Social Parking Startup ParkTag Pulls In $680K To Drive Its Tech Into Urban Planning

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

We first came across Berlin-based startup ParkTag pitching their parking space swapping community at Disrupt New York’s Startup Alley, back in 2013.

Today they’re announcing a seed investment of €500,000 ($680,000) from German’s High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTG), a semi governmental VC fund whose investors include the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology, the KfW Bank group, and six industrial groups: BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Robert Bosch, Daimler and Carl Zeiss.

In addition to the €500,000 seed, HTG’s investment also includes €1.2 million reserved for a follow on Series A round, which is the fund’s typical investment structure.

The ParkTag iOS and Android apps lets users report when they are about to vacate an on-street parking spot to other users of the app who can then swoop in and bag the space. It lets users either do a specific handover of a parking spot to someone else, such as a colleague, friend or neighbour who they might actively want to help out. But the…

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Online Reputation Startup Traity Raises $4.7M


There’s still money in reputation start-ups

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Traity, an alumni of Europe’s Seedcamp and Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups, has big ambitions. It wants to become the standard for online reputation, an opportunity surely missed by eBay’s reluctance to make its reputation scores transportable back in the Dot Com days. Today the Spain, Madrid-based company is announcing a $4.7 million series A round led by Active Venture Partners to help fuel that mission.

Having already amassed 4.5 million users with an early Facebook-led version of the service, Traity’s attempting to solve the problem whereby we are increasingly doing more transactions with strangers online, “but it is not always easy to know whether we can trust them,” says co-founder and CEO Juan Cartagena.

This trend is being led in particular by the rise in so-called collaborative consumption (or sharing economy) startups; marketplaces that have at their heart transacting with strangers. Though, of course, any kind of transaction, such…

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How to save for a pension, if you are under 30 !

How to save for a pension, if you are under 30 !

Simple advice to save easily. Start young and create good habits.


How to amass lifetime savings for a pension pot

cup of coffee
  • Cut out one takeaway coffee a week: £11,800
  • Switch mobile phone tariff: £16,100
  • Cut out one packet of cigarettes a week: £31,400
  • Cut out a takeaway: £50,900
  • Take a packed lunch to work: £63,700

Base: 30-year-old, working till 68

Source – Nest

The future of media isn’t about breaking news scoops, it’s about credibility and trust


Eventually credibility and trust make their way into social media metrics

Originally posted on Gigaom:

As I was nursing my 50th cappuccino in Perugia during the recent journalism conference there, a small bomb blew up in my Twitter feed thanks to a keynote presentation by Felix Salmon, in which the former Reuters blogger said that the journalistic obsession with scoops is a form of masturbation. Needless to say, there were some shocked reactions to this statement, but I think Felix is right -— even if the metaphor he chose is somewhat unappealing.

As he describes in his own post about it, what Salmon said was that “breaking news is the most masturbatory thing journalists do. The reader couldn’t give a flying f*** who broke it.” In other words, the question of who breaks the news about a specific story is largely irrelevant to anyone other than the journalists involved.

This is almost certainly true. In general, regular news consumers want someone to tell…

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Lost In Translation — Don’t Mistake British Reserve For Lack Of Ambition


Fascinating read about cultural differences in raising capital.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Editor’s note:  Robin Klein is a Venture Partner at Index Ventures in London.

This post has been ‘brewing’ in my mind for a number of years now. It’s only taken a shape worthy of publication thanks to Julian Rowe, principal at Horsley Bridge (that Blue Chip investor in the world’s great tech VCs). During a recent meeting, Julian and I were talking about the cultural differences we’d observed between the US and UK, and discovered how much we agreed on. The words that follow are largely Julian’s, the thoughts are ones we share.

It has often been said that Silicon Valley is not a place, rather a state of mind; a state of mind that celebrates ambitious innovation, coupled with a healthy disregard for fear of failure. As Britain’s tech start-up scene has blossomed in recent years, there are signs that something of a Valley mindset has evolved with it…

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Discoverly’s Nifty Tool For Seeing Social Connections Adds Crunchbase, AngelList Data


Social media tool – nice one

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

discoverly Discoverly , the San Francisco startup that launched last year with the aim of putting people’s social connections “to work” in the enterprise space, has added some useful updates to its flagship social search tool.

Discoverly’s Chrome browser extension, which debuted in January to let you see mutual Facebook connections while looking at someone’s LinkedIn profile and vice versa, has added two new data sources to its mix: Crunchbase and AngelList. The overall idea, Discoverly’s founder and CEO Theodore Summe tells me that the overall idea is to help people easily find connections.

“The idea is to help you find common ground. If you’re registered on these social tools, you have access to this data yourself, but it’s siloed into individual systems,” Summe said. “This lets you take your social data with you as you travel the web… it’s like a Rapportive to go, that travels the web…

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You’re More Than Your Last Few Tweets


Social media profilers .. watch it on Criminal Minds shortly

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Our lives are not defined reverse chronologically, yet until now, that’s strictly how our social network profiles portrayed us — as a snapshot of our latest activity. Today, Twitter gave us all a redesigned web profile with the option to pin a tweet to the top of our profiles “so it’s easy for your followers to see what you’re all about.” It’s a step towards a more holistic vision of identity online.

When you meet someone, you often ask them “how are you?” and the answer usually tells you almost nothing about them. They say they’re fine or describe the day’s wins or losses, but those tiny data points don’t represent their personality. Yet despite the dysfunction of this behavior, Facebook, Twitter, and Google all designed their profiles to mimic it when someone comes to check us out.

