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ScoreBig Brings Priceline Model to Ticket Market


WHAT: Name your own price for tickets including sporting events, concerts and Broadway shows. ScoreBig uses an opaque model. The inventory can come from the venue, a promoter or a reseller.

Users pick a seating tier, but they have to be flexible on the exact seats. Discounts range from 10% up to 60%. Best part: no service charges or delivery fees.

Priceline has taken no legal action against ScoreBig to date (Priceline famously has a business patent for reverse auctions that has been selectively pursued by their mercurial founder, Jay Walker).

LAUNCHERS: Adam Kanner (CEO) is a former NBA marketing exec and entrepreneur whose previous companies include Sports Loyalty Group, which provided marketing solutions for professional sports teams, and Joel Milne (CTO & COO) founded

WHY: Adam says the inspiration for ScoreBig came from his experience trying to get “butts in seats” for NBA games -- those butts drive all kinds of revenue streams like merchandise and concessions. Since excess inventory affects all kinds of industries, he figured there had to be a solution that wouldn’t damage the brands of teams and properties or cannibalize retail ticket sales.

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L026: Tech IPOs Are a Bust -- and Why That's Awesome!

By Jason Calacanis

The IPO market for tech companies in web 1.0 was a disaster for the public because the companies failed to become businesses half the time. In fact, they went public so early they were a riskier buy than the incoming class at Y Combinator or TechStars (really).  

The current tech IPO market -- let's call it IPO 2.0 -- has turned out to be a disaster for retail  (a.k.a. public) investors for the opposite reason: these companies are too successful.

So successful is this crop of companies that their potential gains over the next couple of years have already been priced into the stocks.

Smart trades in LinkedIn, for example, occurred between 2009 and 2010 on SecondMarket, not on the stock market for the past couple of weeks.

If you bought this amazing, amazing company -- which we love -- in the private market last spring, you got in at a billion-dollar market cap. That means you could have locked in as much as a 10x gain on IPO day.

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Grasshopper Down for over 30 Hours, Customers Furious

Virtual phone system company Grasshopper has been down since early Tuesday afternoon and remains down as of 7:10 p.m Eastern time due to a hardware failure, according to the company blog.

Grasshopper has no estimate of when its system will be up and running. The outage has affected all of Grasshopper’s 100K-plus customers -- which are mostly startups since Grasshopper targets its phone solutions to entrepreneurs.

Calls to the Massachusetts-based company’s customer service number and office result in the same automated message: “Our phone system is currently experiencing difficulties. Please try your call again in an hour. Good-bye.”

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L025: Big Brains Wadhwa, Scoble & Tercek Respond to Calacanis' Google Government Piece

Jason asked three thought leaders -- Vivek Wadhwa, Robert Scoble and Robert Tercek -- for responses to his piece, “Has Google been Naughty? Yes. Should the Government Get Involved? No.”

We’ve included the full text of all three below with links to their blogs.



We Want More Change From Google, Not Less
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By Vivek Wadhwa

In his Launch blog this morning, Jason Calacanis chided Google for “being naughty” -- for straying from its “do no evil” roots, and arbitrarily changing its algorithms. Jason said that despite this, the Government shouldn’t step in.

Let me start by agreeing with Jason: the Government should definitely not get involved; this is none of its business. I also agree that Google should pay content providers -- and users -- for content that it “borrows” and profits from.

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L024: Spend Your College Tuition on Being Mentored and Starting a Company

by Jason Calacanis

I’ve been thinking about Peter Thiel’s position on higher education a lot since my wonderful wife and I welcomed our daughter to the world about 18 months ago.

Peter’s foundation:

In the affluence bubble of Los Angeles’ West Side -- the area that includes Brentwood, Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades -- old people with too much money have kids much later in life. At my parent groups and social activities, I’m often among the youngest fathers.  

I’m 40 years old.

Folks who have kids later in life generally have more money to spend on those children, and thus the education bubble grows.

The education bubble feels a lot like the housing bubble: it’s based on credit, it keeps growing and a lot of the folks participating don’t have the ability to pay back the money they are borrowing.

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