Off the Block | Street Fight - Part 2

Off the Block

For Small Businesses, A Reprieve After Decades of Retreat

No Comments 16 May 2014 by

Earlier this week, the National Federation of Independent Business announced that its small business confidence index rose 1.8 points to 95.2 in April, the highest reading since October 2007. With small business week coming to a close, small businesses are certainly better off today than they were a decade ago...

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Off the Block

For Local Commerce Startups Like Homejoy, A Choice of Whom to Disrupt

No Comments 12 May 2014 by

Airbnb's recent decision to become a hospitality brand has deep implications for a growing segment of startups that have built similar digital marketplaces for a number of traditionally offline industries. Today, these startups face a similar ontological decision: should they become a consumer brand, expanding deeper into a given industry, or should they expand horizontally, working to disrupt Yelp, Google and the other more horizontal mainstays of local search and discovery...

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Off the Block

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In Foursquare’s ‘Unbundling,’ Does the Tail Wag the Dog?

No Comments 02 May 2014 by

Foursquare announced plans Thursday to spin off the company’s trademark social networking service into a separate app and focus its branded application entirely on local search and discovery. The move — what the company has called ‘the unbundling’ — represents a pivotal adjustment by Foursquare to the sensitivities of a mainstream consumer in an increasingly connected real-world experience...

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Off the Block

What Roadside Assistance Can Tell Us About the Future of Local Search

No Comments 01 May 2014 by

Urgently, a Washington D.C. startup, has built an application that allows drivers to request, and pay for, a nearby tow truck or automotive technician, and then track the provider as they come to their destination. The service is one of handful new companies, which are working to apply the on-demand model developed by the taxi hailing company Uber to a range of traditionally offline, and often backwater industries, like repair.

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After AOL’s Hyperlocal Fail, Media Watchers Pin Hopes on Smaller Operations

1 Comment 28 April 2014 by

With a number of once-promising large-scale hyperlocal media projects laying in ruin, local media's star has faded a bit over the past year, causing many industry watchers to frame local journalism as a pursuit defined by a social need, and burdened by an unfriendly market reality. The vision of the $150 billion market opportunity has been replaced with a social ethic — the need for small, independent operations to create self-sufficient clusters in their communities...

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Off the Block

Yext Says It Will Be Profitable By 2015 — Here’s How

No Comments 23 April 2014 by

Over the past 23 months, the New York-based startup has silenced critics, turning the listing-synching concept into a cash cow that helped the company generate over $34 million in revenue last year. In an interview last week, Yext CEO Howard Lerman told Street Fight that the company expects to generate $56 million in 2014, and hit $85 million — and profitability — by 2015.

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Off the Block

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GrubHub(s) vs. Uber(s) vs. Yelp(s): Making Sense of the Mayhem in Local Commerce

No Comments 07 April 2014 by

Last week, ride-sharing service Lyft announced that it had closed a $250 million round of funding to compete with Uber in what will likely become a capital-intensive — and noisy — race around the world. But the battle over transportation is just one example of a wider push by tech companies to reinvent traditionally offline industries by developing lightweight marketplaces...

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For Local Tech, Fragmentation Is a Problem to Solve — Not Avoid

No Comments 27 March 2014 by

There’s been a noticeable increase in the number of partnerships, ecosystem-driven startups, and overall coordination among the companies looking to help us buy and sell stuff in the real-world. The shift could have deep implications for existing companies, and may create new opportunities for a number of new startups...

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Off the Block

With Partnerships, YP’s Consumer Product Takes a Back Seat

No Comments 24 March 2014 by

Last week, YP announced a deal with Yelp in which the Yellow Pages spin-off will sell Yelp’s core advertising product to the company’s small business clients. For YP, and its owner Cerberus Capital, the agreement is the culmination of a deeper strategic push and a tacit acknowledgment that its role as leading consumer brand, which defined its print past, might be waning...

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Off the Block

What Real-Time Computing Means for Local Commerce

No Comments 20 March 2014 by

Earlier this month, SAP, the german business software giant, announced that it plans to put a version of its real-time analytics software Hana online. The computing platform is one of a number of new analytics products that use so-called in-memory processing — a reference to a computer’s temporary, or working memory — to rapidly analyze vast amounts of data in an instant, allowing businesses to draw insights and make decisions in a matter of milliseconds...

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