A startup called Quitbit is launching a crowdfunding campaign today for a $150 cigarette lighter — early purchasers can get one for $70 — that can count how many times you've used it today, and relay the data to your smartphone. Quitbit's app lets you set goals for how many cigarettes you'd like to allow yourself, and share how you're doing with a group of friends on Facebook or Twitter. Quitbit hopes to start shipping its product by the end of this year.
Read MoreGrowing painsTech startups in the hinterlands cope with hiring challenges
How do you grow a tech company when you're headquartered far from the talent hub of Greater Boston?
Companies in places like Manchester, N.H., and Woodstock, Vt., are facing that quandary, after they've scooped up all the software developers they can find in those markets.
Read MoreScenes from another centuryAre we on the bubble?
NEW YORK — I was walking around an expo touted as the “world’s largest startup event” last month, when I started to have flashbacks to the late 1990s. At New York TechDay, there were so many booths staffed by so many eager entrepreneurs pitching so many ideas that only needed a few million bucks and a few million users to become a real business.
Read MoreSome things never changeFor all you founders who aren't the flavor-of-the-month, one from the archives
I had lunch yesterday with an entrepreneur I first met in 1999, at the height of the dot-com era. James Chung was one of the people I profiled in a Globe Magazine piece in 1999, headlined, "Let's do launch: So much venture capital, so little time." It painted a picture of Boston's venture capital and entrepreneurial scene at the height of the dot-com bubble, when Tom Crotty of Battery Ventures told me, "Our investors are just throwing money at us, and we need to find places to put it."
The team has been expanding over at Blade, the startup factory in Fort Point Channel that doesn't officially open its doors until later this month. Blade's founding trio all came from Kayak, the travel-planning site that has its technology operations in Concord, but they've recently been adding veterans of iRobot, Millennial Media, Cisco, and Zappos.
Read MoreStartup secretsWhat no one says about startups and venture capital in Boston
R.I.P. Dogpatch Labs Cambridge.
The startup hatchery, which once provided free office space in Kendall Square to selected startups, quietly closed in December, according to David Barrett, the venture capitalist at Polaris Partners who had been responsible for the space. It had operated for about five years.
How fast is Fashion Project growing? When I stopped by last week, CEO Anna Palmer told me there were two possible venues for our interview: a makeshift conference room created by cardboard boxes and heaps of plastic bags, or the staircase between the two floors of the company's Fort Point Channel offices. (We picked the former.) The startup collects designer women's apparel and accessories from non-profits and individuals, and resells it on its own site or through a network of partners. Fifty-five percent of the proceeds go to charity, but donors can take a tax deduction for the full sale price of the item.
Read MoreNoncompete clauses don't belong in Massachusetts
Getting fired, being laid off, and quitting a job to start your own business are among life’s most stressful experiences.
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, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also 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." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and the Convergence Forum. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.