miércoles, 7 de agosto de 2019

Tinder’s Founders + Execs at Netflix, AirBnB, Facebook & More Invest $3m in a New LIVE Dating App

It’s been a while since the online dating industry has done anything new and exciting.

We’ve all become pretty used to swiping through hundreds of profiles and ignoring the many “Hey, how are you?” and “Sups”… that’s all about to change though.

Tinder’s founding team, among execs from Netflix, AirBnB, Facebook, Snapchat, Uber, Lyft, Sweetgreen, Twitter and other secret high profile investors TBA, just took a $3 million bet on a free live speed dating app that’s currently exclusively in LA.

That makes it the highest-funded dating start-up to date. Meet… “Dandy” — the placeholder name while the app’s in stealth, invite-only early access. While the app is free, it is invite only and you must apply to join on their site. However, just like Raya, people are already charging as much as $700 under the table to ambassadors just for guaranteed fast-tracked early access.

So, what’s the difference?

It’s not just swiping… it’s LIVE matching + LIVE messaging.

Every day at 8 pm those with access in LA have 3 minutes to match and meet someone. It works pretty simply, at 8 pm sharp you answer the day’s question, like “What are you up to tonight?”. Then, the days daily live speed dating mixer begins…

While you see a potential match, they also see you in real-time on their phone too.

You both then have a set amount of seconds to decide to like each other or not. If it’s an instant match you then connect for 3 minutes to enter a live chat! Then, if you decide you want to continue talking you can exchange numbers after.

Think of it like LA exclusive live dating every night from the comfort of your phone.

With my own experience of it, it’s pretty nerve-wracking but exciting. The app’s Co-Founders, Leor Massachi and Daniel Newman, are the two young entrepreneurs who created the app while at USC, and who in true Silicon Valley fashion have dropped out at the age of 21. In an exclusive interview, the duo told us that the core value of the app is to create meaningful connections and move them into real life as quickly as possible. By going live only at one time, and for such a short amount of time, the app intends to focus on quality.

The issue with most dating apps these days is that there are so many matches and messages going back and forth. “Dandy” wants to change precisely that. By showing both parties each other's profiles at the same time in real life, and then putting them into an immediate live chat for 3 minutes only, the app wants to make online dating feel authentic again. No strategically waiting an hour, then forgetting you were meant to reply and continuing to endlessly match more and more while you watch The Office for the 80th time. Dandy has officially made a statement that it will “not now, or ever sell access to test the app. The ambassador who was found selling early access passes has also now been permanently removed from our community”.

If you want to get on, the best advice is to try for free and apply at: www.dandylive.com

An Inside Look at Wotson App

How One Movie Producer Learned that Entrepreneurship, Like Film, Is About More than Following the Script

When director, producer, and screenwriter Sanzhar Sultan set out to make a mobile app, he knew it would be a change in his creative process. What he didn’t realize was just how different that process would be – and how far it would take him as he learned.

Wotson, the movie review-based social media platform Sultan launched some nine months ago, has made waves among movie lovers and investors alike thanks to its unique concept and impressive organic growth. But what is now a full-fledged mobile app started as little more than a sense of frustration with the movie industry and an idea for how it could be better.

Long Nights

“Pretty early in my film career, and as an avid moviegoer, I became frustrated with the movie critic system, especially the binary Rotten Tomatoes rating.” explains Sultan. “It seemed like these aggregators, and some of the critics, would give people a reason to not see a movie, even if they might otherwise enjoy it. So many films are affected by this. And how is that good for business? How is that good for the film industry?”

Sultan wanted to find a better, more democratic model for movie recommendations, and he thought a social network might be the answer. After all, he reasoned, the best recommendations come from people we know – so why wasn’t there an Instagram for movie reviews?

Sultan started to work on his idea, cobbling together a basic design prototype to showcase his concept. After coming home from a day of shooting or working on a script, he’d spend the evening building wireframes, placing icons, and getting his vision down on a computer. The nights got longer and longer, and soon enough, he partnered with a cofounder, creative designer Emma Wernham, and together they built a fleshed-out prototype.

Together, the pair raised a modest amount of seed funding with their prototype. That’s when Sultan found Rootstrap – and when his approach to the entire project shifted.

Learning What Happens Behind the Scenes

“When we first raised money, we had some, but not enough to build,” recounts Sultan. “That’s why I feel like we lucked out when we found Rootstrap.”

Rootstrap is an LA-based development agency that takes a slightly different approach to app development, breaking the process into two separate phases: Discovery and Development. Development is when the coders actually build the app, but Discovery is structured as a standalone, pre-development product workshop aimed at clarifying the requirements and design of the product.

“We use this two-phase structure because it helps prevent product bloat and ensure that product owners are focusing on building the right features first,” explains Ben Lee, CRO of Rootstrap. “And for Sanzhar, I think it helped him get a better understanding of the app development process before diving into the full build.”

