Daily Archives: January 20, 2014

The rise of the High School Hacker


“Technology is the great equalizer”

It’s a phrase that has been used hundreds of thousands of times, in almost as many different contexts. For people with disabilities, for people across language barriers, for people stuck in poverty, and for whole cities. Today that was again confirmed for another previous distinction: age.

Just today, the MHacks III college hackathon was won by a group with three high-school students and a freshman at MIT. The team — Conrad Kramer, Veeral Patel, Nick Frey, and Ari Weinstein — beat out almost a thousand other participants to win the top prize for their iOS app, Workflow.

MHacks III winners (from left to right): Conrad Kramer, Veeral Patel, Nick Frey, and Ari Weinstein

MHacks isn’t the first hackathon to be won by a high school student. The winning team of the PennApps Fall 2013 hackathon included a high schooler (Conrad, actually), and likewise, a team of high schoolers won second place at HackRU in fall of 2013. These aren’t the only examples either: there are many many cases of high schoolers’ projects doing well at college hackathons.

High school students have won hackathons even above the college level. At the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013 hackathon, the Best in Show prize went to a team of high school students with their app “Spruce”, defeating almost 250 other projects made by mostly professional developers.

How is it that high-school students — who’ve had less experience and less classroom education than their competitors (mostly college CS majors) — were able to create the winning hack at so many hackathons in the last 6 months? Additionally, how do so many of the largest prizes go to the smallest segment of the attendees?

I believe that it comes down to motivation. Many of the high school hackers I’ve met are hands down the smartest people I know, but there are plenty of really smart college students out there too. The difference between the two is that the high-school students winning these events are out there to prove that high schoolers can do anything. They’re motivated by the fact that they are the youngest ones there and they want to show the world that high schoolers can do literally anything they put their minds to — that age does not matter.

This is where that clichéd phrase comes in. In these cases, technology has once again leveled the playing field, and high schoolers are able to compete with just about anyone in the world. One of the beautiful things about Computer Science is that 90% of the learning isn’t done in the classroom, but rather by individuals in their own time and by their own motivation. It doesn’t matter that these students haven’t gone to college, they’ve taught themselves all they need to be able to compete against — and win over— student hackers from some of the top colleges in the US.

Many high school students today are out to break the stereotype of the lazy, immature adolescent who only cares about texting friends, going to the movies, and playing XBox. Many incredibly motivated — and incredibly bright — students are out there ready to change the world. These students are going to be the future of tech, and the ones winning hackathons today are just the tip of the iceberg.

I’m not trying to put down college students — there are many, many talented college students who are both really smart and incredibly motivated. However, college students are often expected to have big dreams and big ideas; they’re that much closer to having to go out and join the real world. High-school students, on the other hand, have an cultural stereotype and expectation of laziness put upon them which is so often not true.

All in all, the lesson we can learn here is that technology does not discriminate. Age, race, gender, nationality: nothing matters when you have the motivation and the inspiration to create something cool. High-school hackers can do just about anything, no matter what other people may say about their age.


The question then, is what’s next? If you’re reading this as a high-school student, I encourage you go pack up your laptop, text a friend or two, and go to a hackathon. Pilot events are a great place to start learning, as are other similar events like CodeDay, HackBCA, and HSHacks. Your first hackathon can sometimes be a little bit intimidating, but once you start going you’ll be hooked, and the skills you’ll learn at these events will be helpful for the rest of your life.

If you’re not a high school student, you should go out and find ways to help. Pilot events always need mentors and sponsors, and if you know how to code (lets face it, you’re reading this on Medium), you can be a part of the movement that’s changing the lives of high school students across the country. Hackathons are one of the best educational experiences out there, and by helping out with them you’re making them an even more powerful force for teaching students to make their ideas come to life.


Shameless Plug: I’m the organizer of PilotDC, and if you’re reading this and want to either attend, mentor, or sponsor our event, I’d love to hear from you! Visit the site at http://dc.gopilot.org or send me an email at peter@gopilot.org!


Finally, if you enjoyed this I’d appreciate if you hit “recommend” below! Thanks!

Further Reading

Pilot | Get Involved

 — Pilot hosts 24 hour competitions for HS students where they learn to plan, build, and pitch their own apps and websites with help from to…

Pilot-style Learning

 — We believe that most effective way to learn something is by doing it…

Written by

LoveList For iPhone Is A Simple Product Scanner For Pinterest


 

 

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Why bother with a gift registry or wish list, when you can just pin favorite products to a Pinterest board? With newly launched iPhone app LoveList, you can do just that, even when you’re out shopping in the real world. The app lets you quickly expand your Pinterest collections with products you find on store shelves, simply by scanning an item’s UPC barcode.

