior years when time spent spent was growing 20% per year or more driven by very large growth in mobile.

Again, this is US data only. The US is among the most saturated markets in the world. But even so, this is a pretty significant slowdown.

This is the second most interesting slide in my view:

top-25-mobile-apps

Ten of the top twenty-five mobile apps (also ten out of the top twenty mobile apps) by UV are owned by Facebook, Google, and Apple. That’s not new news. The number was similar last year. But this level of consolidation in a maturing market is quite telling.

So is there a ray of hope anywhere in the comScore report? If there is, it is with Millennials who use all of these top apps frequently, but are also drawn to a different set up apps that are younger and less mainstream:

millennials

Snapchat is the poster child for an app (and a company) that has taken a different approach and built a lasting and defensible mobile franchise in the process. There are some other names on this list that I think are heading in a similar direction and three of them are USV portfolio companies (SoundCloud, Wattpad, and Kik).

Follow Up To Yesterday’s Post

I really had no agenda with yesterday’s post other than to let all of you know that I am well aware of the reliability issues but don’t have any plans to address them at this time.

But when I walked out of our weekly team meeting yesterday afternoon I had three unanswered phone calls to my cell phone from the same number in Utah. I returned the call and got Bluehost, the web hosting company for AVC.

I have not talked to Bluehost yet, but I will.

It seems that they are more eager to fix this issue than I am.

It would be even more awesome if they could just fix it instead of calling me. But I understand that I may need to do something on my end.

So I will talk to them and maybe these reliability issues will get fixed after all.

Stay tuned.

AVC Reliability Issues

For a number of years, AVC has been plagued by nagging reliability issues. There are times when the page won’t load. Regular readers are familiar with this issue. William sent me a screenshot this morning of one typical issue:

Here is another typical error message:

I have come to believe this issue is related to my web host, Bluehost, and CloudFlare which provides a host of services for AVC.

My goal in posting about this is not to try to fix it although I know the comments will be filled with suggestions and that I will get a ton of email suggestions too. Thank you in advance for that.

The truth is I am not particularly compelled to fix this issue. If it was magically fixed, I would be thrilled. But I’ve come to view it like some of the annoying things about me that the Gotham Gal puts up with on a regular basis. It’s all part of the relationship I have (and you have) with AVC and I’m OK with it.

Fifteen Years Ago

September 11th snuck up on me this year. It wasn’t until Friday evening, walking out of a restaurant in the village, when I was greeted with this sight.

twin-lights

But September 11th is always there in the back of my brain. When a plane flies low over NYC, I always look up with a slight panic in my gut.

That’s how it happened for me and two colleagues having breakfast before a board meeting that morning. We were sitting outside at a cafe about a mile straight north of the towers. A plane flew low right over us, we jumped up into the street and watched that plane bank and slam right into the tower.

The rest of the day unfolded a bit like a dream. We were just moving through it, taking care of things that needed to be taken care of, but mostly staring at the TV screen trying to make sense of things that make no sense.

I don’t think much about that day anymore. But when someone brings it up the flashback is vivid and real. Everyone says “I remember exactly where I was that morning.” Of course we do.

It was fifteen years ago. My daughter who was ten is now twenty five. The VC firm I was working at is long gone. The company whose board meeting we were heading to is long gone too.

New York City has mostly recovered from that wound. One World Trade stands as a tall reminder that we can rebuild. And the two lovely memorial pools are a reminder that we can never forget.

Time does heal all wounds, but the scars remain. And for as long as I live, the eleventh day of September will be a day to stare at them.