Posts Tagged ‘startup’

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Tells “Monkey Parking” to Drop Mobile App for Auctioning City Parking Spots – $300 Fines?

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

[UPDATE: SFist (lots of comments already), Slate, and the San Francisco Chronicle are on the case.]

Gotta say I sort of saw this one coming.

And it’s not just Monkey Parking that’s in trouble today. Check out the craigslist ad from ParkModo (cached website) (@ParkModo – no Tweets yet, or maybe they were deleted?), posted on June 17th, 2014:

Earn $13.00 P/H Just To Park! (mission district)

Our company is launching an awesome app that rewards people to sell their on-street parking spots before leaving to people who need a spot.

To help us promote the app, we are looking for 20 people with cars and iPhones to park around the mission and use the app to offer their parking spots to people looking for parking.

The hours will be from 5:30-9:00 pm Thurs-Sat starting June 26th.

This is how it works:

1. You download the app from the app store.
2. When you want to work, you will contact our field manager to check in.
3. The field manager will then instruct you as to what area and type of spot you are to park in.
4. You will then find a spot in the area and park.
5. Once you are parked, using the app, you will offer the spot for sale. 
6. While you are waiting for someone to purchase the space, you will distribute postcards and promote the app.
7. Once someone purchases the spot, you will complete the transaction with the buyer and then find another space to park in and start the process all over again!

If you are interested, please click on the link below (Paste into your browser) and provide your information so we can contact you and get you started.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1To5Ck5FrPBMrh35SvJp-WDRg0WDyaLLyuo1_MS8pyV8/viewform?usp=send_form

We look forward to working with you!”

I think ParkModo’s operations will now be on hold, for a little bit at least. But do you want some more from them? See below.

Now, all the deets about all these troubled businesses, from Herrera’s office:

“Herrera tells Monkey Parking to drop mobile app for auctioning city parking spots

Motorists face $300 fines for each violation under existing law, City Attorney says — and three startups could be liable for penalties of up to $2,500 for each transaction

SAN FRANCISCO (June 23, 2014) — San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera today issued an immediate cease-and-desist demand to Monkey Parking, a mobile peer-to-peer bidding app that enables motorists to auction off the public parking spaces their vehicles occupy to nearby drivers.   The app, currently available for iOS devices, describes itself on the Apple iTunes App Store as the “the first app which lets you make money every time that you are about to leave your on-street parking spot.”

The letter Herrera’s office issued this morning to Paolo Dobrowolny, CEO of the Rome, Italy-based tech startup, cites a key provision of San Francisco’s Police Code that specifically prohibits individuals and companies from buying, selling or leasing public on-street parking.  Police Code section 63(c) further provides that scofflaws — including drivers who “enter into a lease, rental agreement or contract of any kind” for public parking spots — face administrative penalties of up to $300 for each violation.  Because Monkey Parking’s business model is wholly premised on illegal transactions, the letter contends that the company would be subject to civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation under California’s tough Unfair Competition Law were the city to sue.  Such a lawsuit would be imminent, Herrera’s office vowed, should the startup continue to operate in San Francisco past July 11, 2014.

Technology has given rise to many laudable innovations in how we live and work — and Monkey Parking is not one of them,” Herrera said.  “It’s illegal, it puts drivers on the hook for $300 fines, and it creates a predatory private market for public parking spaces that San Franciscans will not tolerate.  Worst of all, it encourages drivers to use their mobile devices unsafely — to engage in online bidding wars while driving.  People are free to rent out their own private driveways and garage spaces should they choose to do so.  But we will not abide businesses that hold hostage on-street public parking spots for their own private profit.”

Herrera’s cease-and-desist demand to Monkey Parking includes a request to the legal department of Apple Inc., which is copied on the letter, asking that the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant immediately remove the mobile application from its App Store for violating several of the company’s own guidelines.  Apple App Store Review Guidelines provide that “Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users” and that “Apps whose use may result in physical harm may be rejected.”

