The case for Twitter’s independence (unless Google or management buys)

This was posted on 7 October 2016 at TechCrunch
Original Here

Keith Teare

Keith Teare is the co-founder of TechCrunch and today runs Palo Alto incubator Archimedes Labs.

The problems associated with the widespread rumors of Twitters “for sale” status and that the management team is divided on whether or not to sell the company were compounded this morning with reports that Google, Disney and Apple will not be bidders. The stock price is down 20% to $19.79 at the time of writing.

Who runs Twitter — Board or Management?

The impressive Board of Directors seems to have set itself against CEO Jack Dorsey by seeking an exit. This is not the first time the company seems to be being run by the Board rather than the management. Previous changes in strategy, management and even the decision to IPO do not seem to have been organic decisions planned

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Zuck, What the Fuck! — Rebuttal — a follow up


On Saturday I published a story on Medium called “Dear Zuck, What the Fuck” —

3 Readers at Hacker News flagged the article as spam or link bait —

“This is clearly just marketing spam” (,

— others described it as an accusation related to merely the look of FB Messenger and pointed out that this look is common to many apps, including iMessage and others that pre-date —

“His first example is basically saying “you copied us since we both look like iMessage”. (

These comments miss the point.

Of course, because this is the internet, there are links in my story, and because social media exists and I do want the word about this to get out, I do ask people to share it.

These links are clearly not “bait”. The intent of Continue reading "Zuck, What the Fuck! — Rebuttal — a follow up"

Dear Zuck, Fuck!

From this weeks Economist –
I hope you don’t mind me calling you Zuck. We barely know each other, although I did once bump into you whilst walking in College Terrace in Palo Alto.

The thing is, Mark feels too familiar, and Mr Zuckerburg way too formal. Besides I am a veteran entrepreneur and you are way younger than me so Mr feels, you know, a bit much.

Zuck feels just about right, and the good thing is it rhymes with fuck! — which is really pertinent given what I am about to say.

Well, Zuck, it seems as if your Messenger team has been closely watching what I have been doing with I mean, wow! watching isn’t even the word for it. Snooping, Spying, is more like it. And clearly they must have liked what they saw because they made a copy. It’s a big surprise

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Unicorns, Zombies and the Unborn

I have had the pleasure of speaking to several gatherings this summer. One at Startup Iceland, one at Bitspiration in Warsaw, Poland and a few others. Here is one of the talks. Startup Iceland

Unicorns, Zombies and the Unborn

I have had the pleasure of speaking to several gatherings this summer. One at Startup Iceland, one at Bitspiration in Warsaw, Poland and a few others. Here is one of the talks. Startup Iceland

Chat Center rebrands and moves to SaaS

Chat.Center Announcements

Palo Alto, 13iTunesArtwork@2x April 2015

For Immediate release (Summary)

–Chat.Center is now a full SaaS platform, developers and web site owners can integrate it into their apps and service. There are now 3 methods of integration – simple URL, “Click to Chat” Button and Widget. Live examples at

–The Chat.Center web site is now a fully featured registration and chat service. The iOS app now requires you register on the web site before you can login.

–Chat.Center is no longer freemium; it is a paid service – $1.99 per month per chat ID. Existing accounts get 12 months free. New users get 30 days free. This is extremely competitive pricing (compared to Olark, LivePerson, Intercomm and others).

–We have a new home – Thanks to Donuts registry for their cooperation in partnering with us on the name. The old

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Chat Center Upgrades to SAAS – Version 2 now in App store

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In an email to users the company said:

Today we made  a major update of the app and all our other systems. Until you install the new version your app will not work. Please go to the app store on your IOS device and update the app.

We now charge all new Chat Center users $1.99/month per Chat ID. As an existing user you will receive 12 months free, starting from today.

The new app has many new features. Most importantly it has a new address The old address will continue to work, but your chat name is now
We have especially optimized the app for business use. You can put your name on your web site, in email campaigns and indeed even your business card. See the app store for more details.

For the full update go to

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GTar creators launch new product – Keys.

Congratulations to Idan Beck and Incident Technologies – they now have a new product to join the Gtar. Keys is a modular wireless and midi Keyboard. It is ingenious in function and a thing of beauty.

The product launched an indiegogo campaign and reached its target within a few hours.

Quixey raises $60m at a $600m valuation

Congratulations to one of our portfolio companies – Quixey. The company confirmed reports that it had raised $60m at a valuation of $600m, with Alibaba and Softbank amongst the investors in the round.

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Downtown launches in Palo Alto

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 4.20.37 PMWith today’s launch of Downtown, Palo Alto residents will be able to purchase goods from a curated list of high quality local stores. Their purchases can be delivered for free or picked up the same day.

Local shopping can be frustrating and time consuming. Avoiding the travel and the point of sale has been a primary driver of online ecommerce growth. Local retailers have suffered a decline in sales to cloud based vendors as a result. But Downtown plans to change all that.

The two decades long decline of the high street, due to too little innovation discovery and purchasing of goods is set to end.

Downtown simplifies commerce by offering customers a curated list of high quality local stores. Ordering is as simple as just 2 taps from their mobile device. They can pick their purchase up at the store, or get same day delivery for free. The chosen stores now have the ability make their top items mobile and available.

Downtown has built an app for the store to manage their inventory and an app for the consumer to discover, purchase and take delivery. Pricing can benefit from demand knowledge, extending dynamic pricing to the high street for the first time.

The Downtown team is design-driven and strongly believes in a curated shops approach to create a truly great shopping experience.

Co-founder Phillip Buckendorf said:

Most of the existing e-commerce solutions have their roots in a website driven experience. We have built a mobile-first experience that takes into account the opportunities smart mobile devices provide. We have made it available to both merchants and customers.

Today, Downtown is announcing the roll-out of its first city – Palo Alto – featuring a great mix of local stores including Alegio Chocolate and big brand retailers like Keen Garage.

Downtown’s launch is its first move in making local stores mobile, and providing consumers with the ease of shopping of Amazon, together with same day delivery of pick up – customers can now make purchases efficiently and seamlessly without physically being in the store.

Downtown also announced its seed round of funding led by Archimedes Labs – investors in Quixey,, QFactor and others. Archimedes Labs founder Keith Teare said:

We invested in Downtown before Christmas and are announcing it today. We will also participate in their current round. Downtown is not a local delivery business or a local payment platform for brick and mortar shopping, Nor is it a local version of Amazon. It is all of those and then some. Once the high street becomes shoppable from home, the small guy makes a come-back. Phillip and his team have a great vision and the ability to execute. We

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Chance by – new version goes live.

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Chance by is the first app to be produced by the new ( 2014 Inc).

After a successful launch on 1 January the app has had tens of thousands of downloads, has a highly engaged user base with average session times above 15 minutes, and is truly global, having established users in more than 100 countries. Almost 2 million messages have been exchanged in the first 3 weeks.

Here are a few screen dumps from Google Analytics that show the initial launch statistics.

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