Tech + Gadgets
We are living in an age that features the emergence of new marketplaces that are changing the way many of us live and work.
It’s a mobile (iOS) marketplace connecting businesses with people via their iPhones for the purpose of getting work done anywhere, often across multiple venues simultaneously.
Back in November 2010, John Harris, a veteran of some 30 years in the consumer products and tech industries, tried to find an effective tracking product that could help members of his family take care of his mother-in-law, who has Alzheimer’s, and a niece, who is Autistic.
“Both of them get lost sometimes, especially my niece,” he explains. “But I couldn’t find anything suitable. The devices were all too big, weighed too much, and were too big to fit into a pocket. Plus their battery life was too low, about 24 hours.”
Startup companies divide broadly into two groups: Those that want to generate a lot of buzz, and those that don’t want to generate any buzz at all.
The latter usually are trying to remain in “stealth” while they build a prototype for a product or service that might otherwise be easily copied by a competitor.
But the Presidio-based Pearl.com, headed by CEO Andy Kurtzig, has been methodically going about its business for eight years now, very much below the radar, so much so we cannot even consider it a startup any longer.
I’ve been with my fiancé for almost four years now, living together for three. For the first and a half, he was sexting other women. When I finally found out about it six months into the relationship, I confronted him and he swore up and down that he would stop, that he never did anything physical with any of them, and that it was because he was afraid of being in such a committed relationship. I even found the nude photos saved to his phone, and he tried to tell me that his phone "automatically saved" all incoming pictures. I'm not dumb enough to believe that, but I brushed it off. He finally stopped after a while, and I began to trust him again. We got engaged a year and a half ago and things have been good.
“San Francisco is a city of 800,000 strangers,” says Paul Davison, a biotech engineer turned CEO of the startup Highlight, a location-based social networking mobile app that notifies users of people nearby who share their interests and friends. “I’m convinced that in 10 years, you’ll be able to walk into a bar and know everyone’s name and what you have in common. It’s going to be our sixth sense.” Highlight was the darling of this year’s SXSW, so Davison just might be right. Here, he chooses the best of SF's tech scene.
The San Francisco-based startup GoPago is at it again. The company’s free mobile app–which as some know, just launched in S.F. in partnership with Chase—lets you order and pay for everything from coffee to burgers straight from your smartphone. You get to skip lines at local hot spots like Freshii, Moz, Tropisueno and Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, because your order is ready and waiting when you arrive.
Last December, Lauren Van Horn was trying to find a glasses stand to buy for her husband, but the only ones available were ugly and made of plastic. She put a request up on Zaarly for one made of wood.
Architect Tobi Adamolekun, who likes to design and build things, responded. He sent her some sketches; she approved the design, and he went to work on machinery available at TechShop.
Die-hard political junkies who decry the Supreme Court’s 2010 landmark ruling for Citizens United—which lets political action committees raise unlimited amounts of funds for political campaigns—may have something new to smile about. Pride PAC, launched in February by Tiburon resident Marcus Lovingood and SF’s Rose Dawydiak-Rapagnani, is looking to take advantage of the controversial fundraising system with the first federally registered LGBT super PAC in support of President Obama.