ManServant Trying to Make “Porn For Women” Happen

Have money? Hire a sugar baby / ManServant! Want someone to be nice to you? Pay them! Is this the natural, though cynical, extension of a market economy?

Uh-Oh, Aereo

Looks like Aereo is a no-go: the Supreme Court has ruled that the start-up, which aims to disrupt the Cable Cabal that is ruining our lives, violates copyright laws unless it pays networks for content.

The Supreme Court delivered a major victory to the nation’s television networks on Wednesday, ruling that an upstart Internet company is violating copyright laws by transmitting programs without paying hefty licensing fees. In a 6-to-3 decision that kept the TV industry’s business model essentially intact, the court said that Aereo — a two-year-old start-up that streams shows to tablets, laptops and other devices — must pay the networks for content, as cable systems do. …

The decision dealt a potential death blow to Aereo and could discourage millions of consumers who have been increasingly clamoring for the type of service the company provides — sports and other live television streamed online, without the cost of a cable television bundle. If the ruling had gone the other way, it could have upended a television industry that has grown fearful of the disruptive force of Internet video. Aereo chief executive Chet Kanojia called the decision “a massive setback for the American consumer.’’

CNN, channeling the Princess Bride, calls Aereo “essentially dead” and can’t come up with real alternatives beyond the obvious: Roku boxes, Hulu, digital antennae. RIP, Aereo, unless you come back to storm the castle! You were a good idea.

What Kind of Tech Company is Kickstarter?

Well, as their former copywriter I could tell you in about 1000 different ways and at varying lengths and tone of voice, but that would be insane and probably unethical. Nevertheless, Kickstarter hit a big milestone this week: a billion dollars have been pledged to projects. From there, it isn't hard to figure out how much revenue they've made, and Quartz is on it:

Our Money Daydreams: Orlando Bloom and Big Media

Lauren E. writes:

When I was in high school, I tried to write a screenplay based on a book I liked. I fantasized frequently about casting Orlando Bloom in the movie. He and I would fall madly in love and I would never have to worry about money again!

Monday Link Round-Up: Class Matters; Are Belts (and Fathers) Undervalued?

Lots of fascinating money-related reads this weekend:

+ Start-up with a dumb name (“Beltology”) thinks it can make men’s belts the next pocket square:

Mr. Heffernan, 40, approached the exercise in a way that befits an M.B.A. who had spent a year working at Bain Consulting. “We looked at the numbers, which were just staggering,” he said. “Socks, particularly colored socks, were up, gloves were up, scarves were up, even ties were up.” Everything was up, that is, except belts. “We thought, surely this is a sleeping giant,” he said.

In January, the couple launched Beltology, an online-only brand devoted to giving the least-noticed, least-talked about and least-fetishized accessory in menswear its proper place of worship. “We want to do for belts what Swatch did for the wristwatch back in [1983],” said Mr. Heffernan.


+ Progressive Manhattan private school, one that is actually and not just theoretically multi-cultural, takes children on field trips to their own very different houses:

Silicon Valley Ladies Are Doing It For Themselves

Do you know what "venture capital" is? I do now, but once I did not, and I met a venture capitalist at a party, and she was like, "What do you do?" and I was like, "I work at a start up" (about which more here) and she was like, "Oh, great! I'm in VC!" and I had to nod and laugh and pretend I knew what she was talking about because I am scared to look stupid, lest someone force me to take the SATs again.*

The Postsecrets We Keep

The anonymous thought-sharing app Secret, which is strong enough for a man but PH-balanced for anyone with a smartphone and opposable thumbs, raised a huge amount of money for expansion purposes by branching out beyond the tech world.

the company also announced on Monday that it raised an additional $25 million in venture financing from a number of esteemed firms and angel investors, including Index Ventures, SV Angel and Fuel Capital. Previously, it raised $10 million. The new funding puts the valuation of Secret, a six-month-old company, at higher than $100 million.

The news reminded me of, and made me nostalgic for, Postsecret, the wistfully adorable mechanism through which people made art out of short, intimate confessions sent through the mail. Scrolling through the site, I was struck by how many admissions relate to money, one way or another:


All My Grownup Jobs And How I Actually Got Them

Plenty of people have very practical advice about how to get a job or break into an industry, but when I look back on work in my 20's, I see mostly dumb luck, good timing, and knowing the right people. Sharing how I've gotten work so far may not be helpful or encouraging, but it is true, and true is a good place to start from. Here is my no-bullshit job history:

Stock Options As Explained by An English Major, Pt. 2

Last week we talked about what it means to be offered stock options in your company, and the difference between what you'll pay for them and what they might be "worth" (in both the market sense and the tax implication sense). But the thing is, you don’t get all of the stock at once. That’s another reason why they're called incentive stock options.