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

Fill-in-the-blank forecasting
Mad Libs predictions: What Boston techies and investors expect in 2015
Google's latest self-driving vehicle prototype.
Crowdsourcing — the new coinage for “getting other people to do your work” — was one of the business world’s big trends in 2014. And this week, I’m milking it for all it’s worth. Instead of coming up with my own predictions for the year ahead, I created a list of fill-in-the-blank statements and sent them to a bunch of local digerati. Crowdsourcing in action! Read More
Teikametrics helps Amazon.com merchants figure out what to stock — and how to price it
teika-amazon3
Teikametrics is one of those behind-the-scenes players that may have been involved in some of your online gift-buying this month. The Boston-based startup offers analytic services to companies that sell goods on Amazon.com — including local firms like Newbury Comics and Aubuchon Hardware. Among the questions Teikametrics can answer: How much inventory should a seller stock at various Amazon fulfillment centers to ensure quick delivery, anywhere in the world. Read More
No love for Bluetooth bracelet
Connected jewelry startup Magnet will head west to try to raise money
Alexander List's startup HeadTalk IO is a member of TechStars Boston.
Magnet co-founder and CEO Alexander List is moving to San Francisco to try to raise money for the startup, which was part of the most recent class of the Techstars Boston entrepreneurship program. The company, previously known as Headtalk IO, had been running a Kickstarter campaign that sought to raise $60,000 to produce the first batch of Magnet bracelets. But the startup hadn't hit that goal by the time the clock ran out last week — which in Kickstarter-land means no dough. Read More
Who's better, who's best?
New social site WhoQuest aims to help find the best person for the job
whoquest-screen
How do you find the best person for the job, whether it's a gig playing your holiday party or designing a new logo for your company? A Boston startup called WhoQuest thinks it can supply the answer: just ask your social network, and let people vote the replies up or down. The recently unveiled site feels a bit like a people-focused version of Quora, the question-answering site that has raised about $160 million in funding. Read More
Beta Testing
Test ride: The prototype electric skateboard from Dash Electric
dash-featured
It would be hard to come up with a shakier scenario for testing a prototype electric skateboard: slick sidewalks from recent rain, journalist who has never been on a longboard before, snow starting to blow, and a test course shared with bikers. The skateboard was designed by Dash Electric, a Boston startup founded by Northeastern University student Ian Carlson. Last month, Dash raised $15,000 in initial funding from Rough Draft Ventures, a student-run venture team that invests money on behalf of General Catalyst Partners, a Cambridge firm. Read More
One night only
Rock on! Boston tech conferences get an entertainment upgrade
Janelle Monáe plays HubSpot's annual customer conference in October. Photo by  Zac Wolf, courtesy of HubSpot.
In boom times for the tech industry, the bands playing the private parties and customer conferences get more recognizable. This year, acts like OK Go, Parliament Funkadelic, and the Dropkick Murphys have played for fist-pumping crowds of social media mavens, digital publishing gurus, and roboticists. Read More
Innovation Economy
Mobile payments are good in theory, but not quite ready for primetime
Mobile payment system LoopPay aims to replace your credit card.
Someday, a driven entrepreneur will devise the perfect mobile payment technology. You won’t need to charge it up, and it won’t require a companion app. You’ll be able to use it to purchase things from a chain store, independent boutique, vending machine, or food truck. You may even be able to fold it so that it fits into any pocket. Read More
Channeling the frustration
Mobile app Shelfie wants to let shoppers cash in on empty shelves
Grocery store shelf
Shelfie is not only an au courant name for an app, but a cool concept for these next few weeks of retail frenzy. Once you have the Android or iPhone apps, whenever there's a product you're hunting for that's out-of-stock, you use it to snap a picture of the empty shelf. The info about what's not there will be valuable to both retailers and product manufacturers, Shelfie posits. The shopper's reward? Points that can be converted into gift cards for use at places like Starbucks, Amazon, or Target. Read More
Valley investor barnstorms in Boston
Audio: Peter Thiel visits BU to talk entrepreneurship (and backing Zuck)
BetaBoston's Scott Kirsner onstage with investor, entrepreneur, and author Peter Thiel, at Boston University's School of Management. (Photo courtesy of Rob Kornblum.)
Just sharing some audio I recorded yesterday at a talk Peter Thiel gave at Boston University's School of Management; I moderated the audience Q&A afterward, which was a lot of fun. Thiel is on the road with co-author Blake Masters promoting his new book, Zero to One. I teased him a bit that his only tweet so far is a plug for the book... and his quick answer was that he went from zero to one tweets. Read More
Finding a spot, made simpler
New wave of parking apps heading for Boston, with Veer first to launch
Aaron Kolenda and Jonathan Corbin, co-founders of the parking app Veer.
Has your mobile phone not quite eliminated the headache of parking in Harvard Square or the North End? A trio of new startups hope they can help — and none of them is  attempting to "monetize" city-controlled street spots, as the Baltimore startup Haystack tried to do this past summer. The first to launch is Veer, which shows up in Apple's iTunes Store today. Read More
Innovation Economy
Trolling campuses for the next Facebook
(From left) Barron Roth, John Moore, middle and Luke Sorensen discuss Downtyme during a development meeting at Boston University. (Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff)
Two April days, separated by a decade. Two college sophomores walk into the Charles Square complex in Cambridge to meet with prospective investors. They’ve both built apps to help students communicate with friends on campus, and attracted a small community of users. Read More