 

The app itself is a side project created by Cincinnati-based Brad Mahler, currently a creative director at global digital ad agency Possible, and Mark Tholking, an independent iOS developer located in San Diego, who previously co-founded BigSho. The two have known each other for nearly a decade, after meeting through the same agency where Mahler still works.

 

The idea for LoveList, explains Mahler, was prompted by his own shopping trip out in the real world.

 

“My fiancée and I were shopping and we found an item we wanted to add to our Amazon registry,” he says. “We keep a Pinterest board for that purpose, so as my fiancée was pinning it she asked, ‘why can’t I just scan this to Pin it?’” Mahler knew this would be possible, but no one had built a tool that made that easy to do yet. (Pinterest’s own app lets you pin places, photos or links, but not actual products via barcode scans.)

Mahler adds that he believes Pinterest works best when pinned products are actually available for purchase. As it turns out, this has been a problem with Pinterest for some time. According to mobile commerce vendor Branding Brand, almost 60 percent of Pinterest traffic to retailers’ sites during the 2013 holidays came from those in search of a product that doesn’t exist anymore. And this figure has been over 50 percent since the service launched. Of course, pinning real-world items to Pinterest doesn’t necessarily solve that problem. Eventually, those items could also disappear while Pinterest continues to recycle their links.

About The App

 

Mahler says they built the LoveList app quickly. It went from an idea to proof-of-concept prototype in a day, and not too much later, it went live in the App Store.

 

Not surprisingly then, the app is exceedingly simple. Similar to how you can use Amazon’s app to scan items and add them to a wish list, LoveList also lets you scan barcodes while out and about. That’s all it does, too, which means it takes fewer taps to do so than with Amazon’s own flagship application. You just scan, tap the board you want to pin the item to, and you’re done.

 

Currently, the app is only connected to Amazon’s own product database, which, while large of course, is still limited. But Mahler says they want to quickly put LoveList in the hands of users, and hopes to add support for large and small individual retailers in the future, including those with online stores.

 

For now, the app is a paid download at $0.99, but they’re considering an affiliate model and retailer partnerships further down the road.

 

LoveList is certainly a useful tool to have on hand while shopping, but until it expands beyond Amazon.com products, it may not be worth moving away from Amazon’s own wish listing feature just yet. (Unless you’re heavily into Pinterest, or never use Amazon wish lists, perhaps). Plus, Pinterest could also just as easily add a barcode-scanning function to their own app if such a behavior proves to be popular, which could be a problem for LoveList if it doesn’t grow its feature set to offer more than product scanning.

 

LoveList is available here on iTunes ($0.99). Below, a quick demo video. (And thank you for not choosing that cloying Apple-esque music everyone is using now.)

http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/20/lovelist-for-iphone-is-a-simple-product-scanner-for-pinterest/

Index Leads $870K Seed Round For Resource Guru’s Cloud-Based Team Scheduling App


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Index Ventures has led a $870,000 seed round into Resource Guru, a London-based startup that wants to disrupt companies’ use of spreadsheets to manage staff, equipment and other resources — and replace them with its cloud-based team scheduling software.

“Most managers still rely on complicated spreadsheets or cumbersome software to manage their teams and resources, neither of which makes allocating resources particularly easy and efficient,” said Robin Klein, partner at Index Ventures, in a statement. “We’ve been impressed how Resource Guru tackled this problem with its simple to use online tool that leads to huge time savings and increased productivity.”

Prior to this round Resource Guru, which was founded back in May 2011, had raised money from friends, family and angel investors. Other investors in the seed round included both existing and new names but these have not been disclosed. Its total funding to date stands at $1.14 million.

Resource Guru said it will use the new funding to “accelerate hiring, product development and customer acquisition”. The startup launched its scheduling app in May 2012 but is not currently breaking out customer numbers (although it name-drops Saatchi & Saatchi, Vodafone, Intel, Roche, ASOS and National Geographic Channel as among the unknown number).

It also says users of its platform have created more than 296,000 bookings on over 31,000 projects, so make of that what you will.

One thing to note is it’s not gone down the freemium route, but rather charges a subscription fee for all users of its software. This starts at $19 per month for a “mini” offering (for up to 10 people), rising to $99+ for a “premium plus” offering that covers 80+ users.

When you’re trying to convince companies to ditch spreadsheets and switch to a dedicated scheduling tool, your biggest differentiator is undoubtedly the relative slickness of the user experience. So that’s where Resource Guru says it has focused its energies.

“When we designed Resource Guru, there was no reference point — apart from the spreadsheets people were using. We started from scratch and re-thought the whole process,” says co-founder Andrew Rogoff.