Two other startups that similarly violate local and state law with mobile app-enabled schemes intended to illegally monetize public parking spaces in San Francisco will also face legal action in the form of cease-and-desist demands this week, according to the City Attorney’s Office.  Sweetch charges a $5 flat fee when its users obtain a parking spot from another Sweetch motorist.  Sweetch drivers who pass their spots off to other Sweetch members are refunded $4 of that fee.  ParkModo, which appears poised to launch later this week, according to recent employment postings on Craigslist, will employ drivers at a rate of $13.00 per hour to occupy public parking spaces in the Mission District.  As with Monkey Parking and Sweetch, ParkModo then plans to sell the on-street parking spots to its paying members through its iPhone app.  Sweetch and ParkModo members who make use of the apps to park in San Francisco are also subject to civil penalties of $300 per violation, and both companies are potentially liable for civil penalties of $2,500 per transaction for illegal business practices under the Cali04fornia Unfair Competition Law.

A copy of Herrera’s demand letter to Monkey Parking and additional information about the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office is available at: http://www.sfcityattorney.org/.”

And here’s a little more from ParkModo:

“We are currently rolling out the beta in the following cities…

San Francisco – As beautiful as city it is, parking is just as bad! Not only is there way to much demand for the supply, but the parking police will catch you if they can! Be among the first 1000 people to download the app and get $5 in free parking!

New York – Instead of calling it the city that never sleeps, they should call it the city that never has parking! Get in on ParkModo and earn some serious cash and stop wasting your time. We know every minute in ny is precious.

Chicago – There may be wind here, but there is certainly no parking! Use ParkModo and fly like the wind when you need a space!”

Unusual Diet Coke Ads Already Mocked by Area Art Student: “YOU MOVED TO SF WITH DIABETES OR WHATEVER– YOU’RE ON COKE”

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Word on the street, mocking these recent official Coke ads:

Click to expand

I don’t think that it’s the Diet Coke what causes diabetes, just saying.

Unless the artificial sweeteners somehow fool your body into thinking it’s getting sugar, uh oh. (I think the scientists are looking into it these days.)

Now myself, the more Diet Cherry Coke I drink, the more they bring me.

At least I think it’s diet, uh oh.

An Arresting Ad Campaign for Upwardly-Mobile Software Americans from Diet Coke: “You Moved to SF with…”

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

[UPDATE: Lauryn McCarthy is similarly puzzled - she has the cleaned up version of this ad here.]

So, the tagline sort of looks like “YOU’RE ON COKE?” That’s bold, Coca Cola.

Anyway, as seen on Haight Street near Divisadero:

Click to expand

Elevator! Going up!
In the gleaming corridors of the 51st floor
The money can be made if you really want some more
Executive decision-a clinical precision
Jumping from the windows-filled with indecision

I get good advice from the advertising world
Treat me nice says the party girl
Koke adds life where there isn’t any
So freeze, man, freeze

It’s the pause that refreshes in the corridors of power
When top men need a top up long before the happy hour
Your snakeskin suit and your alligator boot
You won’t need a launderette, you can send them to the vet

I get my advice from the advertising world
Treat me nice says the party girl
Koke adds life where there isn’t any
So freeze, man, freeze

Koka Kola advertising and kokaine
Strolling down the Broadway in the rain
Neon light sign says it
I read it in the paper-they’re crazy!
Suit your life, maybe so
In the White House-I know
All Over Berlin (they’ve been doing it for years)
And in Manhattan!

Coming through the door is a snub nose forty four
What the barrel can’t snort it can spatter on the floor
Your eyeballs feel like pinballs
And your tongue feels like a fish
You’re leaping from the windows-saying don’t
Ayaiiiiirrrghhh! Don’t give me none of this!

I get good advice from the advertising world
Treat me nice says the party girl
Koke adds life where there isn’t any
So freeze, man, freeze
Hit the deck!