In Discovery, Sultan and Wernham worked with Ben and his team to comb over the concept they had, brainstorm new ideas for features and functionality, and shape that work into a finalized “development backlog”: a collection of all the features needed to build a full version of the app. That was all well and good – Sultan had spent plenty of time brainstorming on scripts and movies.

But once the project moved into development, Sultan’s history in the movie industry started to interfere.

“In movies, you work on a thing endlessly until it’s absolutely perfect, and I was coming at it from that mindset,” he says. After 10 weeks of development, they had a working v1.0, but it was far from complete. Coming from their background, Sultan and Wernham’s instinct was to keep working on it until it was perfect.

“But Ben would always say to me, ‘Sanzhar, with an app, you want to release, and you want to release often,’” Sultan explains. “That really helped me understand how different the process is – with a movie, once it’s out, it’s done. But with an app, the release is just the beginning.”

So against his instincts, Sultan and his team pushed the first version. And despite being unfinished, the response surprised them.

Building a Community

They didn’t run advertising on the initial release, instead opting to get family and friends to download and try the app. This meant there wasn’t a big rush of downloads on release day, which surprised no one. What did surprise them were the usage statistics.

“We had maybe a few dozen people join in the first few days,” says Sultan. “But their engagement was fascinating. Within hours there were hundreds of movie tags coming from those users – I think the average was around 30 tags per user within a day of downloading the app.”

If you’re not familiar with mobile apps, this is an impressive rate of engagement. And despite the fact that they ran no marketing or advertising, the app’s user base began to grow.

“I think that’s what made me really understand we were on to something,” Sultan explains.
But once again, Sultan has had to retrain himself to the process of app development as distinct from making movies.

“It’s really important not to drink your own Kool-Aid,” Sultan says. “So I’m always reminding myself to look at it objectively and keep searching for ways to improve it.”

And improve it they have. In the process, they’ve improved engagement, usability, and onboarded thousands of new users – again, all without running a concerted marketing or advertising campaign.

“This has honestly been one of the biggest lessons for me, that an app is never finished,” he explains. “We’ve probably launched 20 updates and new versions since first going live, and we’re still barely at the beginning of growing the platform.”

Moving Forward

Now, Sultan and his team are preparing to put a heavier focus on intentional, rapid expansion. Wotson is currently in the process of test marketing, which will help decide the strategies they’ll use to scale.

“We’re almost a year out from the release, and it feels like everything’s been building up to this,” he says. “It’s really exciting.”

It’s been a long journey, and Sultan has had to learn a lot along the way. But as different as an app and a movie may be, there are still some things that stay the same.

“The process is different, yes, but it’s funny – it still feels like a creative act,” he explains. “The way you go about making it, bringing it to life, that’s different. But it’s still your baby.”

martes, 6 de agosto de 2019

How Instagram It Girl Ashley Liz Cooper Is Going Global.

For aspiring young models everywhere, the dream is very similar: being able to travel the world and enjoy exotic destinations becoming part of the elite jet set and racking up tens of thousands of likes on every single photo they post.

However, the vast majority of them will never achieve because it as it turns out, making it is way harder than it seems. A select group of Instagram it girls and mega influencers have found a way to live this dream and make a profitable career out of it.

Case in point, Ashley Liz Cooper, who has amassed a devoted cult-like following since going live on the social network for the first time.

Today, miss Cooper has broken through the ultimate barrier becoming a bonafide modeling star by her own right and traveling the world visiting major cities like Dubai and Mexico City to work for high ranking publications while living her life to the fullest.

Whether in Los Angeles enjoying a night out on the town, or catching a private flight to a secluded tropical island, one thing is for sure: Ashley Liz Cooper is a global fashion icon in the making.

jueves, 1 de agosto de 2019

Hot Spot Raspoutine Is Upgrading Hollywood Nightlife

Creatures of the night rejoice, the dashing Parisian nightlife spot that charmed us all is now taking over Hollywood, elevating your social experience.

Armed with global recognition and a reputation that precedes the brand, Raspoutine has landed in West Hollywood, seamlessly blending the razzle dazzle of tinsel town with the classy European ambiance that nightlife connoisseurs have come to know and love.

With a dream to develop this brand abroad, visionary entrepreneurs Alexander Ghislain and Logan Maggio, at the origin of the success of all Raspoutine's developments, secured an impeccable location for the Los Angeles branch—8623 Melrose Avenue. The new nightlife hotspot has quickly captured the hearts and minds of A-list clubbers in the city of angels.

Raspoutine Los Angeles mirrors the upscale lifestyle vibe championed by the original Parisian club, visited by Fashion week top models, Karl Lagerfeld, Kanye West and Leonardo DiCaprio to name a few.

The mythical club promises unforgettable evenings of cheerful interaction with beautiful people in a distinguished space that is as selective with its clientele as it is with every detail, making it the most sought after nightlife experience in California.