The software includes a booking section for visualising how resources are being used at given points, a “clash management engine” to prevent over-booking, and a waiting list feature so in-demand resources don’t get hogged by the same early bird from accounts. The availability of people and resources can be filtered — based on factors such as skill-set — so users can locate the right person for a given job within the required time-frame.

The software also generates “utilization rates” — so you can identify under- and over-used resources (or staffers), as well as tracking how much time is being spent on which projects/clients, and who’s been working on what. In other words: keep tabs on your staff.

It’s a feature-set that overlaps somewhat with time-management software offerings — such as Harvest – although Rogoff rejects the comparison, saying Harvest is focused on “timesheets and the past” whereas Resource Guru targets “forecasting for the future”, adding that that “has been a severely under-served area until now”.

In terms of direct competitors, aside from spreadsheets, he names the likes of  Synergist and Deltek‘s Resource Planning offering as having “scheduling as part of their overall solution”. But again he rejects any direct comparison.

“We don’t really consider them to be direct competitors because they are expensive, clunky and bloated with unnecessary features,” he adds.

http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/19/resource-guru-seed/

5 years as a hustler


Life story. Everything I learned and experienced. (so far)

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
Oscar Wilde

Every 6 months I have been a completely different person. In the last 5 years I reinvented myself at least 10 times. It is hard to remember all the things I have done in the last 5 years, all the ups and downs, tears and laughter — they tend to blend in one bittersweet blurry picture — or more than one blurry picture, can’t actually tell.

I remember all the “problems” that I feared will happen to me, all the negative things that could happen, eventually not one of them came true, so I stopped doing that. I learned a lot, done some great things, done some stupid things, which are now great life jokes. But no regrets.

This writing is 100% me, life in its purest form. All the bad and good that happened, everything that shaped me into the man I am today. So it goes.

You can become a superhero (sort of)

I realized at the age of 18 that reading is like stepping into someones life, taking all of his gathered knowledge and experience and basically consuming it for yourself — usually for free or for the price of two coffees and a coke. Some years later, at the age of 21 I comprehended something quite extraordinary, reading is the closest thing to having superpowers, and one more thing — girls dig smart guys.

Five years in a heartbeat — everything I experienced (so far)

For the last five years I had a lot of adventures.

I worked for the best independent investment company in Croatia, analyzing securities. Raised on Gordon Gekko and Boiler Room. Fresh out of university, feeling like the luckiest kid alive. I had written for Wall Street Journal under James Altucher, yes, the NYT bestselling author and probably the world’s most famous blogger at the moment. James gave a 21 year old kid a chance to show to the world his stock picks – analyzing why something is worth the money, why some companies have some intrinsic value and why some companies are fugazi, fairy dust. I was good at it.

Guys like Howard Lindzon (CEO of StockTwits) read my posts on stock picks. There I was, a 22 year old kid — high on Buffett and Graham knowledge and writings, but wanted to live and dress like Gordon Gekko. People twice my age listened to what I had to say. I was sure – anything is possible.

Then everything became a fugazi, fairy dust.

Life stepped in. It hit me so hard that my ancestors probably felt it. I had made money, lost money. I started smoking, stopped smoking, stress of investing got the better of me. My family lost almost everything. I soon realized that I didn’t earn enough money to help them. I realized that we were loosing more than money, we were loosing ourselves as a family. I don’t even want to remember those days, it felt so bad that I constantly wanted to vomit. I quit my job. There goes the dream of becoming a sharply dressed Warren Buffett.

I started smoking again and drinking. I was back to my home town, but nothing felt or seemed familiar. I was lost. My parents drifted apart, my brother left the university. It was hard, it is even hard writing this now. But that misfortune made me into the man I am today.

It took me some time to realize that it was enough, I cannot hate myself. I can’t change the past. I cannot live in the past. I started meditating. Started loving myself.

I remember that I was reading the biography of Porfirio Ariza Rubirosa : “The Last Playboy”. I was mesmerized by Rubirosa — he was larger than life. Then I opened the best coffee place in the town, called Rubirosa, obviously. It was a coffee place by day, and a gin joint by night, something like Rick’s Coffee from Casablanca — and I was Rick, I felt life again.

My gin joint. Rubirosa bar.

Then I broke up with my girl, due to other girls. Then dated a lot of girls. Then made a lot of money in my gin joint, invested all of it in memories and naturally, girls. I ran the gin joint for the next 18 months. I brought happiness to my family, stability. Gave my gin joint to my parents. Started my first startup. I was 24 years old. I pitched in front of Dave McClure, had a couple of beers with the guy. Then got funding for it, twice. Moved to Sofia. Became a paper millionaire. Traveled across Europe, pitched my startup. Played the game. Once again, it felt like magic. I was loving myself. I got to know a lot of people. Some of them are assholes, some of them are going to be my life long mentors and friends.