Tiny Startup Poaches Larry Ellison’s Debaculous America’s Cup – Elephanti.Com Advertises to 1000′s for Free

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Hey, you know who hates, just hates, Larry Ellison right now, even though he’s a billionaire and could help out whenever a museum needs money and whatnot? SFGov!

And you who hates, just hates SFGov right now? That’s right, or course, Larry Ellison.

But one thing they agree on is that ya gots to pay for advertising to the America’s Cup crowd. So no flying billboards are allowed in the area, for example.

Well here comes Elephanti.com. Check it:

“Elephanti is the first online showroom for retail stores and venues, where retail businesses can list their products, services and menus. For shoppers, it’s the ultimate shopping app, helping them search and find where to buy the things they need.”

And here’s its boat, with an ad on the sails at the busiest ever time the 34th America’s Cup will ever experience, a minute before the start of the first race of the Finals:

This ad must have been seen by several thousands of people.

Well played, Elephanti.

(In Soviet Russia, elephant poaches you!)

OMG, EAT Club is Here! – “SF’s Best Eateries On One Bus” – Another “Innovative E-Commerce Service?”

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

The First Rule of EAT Club is DON’T TALK ABOUT EAT CLUB.

The Second Rule of EAT Club is DON’T TALK ABOUT EAT CLUB.

But I digress.

There I was in the Financh all set to “welcome” yet another a new corporate shuttle to the ‘hood, you know, with the two-inch main blade of my Victorinox Swiss Champ right into the sidewalls of the rear tires when I discovered that it’s actually some sort of food delivery bus.

Then I didn’t know what to do.

Jay Barmann of Grub Street has the deets on this Big New Thing.

As seen yesterday in the 94111:

Click to expand

“EAT Club Eats up the Valley - Announces $5 Million Series A Funding Led by August Capital

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–EAT Club, a leading food tech company that brings delicious lunches to professionals, announced today that it has raised a $5 million Series A funding led by August Capital with participation from First Round Capital, Siemer Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Launch Capital, Tekton Ventures, Mark Vadon (Co-Founder of Blue Nile & Zulily) and angel investors. Howard Hartenbaum of August Capital joins Rob Hayes of First Round Capital on the Company’s Board of Directors. First Round Capital led the Company’s Seed Financing in 2011.

EAT Club is an innovative ecommerce service that presents an always-changing daily assortment of lunches to its members via its website and mobile services. Members who order lunch enjoy a freshly prepared restaurant meal, delivered to their office between 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., without the issues of a minimum order size or food not showing up on time. EAT Club merges technology with an exclusive network of quality restaurant partners to create a curated, convenient experience for members, while providing restaurants with a profitable new revenue stream and significant consumer exposure. EAT Club delivers to over 1,500 California Bay Area companies and powers corporate lunch programs and group meetings for customers like Chegg, Bloomreach, Gunderson Dettmer, and IMVU.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for EAT Club. We’ve built a product that our members love, have an amazing group of people, and that is translating into very fast growth. We’ve been experiencing consistent double-digit month-over-month growth,” said Frank Han, EAT Club’s CEO. “With this funding, we will more aggressively pursue our vision of making great food available and accessible to people everywhere. What we’ve done so far is just the beginning.”

Leading the financing round, August Capital Partner Howard Hartenbaum believes that EAT Club’s Internet-based logistics technology is tackling a growing lunch problem that affects more than 70 million professionals by helping them get a wide selection of healthy and tasty foods at work without needing to plan ahead. “EAT Club fuses technology to capitalize on untapped restaurant inventory and real-time member reviews and feedback to create a product that is simply awesome. Employees are no longer forced to eat a catered selection they didn’t want, now each employee can select their individual EAT Club choice each day.”