Whether you’re an LA local or exploring the notorious scene of Hollywood for the first time, be sure to scope out the warm, regal ambiance of celebrity friendly Raspoutine—open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Come dressed to impress.

Getting To Know The Minds Behind Just Human

What does being “Just Human” mean to you?

It means we’re all imperfect and at the same time, we can choose to be a force for good. The pressures of trying to be perfect can easily deter us from doing anything at all. We hope that by celebrating imperfection we can help others realize that what makes them imperfect is the same thing that makes them unique and special.

As a catalyst for change in the fashion industry, how do your products inspire humans to “do more good” than ever before?

We put a lot of thought and creativity into all aspects of our product with the intention that it would inspire humans to be more conscious and thoughtful about the products we consume and “do more good”. When we decided to develop a sustainable product we took a look at the entire system from design to materials to manufacturing and packaging. We believe the idea of “do more good” is about always striving for better and not settling.

Just Human glasses are engineered to be unisex and universal. What was your inspiration behind this unanimous product approach?

We wanted to take a different approach and design a unisex collection that empowers humans to express themselves and not be limited by societal norms. We also believe designing for gender creates a lot of wasteful SKUs so we decided to explore designing a unisex collection with a few designs as possible.

The company is founded on a principle of sustainability. How did you integrate sustainability and fashion?

We saw a gap in the market for a sunglass brand that looked fashionable and was made sustainably. Our goal was to bring sustainability mainstream and to show that you don’t have to compromise style and comfort. We sourced natural materials that felt chic and luxurious and designed to last. Our frame material is made from reforested softwood trees, our high-performance glass lenses are made from sand and minerals which are much more durable and scratch-resistant than plastic lenses. Our sunglass case is made from pineapple leaf fibers and our cleaning cloth from recycled water bottles.

What’s next for Just Human?

Our immediate focus is on spreading the word about the brand and continuing to build out IRL experiences. We’ve recently launched showrooms in Naked Retail – 224 Mulberry St, Nolita, NYC, Atelier & Repairs – 710 N Edinburgh Ave, LA, CA and Leone Napoli 686 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto, ON. Stay tuned for our SF showroom.

Rishi Sethia And The Art of Multi-billion Dollar Connections

Securing access and influence is in many ways an art form that requires a particular brand of savoir-faire, one that has been mastered by international power broker Rishi Sethia.

Whether we´re talking about private equity funds, philanthropic boards, ultra premium social clubs for the world´s most influential individuals or venture capital introductions, achieving massive success is almost always a matter of who you know.

47 year old Rishi Sethia has built an unparalleled network between London and Dubai, leveraging his all encompassing social architecture power on behalf of select projects and consolidating himself as the de facto power broker for today´s global elite.

Mr. Sethia has a proven track record, being the architect of some of today´s most relevant social and financial collectives, like the uber exclusive London based social club Annabel´s which thanks to Rishi´s flawless methodology can now boast a refined membership including just over 2% of the world´s billionaires.

By leveraging this enormous social fluidity and unrivaled expertise, Mr. Sethia´s recognition has permeated into high impact fields like private equity and hedge funds, mining, and other industries where investors and allocators seek out the man who has developed a reputation for architecting modern power collectives and leveraging a network of more than 100 billion.

Developing this ability on his own through decades of fiscal project management for billionaires—Rishi (himself an independent multi millionaire) has opened up a new gateway for a new generation of business leaders who want to make it on their own and set their accomplishments apart from past generations.

Through his deal structuring and investment acquisition support, Rishi offers a turnkey solution to building power collectives that never existed before.

sábado, 27 de julio de 2019

The High End: Where Luxury And Cannabis Intersect

For devoted lifestyle and luxury aficionados, the name Barneys New York has always been synonymous with an ultra premium, curated selection of the best products the market has to offer.

Now, a new and exciting commodity has made its way into the heart of fashion paradise: cannabis and wellness products, now available at Barneys Beverly Hills and Barneys.com

The High End (naming on point) is located on the fifth floor of the iconic Barney´s Beverly Hills luxury retail space, and it caters to accomplished cannabis connoisseurs and casual consumers alike, effectively bridging the gap between luxury and cannabis.

The space boasts high end interior design, an unparalleled selection of high quality cannabis and wellness products and knowledgeable personnel ready to assist you and help you pick the best products for your lifestyle needs.

So whether you´re looking for luxury rolling papers, vintage ashtrays, custom blown glass pieces or the ultimate CBD-infused beauty products, The High End has got you covered.

And while picking up your favorite cannabis products at a convenient and posh location might be great news on its own, the fact that you can now enjoy a full blown, one of a kind luxury cannabis shopping experience is an undeniable reason to smile, chill and enjoy the ride.

“Barneys New York has always been at the forefront of shifts in culture and lifestyle, and cannabis is no exception,” says Barneys CEO Daniella Vitale. “Many of our customers have made cannabis a part of their lifestyle, and The High End caters to their needs with extraordinary products and the service they experience in every facet of Barneys New York.”

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