Scott Kirsner
Scott Kirsner
Columnist
Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Boston Magazine, and Variety. Scott is the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." He is a founder of the site Innovation Leader, which focuses on innovation initiatives inside big companies. Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and the Convergence Forum. His recent Boston Globe columns are here.

Stories by Scott Kirsner

The third Hub
In Somerville, shuttered factory now a center of innovation
Employees at Keystone Tower Systems work on a piece of a wind turbine at Greentown Labs in Somerville. (Adam Boghosian for The Boston Globe)
The obituary of the Ames Safety Envelope Company was written in February 2010. The Somerville company had grown to about 600 employees in the mid-20th century, making sturdy envelopes, boxes, and file folders for medical records. But as the world started going digital, its business shrank, and eventually Ames was bought by a Wisconsin company rolling up similar manufacturers. Read More
Celtics CEO joins $35 million funding round for ticket search engine SeatGeek
Wyc Grousbeck, Bob Higgins, and Mark Wan of Causeway Media Partners. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Silicon Valley's Accel Partners and Cambridge-based Causeway Media Partners are among the investors pumping $35 million into SeatGeek, a search engine for tickets to sporting events, concerts, and other live events. Similar to the way Kayak.com scours the web for airfares and hotel rates, SeatGeek does the same across multiple ticketing sites like StubHub and Broadway.com. Also putting money into the Manhattan-based startup are the rapper Nas, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony, and NFL quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning. Read More
Upgrading your weekend
WiGo aspires to be the app that coordinates social life on campus
WiGo founder and CEO Ben Kaplan, left, with co-founder and CTO Giuliano Giacaglia. (Photo by Scott Kirsner / BetaBoston.)
It's one of the enduring questions of campus life: What's everyone doing tonight? An app born on the campus of Holy Cross in Worcester, WiGo, wants to provide a visual answer, showing you photos of friends who plan to go out, and letting you "tap" others you'd like to encourage to come along. Read More
Market forces
Beyond Pricing will help Boston Airbnb hosts adjust rates based on demand
Airbnb host Jen Lawrence rents a pull-out couch in the living room of her Somerville home. (Photo by Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)
If you've ever tried to book a flight during February's school vacation weeks, or a hotel in Arizona in August, you've seen demand-based pricing in action. In some cities, even parking meters adjust their prices based on how many spots are left on a block. Now a San Francisco startup, Beyond Pricing, is bringing demand-based pricing to people who rent out their homes — or just spare rooms — through Airbnb. The free service adjusts the price of a condo in the North End or a spare bedroom in Back Bay up or down, based on how much demand exists on each specific night of the year. Read More
Boston's biggest businesses
In education and health care, the future is about cost and access
Image licensed from Shutterstock
The future is not up and to the right. Yet if you look at two of Massachusetts’ biggest industries — health care and education — that’s the trajectory. Better quality, high pay, strong reputations, expensive new facilities, and breakthrough innovations mean you can charge more, more, more. Read More
Tapping into Boston talent
Security startup Lookout will add Boston office after naming local exec CEO
Lookout chief executive Jim Dolce.
Interesting string of events for Lookout, a San Francisco startup that focuses on security for mobile devices... In March, the company named former Verivue and Akamai executive Jim Dolce as CEO. Last week, the company added $150 million in new funding. And in October, the company plans to open its first U.S. office outside of the Bay Area, in downtown Boston. Read More
Craigslist killer?
New mobile startup Classy wants to facilitate campus commerce
(Photo by Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff)
The startup factory Blade is unveiling its first project today: an iPhone app called Classy that wants to supplant Craigslist and Facebook as the dominant way of buying and selling things on college campuses. Just in time for the mass migration back to Boston this month... Read More
Freedom or security?
In the sharing economy, are workers employees or independent contractors?
Jenny Payette, a senior client manager for the startup Alfred, delivers a customer’s dry cleaning in the South End. (Lane Turner/Globe Staff)
The worker of the future will be fast, flexible, and available the instant a customer clicks a button on a smartphone screen. But the worker of the future will not be an employee — at least if some of today’s fastest-growing and best-funded startups have their way. They’re positioning themselves as “technology platforms” that simply connect people with independent chauffeurs, house cleaners, or errand-runners. For the most part, the armies of workers that companies like Uber or TaskRabbit are assembling — often after screening interviews, background checks, and training programs — are treated as independent contractors and receive no benefits. Read More
Worth watching
Five promising startups from the Harvard Innovation Lab's Demo Day
Divya Dhar of Seratis, a startup developing a new communication tool for healthcare providers. Photo by Scott Kirsner / Beta Boston.
The Harvard Innovation Lab in Allston has been home to 84 startups run by students and recent grads this summer; they call it the Venture Incubation Program. And ten of the companies that have been making the most progress (while the rest of us have been working on our tans) gave short demos yesterday afternoon. These were the five that struck me as worth having on your radar screen... Read More
Gray day for plane-sharing
FAA letter may keep aviation startups like AirPooler grounded
Photo of Hanscom Field by Joanne Rathe / Globe Staff.
Cambridge-based AirPooler isn't exactly "Uber for private planes." But it is a way for private pilots to offer extra seats on their trips to people who'd like to tag along and share some of the expenses. (I wrote about the startup's launch in April, and in June it won entrance to the MassChallenge entrepreneurial program.) Trouble is, the Federal Aviation Administration doesn't seem to love the notion. Read More
Betaspring seeks backers
Providence accelerator Betaspring takes a break, focuses on raising new fund
Betaspring co-founder and managing partner Allan Tear. (Photo by Scott Kirsner / BetaBoston)
Betaspring is taking a breather. The Providence-based accelerator graduated its most recent class of seven startups in June, but doesn't plan to start a new cycle until next spring. Between now and then, they'll need to raise a new pool of capital, and Betaspring managing partner Allan Tear tells me that he's not expecting to get any support from public sources, which have provided substantial backing for Betaspring in the past. Read More
When the Sox are away...
VerbalCare emerges victorious from Fenway Park pitch competition
Screenshots from VerbalCare's product.
Boston startup VerbalCare left Fenway Park $15,000 richer tonight, after winning the "Fast Pitch" competition put on by WeWork, which operates a network of shared office spaces. The competition pitted three Boston teams against three from New York, and asked audience members to vote on the idea they liked best, so there may have been just a wee bit of a home field advantage. VerbalCare makes a tablet app to help patients at hospitals communicate with caregivers, and give administrators better insight into the patient's experience. The company has been conducting a pilot at the Franciscan Hospital for Children in Brighton. I covered VerbalCare earlier this year; and in 2013 they were guests on an episode of The Entrepreneurs Grill.