About EAT Club

EAT Club is a leading food tech company that makes lunch fun, exciting, delicious and super easy. EAT Club’s unique concept allows members to choose handpicked lunches that fit their lifestyles and receive their lunch by 12:30 p.m. Founded in 2010 by Kevin Yang and Rodrigo Santibanez as Stanford Graduate Students, EAT Club currently delivers lunches to more than 1,500 companies in the California Bay Area. For more information, visit www.myeatclub.com. EAT Club has received funding from August Capital, First Round Capital, Siemer Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Launch Capital, Tekton Ventures, Mark Vadon (Co-Founder of Blue Nile & Zulily) along with angel investors.

Contacts

SS|PR for EAT Club
Tony Keller, 312-759-0858
SVP
tkeller@sspr.com

Daily lunch at the office can be a hassle. It’s time-consuming, repetitive, and potentially unhealthy and expensive if you’re pressed for time. At the same time, there are all these great restaurants in the neighborhood, but driving there would take too much time.

Fortunately, EAT Club is here to make daily lunch delicious, convenient, and affordable. Just visit myeatclub.com, choose from a rotating set of featured restaurants and healthy daily options, and your food shows up by 12:30 like magic.

Join fellow office workers at over 2,000 other companies like Sony, Shutterfly, and Kaiser Permanente and discover affordable and reliable lunch delivery.

We created EAT Club to address a frustration we personally felt as busy office workers, that there were no convenient, delicious, and affordable lunch options available to us. At Kevin’s last job, the only quick options were the uninspired deli in the basement and the McDonalds down the street. More than once, he resorted to raiding the vending machine.

While there were good restaurants within driving distance, it was hard to get in a car for lunch without losing an hour out of the day. Kevin and his colleagues looked into lunch delivery a couple times, but found that the minimum orders and unreliable service made it too expensive and cumbersome for daily use.

It was based on this personal experience that we decided to combine a love of good affordable food, novel use of technology and data, and a commitment to consistent service to make lunch delivery an attractive option for all our fellow office workers out there.

You can order one lunch for yourself or a hundred lunches for your company. Sign up for free, order your first lunch and start believing.

Kevin and Rodrigo
EAT Club Founders

Frank Han, CEO

As CEO, Frank is helping EAT Club change how people eat lunch at work. Frank is a long-time eCommerce industry leader. Prior to joining EAT Club, Frank was CEO of Swoopo.com, the innovative inventor and leader of pay-per-bid auctions. He was founder and CEO of Glimpse.com, a fashion shopping portal that was sold to TheFind. Prior to that, he was Executive Vice President and General Manager of HSN.com, the online business of the Home Shopping Network, where he drove growth to over $350 million in annual revenue by embracing HSN’s multi-channel opportunity. In 1996, Frank cofounded eToys.com, the pioneering online retailer that grew from zero to over $200 million in revenue and IPO’ed in 1999. He served as COO and SVP of Product Development.

Frank earned his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and his BS from Yale University.

Kevin Yang, Co-Founder

Kevin is an experimental cooking enthusiast and low-key restaurant connoisseur. To support these hobbies, he has held odd jobs throughout the years, including stints in management consulting, venture capital, computational biology research, and classical Chinese translation. His qualifications to be a lunch delivery guy include an MBA from Stanford and a BA from Harvard.

Rodrigo Santibanez, Co-Founder

Rodrigo’s adventurous appetite has given him an extended food curriculum, ranging from traditional recipes to the most exotic dishes from around the world. He developed a crazy appetite for spicy food while growing up in southern Mexico. His background as a Finance Analyst taught him the most efficient methods of ordering food in late office hours, and his experience at a consumer goods company in Italy refined his taste for Neapolitan cuisine. Rodrigo studied his MBA at Stanford University, where he enjoyed the amusing results of mixing Asian, Indian and Latin American cuisines in the same student dormitory.

