Comparafilm is incomparable


If you’re a film buff, you’re probably always on the look out for a good movie you haven’t seen. Maybe you’ve seen so many flicks in your genres of choice, and are so selective in your taste, basically so damn jaded, that you struggle to find a choice that’s both new and exciting. Maybe you work a lot and the prospect of crawling through the depths of the web during the little free time you have just to find a new movie that may or may not be any good just isn’t worth the effort.

If this sounds anything like your situation, check out Comparafilm, a new movie recommendation service. This isn’t your typical Amazon-type automated computer recommendation engine. Comparafilm involves a former USC film student (who has worked on Hollywood blockbusters as well as indies) giving you his personal recommendations based on his extensive knowledge and your personal taste. Comparafilm is for people tired of seeking out inventive movie rec’s only to find some Amazonian robot going, “I see you like Alien…I feel like you would like Aliens.”


Piece on Echo Nest

Machines make music journalists sweat via The Echo Nest


Published a piece on Spotify’s acquisition of Echo Nest recently for Somerville Times. The article explores the relevance of music journalism in the age of awesome automated record recommendations. Check it out!

Skipping Lines


So the tech scene in Boston is off the chain right now. Startup Institute along with Line Genie are two of the hottest companies within this space and I was recently given the opportunity to write about both of these startups on Line Genie’s blog. Learn all about the awesome Startup Institute + Line Genie partner project here.

Mario Kart 8 Exemplifies Startup Culture, or, How to Stop Worrying About The Spiky Blue Shell and Enjoy the Hustle

Mario Kart 8 is a simulation of how a start up operates. In startups, there are often grand ambitions about saving the world, and in Mario, the end goal is saving the princess from Bowser’s nefarious plots to trap her in Mushroom Castle forever. However, when boiled down to the essentials, Mario Kart and start ups are about one thing: stiff competition.

Often you’ll be cruising through Rainbow Road, in first place for two laps straight, not a care in the world. Then, on the 3rd and final lap, a pesky spiked blue shell will pop up in your peripheral, destroy you without mercy, and you’ll wind up losing the race in the final moments. This isn’t fair, and neither are startups. Why should the player in last place be given the most powerful weapon in the game? People complain about this all the time. Startups are the same way, where the company with the least amount of vision can attain the most VC backing. This simultaneously levels the playing field – anyone can win – while super-charging the potential for disruption. If an 8th place player can get a star power up and coast into first place, or a startup with minimal experience can blow the veterans away, then the costs of competition are higher than ever because there’s so much at stake. You almost feel like quitting, throwing your controller on the floor, or joining the corporate finance world – but that’s a copout. Stay and compete.

The new bells & whistles addition to Mario Kart is the anti-gravity mode, and certainly at most startups you’re often defying the same laws of gravity, working cray-cray hours, fighting off delirium with another jolt of caffeine, etc.

No matter how good your idea is for your startup, you can bet someone is working on an app with a similar vision, like when Hooli rips off Richard Hendricks’ Pied Piper in Silicon Valley. This competition may result in you losing a hack a thon, or blowing an expose, even when you feel you were pre-destined to win. This is not unlike watching as your hopes of victory are dashed by a certain blue shell in Mario Kart. There’s nothing you can do about this. All you can do is “draw sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises”, in the words of Samuel Butler. You’re in a plane, or a kart which can fly, and you’re taking off before you know exactly where you’re headed. Don’t worry about it. Strap in, enjoy the ride, and be prepared for inclement blue shells. You’ll do just fine.