Sure, you can dive into someone’s albums or interests, but above…

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Surrounding Ourselves with Talented People – Introducing BQB’s New Blog Manager


I’ve known Alice for several years, I’ll be watching the books and new authors they feature with real interest.

Originally posted on BQB Publishing:

Alice de Sturler As the President of BQB Publishing, it’s my job to find amazing talent from all over the country to produce quality books, support our authors, and promote and market the books we publish. The beauty of running a virtual company is that we aren’t limited to one geographical location, and can gather people from all over the country. And, I’m proud to say we have an amazing management team. 

Starting on April 1st, our team becomes even better as Alice de Sturler joins us as BQB’s Blog Manager. Alice is a freelance blogger who lives in Blacksburg, Virginia and manages two blogs of her own: The award-winning, Defrosting Cold Cases, and Your Blog Coach. Alice’s passion for what she does, along with her creativity and ability to keep up with what’s new in the world of blogging, will take BQB’s blog to new heights and broader dimensions.

I readily admit that

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A Million Little Facebook Pieces


This is when momentum in an enormous business still creates added value.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

“In other words, Facebook has failed to invent any new behaviors or even innovate on the behaviors that were commonplace on the service. - Om Malik.

Facebook, massive and successful as it is, is no longer a company that defines new social experiences. It either copies them outright or it just buys them. (See also: $19 billion for WhatsApp).

Facebook has been a copycat for a long time.

Back when users were still checking in on Foursquare, Facebook launched its own way to “check-in” with friends on Facebook.

Before that, when social networking early adopters started sharing and “liking” content over on FriendFeedFacebook copied the “like” and made it such a ubiquitous part of Facebook, that a majority of people today would probably tell you Facebook originated the idea.

facebook-whatsapp-screenBut in more recent years, Facebook’s attempts at cloning other services fell flat. Its Camera app was…

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How to create the ideal work life balance – post 2 – what is not needed ?

Listening to feedback on LinkedIn one of my friends stimulated a worthwhile topic.

When asked to do this that and the other for work, do we always consider the effects on our family?

When we commit to our children, do we always remember our commitments to our employer or business?


Can we always succeed perfectly at both home and work, should we expect to fulfill all our commitments to both?

Is perfection needed – or should we just learn to accept that we should just do our best and be happy with the results?

So what is not needed?

One answer – perfection. Here’s a few tips on how to overcome being a perfectionist

Perfection is not needed, if we can see a way to get the balance right we can keep our jobs and have a fun family life.

Remember the five big f’s (fun, family, future, fitness and finance)

One of the feelings that trap us is the feeling of guilt that we put upon ourselves when we attempt to motivate ourselves to do the best, and strive for perfection. However, as my life has developed, and I have realized (not smugly) happily that I have a wonderful life, I’ve often asked myself why is my life this way? Truthfully, I’m lazy, I feel life, my time passing through me and many people just expend time without understanding that time is of real value. Everything else comes and goes, and can return, but time once spent goes forever. So learn to feel for that balance in your life, I cover time management in post 3. Is it more important to get a task done or look after your teeth … at 2.30 is your dentist appointment more important than just another task at home or work… find the balance.

Next when you hear yourself think, “I’m not happy with that” … ask yourself “Why am I not happy with that, do I really need to alter the outcome?” A lot of times, we have just sprinkled unnecessary guilt upon a task or duty that need not be associated with it. Remember, that more time spent perfecting one thing is less time spent living your life doing another thing that you will also be sprinkling with guilt.

Often in life we react automatically to situations, we become desensitized to our own emotions. We become re-act-a-trons.

So when the boss asks you “Can you ….. ?”

Or when the family says “We need to …… “

Start applying that filter system to your thoughts so that you can decide what is right for your life before accepting an outside influence.

Remember, rushing around to everybody else’s beck and call will not necessarily bring you happiness, and most importantly it may not bring them happiness or their desired outcome either. Our job in life is to decide which actions are worth doing for both parties (ourselves and the other stakeholders in the action) be they our relatives, friends, colleagues, bosses, employers, employees or anyone else.

So … again … what is not needed ?

Another answer – Guilt – Guilt is not needed.

Rebekah talks of a “Trade Off” … what is meant by a trade off?

A trade off, is where you accept less than perfection on one thing to spend more of your efforts on another thing. Often there is a trade off between home life and work life. Have a look at time management (link further up in the post) and try to learn to say no, not now, or never to some things in your life. Consider delegating more, ask for more help in family tasks, find ways to reduce your load to enjoy your life.

So if you are considering accepting another piece of time consumption into your life, ask yourself, “will this cause a “trade off” ?”

If yes … this is your next question “should I, or am I willing to accept this use of my time? should I refuse ?”

Also try “Am I feeling guilty, and feeling emotionally blackmailed into doing this task?” then just keep asking yourself why, and whether you can alter this emotional view of this situation.

We all deserve a life that is fun, fulfilling, etc , but how often do we run through a process that in our heads allows us to make decisions that rush us towards real peace and happiness in our life.

We run our lives.

However, most people do not feel they control their lives.

If you feel the regret of the trade off, and the guilt of a lack of perfection then start to make changes to your decision making process, change how you think about work, home and the people in your life. Self awareness starts with a questioning mind. To be able to use your questioning ability, you will need to allow yourself the time. Will you ? Can you ? Why not … I took the time to write this because it mattered to a friend. I enjoyed it. I feel no guilt for spending 3 hours doing so, despite the fact our house needs many things, my life will be run by me. My priorities are clear to me … are you priorities clear to you? If not what is stopping you?


Hope this helps, thank you Rebekah,

As ever, Simon