Press

Investors

  • First Round Capital
  • Lightspeed Venture Partners
  • Launch Capital
  • Siemer Ventures
  • Tekton Ventures
  • Brian Lee (founder of ShoeDazzle and LegalZoom)
  • Niren Hiro (AdMob)
  • Aki Sano (Founder of Cookpad)
  • Michael Kinsbergen (CEO of Nedstat, acquired by comScore)

Showing How STRAVA, Inc is Dealing with Its Legal Challenges: Here’s What the “Hyde Street Bomb!” Looks Like

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Take a look at this segment created by the “Strava Community” of troubled Strava, Inc. owners, managers, and/or users.

See? This is a bike trip down Nob Hill through the Tenderloin to the Mid Market:

Click to expand

Note the innocuous-sounding title: Hyde/Market st.

But also note the URL up there. The name of this segment used to be “Hyde Street Bomb!” But that doesn’t look so hot when you’re in the national news for getting sued.

Oh, here it is, have a go on the YouTube – will the cyclist beat all those cagers in Priuseses what stop for red lights? Hells yes:

Now, do you think that the “Strava Community” might have had an effect on the behavior of this cyclist?

You Make The Call.

And oh, here’s how that Strava webpage looked before, was it just a day ago? Two days ago? I don’t know. But this is quite a recent change. Alls I know is that somebody in the “Strava Community,” be it an owner, manager, legal advisor, person following instructions from a legal advisor, cyclist, or, really, anybody in the entire world, created this segment and/or edited it.

The people at Strava, Inc. aren’t what you call transparent, so it’s hard to tell.

Anyway, here’s your Hyde Street Bomb!

Does registering for Strava and racing down Nob Hill in this fashion make you an “athlete?”

Again, You Make The Call.

So Let’s Hear From Michael Horvath, CEO and Co-Founder of Troubled, SF-Based STRAVA, Inc. – Lawsuit Blog Post

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Well here’s The Statement, from a few days back:

“Stand with Us”

UH, “STAND WITH US” WHILE WE GET SUED INTO OBLIVION? IS THAT WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT ON THE EVE OF THE NEWS OF YOUR BIG WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT? OK.

“Posted by Michael Horvath on June 17th, 2012″

JUNE 17TH – LOOK AT THE TIMING, JUST BEFORE THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS. MMMM…

Each and every day we strive to improve Strava for you,­ the athlete. We are athletes too, just like you.

LET’S SEE HERE, SIGNING UP FOR STRAVA = BEING AN ATHLETE. GOT IT. YOU DON’T HAVE TO TELL ME TWICE. OH,  WELL I GUESS YOU JUST DID. UH, ALL RIGHT, YOU DON’T HAVE TO TELL ME _THREE_ TIMES.

As the Strava community grows, we all need to follow a few simple guideposts to ensure that Strava’s impact is positive.

GUIDEPOSTS AND NOT RULES? ALL RIGHT.

This is what we, the Strava community, stand for:

NOW WAIT A SECOND, AREN’T YOU THE FOUNDER AND CEO, MICHAEL HORVATH? I THINK SO. BUT ARE YOU A PART OF THE “STRAVA COMMUNITY?” REALLY? BUT _YOUR_ COMPANY IS GETTING SUED THOUGH, RIGHT? NOT THE “ATHLETES” WHAT MAKE UP YOUR USER BASE. I THINK YOU ARE CONFLATING THE OWNERS/MANAGERS OF STRAVA WITH THE USERS OF STRAVA, JUST SAYING. ALL RIGHT, OFF YOU GO THEN…

We know the rules. Laws and rules are created for our protection. Cycling, running and swimming are inherently dangerous and following the law, and common sense, when it comes to traffic, weather, or conditions, reduces our odds of getting hurt or hurting others. It’s as simple as that.

SO, I’LL STILL BE ABLE TO HAVE MY TIMES POSTED SHOWING ME GOING 20 MPH OVER THE LIMIT? CAUSE, YOU SEE, THAT’S NOT FOLLOWING THE “LAWS,” RIGHT? BUT I GUESS, AFTER YOU TALKED WITH A LAWYER OR TWO, YOU’RE TELLING YOUR USERS, THE SAINTED “ATHLETES” YOU WRITE ABOUT, TO FOLLOW THE LAW? OK FINE.

