Street Fight Daily: Square Explores IPO, Google Tests Real-World Tracking

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology

291739-squareSquare Exploring 2014 IPO With Banks (Wall Street Journal)
Square, the payments startup with a square credit-card reader that plugs into Apple and Android-based mobile devices, has held discussions with banks, including Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley about a 2014 IPO. Square is growing nearly as fast as its soon-to-be-public sibling, with sales approaching $1 billion in 2014, according to an internal projection people familiar with the matter shared with the Wall Street Journal.

Explainer: How Location Data Startups Are Building Analytics for the Real World (Street Fight)
Steven Jacobs: There’s been a lot of excitement around in-store analytics recently as venture funding has begun to pour into the space. But the trend is one part of a much larger technological effort to quantify consumer activity in the real-world, bringing the same measurement about where we go, when we go there, and where we came from that Google Analytics and Comscore brought to the web years ago.

Google Takes Its Tracking Into The Real World (Digiday)
Google is now telling advertisers it has a way to do just that – and it involves tracking consumers’ smartphone locations all the time, wherever they go, even when they’re not using a Google app. The company is beta-testing a program that uses smartphone location data to determine when consumers visit stores, according to agency executives briefed on the program by Google employees.

Revenue a Key Focus for ‘The Brooklyn Game’ Founder (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: In his much-quoted report for the FCC, Steve Waldman said that while hyperlocal news sites “do not make much money, they do not need to, because they function more as civic organizations than businesses, relying on volunteer efforts rather than cash.” But Waldman recently told us that The Brooklyn Game, for all its considerable civic presence, is, preeminently, a revenue-driven business where there are no slam dunks.

The Cost Of Winning: Tim Armstrong, Patch, And The Struggle To Save AOL (Business Insider)
After a depressing 12 years of decline, the industry powerhouse of the 1990’s, AOL, is finally stabilizing. But Armstrong would not have been able to achieve that success without paying a price. In drastically cutting back Patch, morever, Armstrong wasn’t just letting hundreds of loyal employees go. He was killing the AOL project that he had been most devoted to, a company that he himself had created.

Food and Money in 2020 (Mobile Payments Today)
Noah Glass: Online and mobile ordering means a better, faster experience for both the consumer and the crew. Like all innovations, this is about creative destruction — some old habits must go in order to make room for new practices. Customers are embracing the opportunity, and we believe it won’t take long until waiting in line to give an order to a cashier is much like using a telephone booth.

Physical Location Still a Factor in Online-Shopping Decisions (Mashable)
For retailing, the key change produced by the Internet is that shopping online spared consumers the economic costs (in time, grief and gas money) of visiting a store and locating a product. But an emerging body of economic research shows that there is no independent “online world.” Physical context shapes our choices and tastes, and it strongly determines what we buy online. With the rise of mobile computing, these local effects matter even more.

Why Small Businesses Have The Most To Gain From Bitcoin (ReadWrite)
There’s a market for buying handmade baby goods with Bitcoin, and at least one innovative mom-and-pop shop has swooped in to fill that need. While a complicated new currency isn’t set to help out big box stores, to small businesses that hang their livelihood on the bottom line, any way to retain more of a profit is likely worth a shot.

Yelp’s Not Yet Concerned About Profitability – And Investors Don’t Mind (Fast Company)
“When you have this kind of opportunity, what your investors want–the smart ones–is to invest in this opportunity,” said cofounder Jeremy Stoppelman at Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. “There aren’t a lot of companies our size growing at that rate.”

Google Maps’ Mobile Reach Drops In September — comScore (SearchEngineLand)
ComScore’s US smartphone market share figures for September came out, and there weren’t many surprises — except for one thing: the Google Maps app has fallen three spots in comScore’s rankings. The smartphone app, which used to be the most popular in the US, fell from 5th to 8th position in comScore’s “Top 15 apps” chart.

Glympse And Gogo Let You Share Your Flight’s Location From Above The Clouds (GigaOm)
You’ll soon be able to track your friends and family as they fly through air lanes thanks to a new deal brokered between Glympse and inflight Wi-Fi provider Gogo. While in the air and connected to Gogo’s in-plane network, customers will be able to use either Glympse’s app or website to temporary share their locations in the sky, letting them coordinate rides and plans with their families and friends.

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