We rest. We listen to our bodies to avoid injury and we inspire in ways other than by being #1. We don’t burn ourselves out. We enjoy our recovery days because they too tell our story on Strava.

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH YOU BEING SUED? DOES THIS EVEN BELONG HERE?

We kudo sportsmanship. We all want to get kudos by being great at our sport. We are courteous and treat others with respect. We earn our spots on the leaderboards through clean competition.

UH, KUDO IS NOT A VERB, RIGHT? OK YOU KNOW THAT BUT YOU’RE BREAKING NEW GROUND, OK FINE. UH, IS BIKE-RIDING A SPORT? I THINK I’M SEEING THE PROBLEM HERE. WAS CHRIS BUCCHERE ENGAGING IN SPORT WHEN HE WAS GOING WAY TOO FAST ACROSS MARKET STREET? SHOULD HE HAVE BEEN? IS DRIVING A CAR DOWN MARKET STREET A SPORT? SHOULD IT BE? I DON’T THINK SO. AND IF MEMBERS OF THE “STRAVA COMMUNITY” AREN’T COURTEOUS AND RESPECTFUL, DO THEY GET COUNSELING OR SOMETHING? OR DO THEY JUST GET KICKED OUT? CAUSE  I CAN THINK OF A FEW OF YOUR MEMBERS WHO HAVEN’T KILLED THEMSELVES/OTHERS, SO, YOU KNOW, THEY’RE NOT AS WELL-KNOWN AS SOME OF THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE STRAVA FAMILY, BUT THEY DON’T MEET YOUR STANDARD AS STATED HERE – THEY AIN’T COURTEOUS/RESPECTFUL AT ALL. AND LASTLY, DOES “CLEAN COMPETITION” INCLUDE RUNNING RED LIGHTS? I’M NOT SURE.

We think ahead. We showcase a lot of awesome data about where we go, who we work out with and how hard we push ourselves. If we don’t want everyone to know what we’re up to, we take the necessary privacy precautions before we upload, like setting privacy zones and choosing who can follow us and what they can see.

UH ISN’T THIS A MISH-MASH OF THREE DIFFERENT CONCEPTS?

We’ve got each other’s backs. We watch out for one another. The community does what it can to keep things safe for everyone by looking out for potentially dangerous situations and flagging segments as hazardous.

SO, SELF-POLICING IS THE ORDER OF THE DAY AT STRAVA? HEY, DIDN’T THE “SOUTH PARK DESCENT” GET FLAGGED AFTER KIM FLINT’S DEATH? I THINK IT DID. BUT DIDN’T IT COME BACK, COURTESY OF THE “STRAVA COMMUNITY?” YES IT DID, AND WITH HIGHER SPEEDS THAN WHAT KIM FLINT “ACHIEVED.”

If you want to be part of the Strava community, we’d like you to stand with us and take these guideposts to heart.

SO, YOU’RE GOING TO START KICKING PEOPLE OUT? ALL RIGHT. I DON’T BELIEVE WHAT YOU AND YOUR LAWYERS ARE SAYING HERE, BUT ALL RIGHT.

AND YOU STILL HAVE NOTHING TO SAY ABOUT KIM FLINT OR CHRIS BUCCHERE?

ALL RIGHT.

Now, let’s hear from Paul Kapustka of Mobile Sports Report:

“Something tells us that if lawyers are getting involved, it’s not going to be as simple as a statement on a blog to prove that Strava.com’s competitions didn’t cause harm. Or that the bad apples aren’t a part of the Strava.com community. There are going to be many who decry the lawsuit as some part of a nanny-state weirdness, but there is probably some legitimate question to be asked whether or not a site that promotes virtual competitions on real streets and trails is responsible for the participants’ actions, much in the way a 10K race must take out insurance to cover its runners. I have a feeling this may be the tip of the iceberg for such sites like Strava.com.”