Squee — my first startup.

Then I started dating a supermodel – traveled with her across Europe, again. Then all went into flames. My startup failed miserably. I wasn’t a millionaire, not even on paper anymore. Then I learned Ruby on Rails. I don’t like writing code, just writing. Then I learned to love myself again. Learned a lot, experienced a lot. Felt so alive! I got back to Croatia. Now, I am looking for a new adventure, startup to join, startups to build. I have a story to tell — fire to share. So it goes.

Everything I learned (so far).

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
Robert Frost

It is utterly true, Frost knew it, even Freddie Mercury knew it. It took me some time to grasp the idea of “life goes on” theory — what ever happens, you need to keep on fighting. Doing your thing, hustling.

I will tell you how to become happy, happiness is the only thing that you actually need, if you start loving yourself, you will become happy and you will even feel lucky from time to time. These are my rules of life and business — my daily rituals. I do not claim this is the only way to do it, not by a long shot, so take everything with a grain of salt. But it worked for me.

“No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.”
Socrates

Physical —  get in great shape. Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are. The mind cannot work properly if your body is shaped like a Orangina beverage bottle. Exercise, do what ever feels right. Drink tea. Try yoga, do it for 20 minutes a day, walk for 45 minutes before you go to bed. Wake up early — by 06:00 am. Meditate, you don’t need to be a monk to meditate. Just close your eyes and think about the universe and all the life’s beauty. Be grateful for everything you have. Love yourself.

It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.

Go to bed by 10:00 pm. Maybe you believe that sleeping 3-5 hours a night makes you more productive and gives you more precious time to focus on your startup — but an army of scientists beg to differ! You need your 8 hour sleep a day, you need to get rid of all the toxins. You are not Tesla, Da Vinci or Tim Ferriss.

Think of your friends like business partners. Would you do business with a criminal? Then why are you letting an asshole bring you down? Get rid of all people who are bombarding you with negative energy, hang out only with cool people who are doing something inspiring and amazing. Be there for your friends and family, especially for the people who love you. Don’t be an asshole.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Jim Rohn

If you cannot find 5 amazing friends that inspire you to become great — then find mentors in books, blogs, movies, writings. I would say that 100 good books replace one great mentor. You really need to start reading a lot, now.

Want to be a startup founder? Be.

Read everything there is on startups. Follow every blog from a well known startup founder. Listen to podcasts. Watch This Week In Startups. Watch Foundations by Kevin Rose. Literally consume every essay from Paul Graham — every blog post from Mark Suster, Brad Feld and Fred Wilson. Learn about vesting — thank me later.

Learn to code, but only practice coding if you like doing it — you need to learn how to code for the sake of understanding your CTO, not for the sake of becoming your own CTO. You will never be that good.

What will happen if you do all of those things?

People will start behaving differently in your presence. Girls will smile more often to you, you will even feel lucky. Every day you will love yourself even more. Then you will become happy. Then you will get funding by top tier investors. Then you will be a startup demigod. Then you will date a supermodel girl. Then you will make an exit. Make millions of dollars and become an angel investor. Then you will probably write a book on how good looking, smart, successful and awesome you are. That is life. That’s all to it.

“Everything you can imagine is real.”
Pablo Picasso

Cheers.

Written by

Squee founder, coffee and tea drinker, gadget lover, writer, social liberal, fiscal conservative, thinking about moving to NYC.

Published January 7, 2014
Thanks to: Max Gurvits

The Frustrating, Impossible Beauty Of ‘The Perfect Setup’


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Others with gadget addictions will know these feels: Most of my life is spent questing for the Perfect Setup. That means different things at different times to different people, of course, and especially when it comes to tech, the goal posts keep moving. But it can still happen, and when it does, it can make the whole frustrating journey seem worth it.

Recently, I achieved a kind of overarching, macro-level Perfect Setup, marking the first (and likely last) time I’ve ever done so. That means that it’s not just my office that’s ideally outfitted: the whole house, my car, everything about my tech life is exactly how I need it to accomplish everything I want to get done.

Hitting that kind of perfection is an odd thing – in many ways I’d come to accept that my quest was quixotic, and couldn’t actually culminate in anything resembling satisfaction. The gadget over will know that there’s a process of looking for product reviews on Amazon, The Wirecutter, and everywhere else on the web that arises for each new component or ingredient you find you need for your setup, and that new needs arise based on satisfying old ones, as each new piece of the puzzle opens up a new possibility tree with branches that themselves multiply when addressed and so on.

At least for a given person at a given time, however, I realized that it’s possible to answer all needs and not have any new ones, and at first of course it felt deflating: Pursuit of ever-better gadgets isn’t a quest taken lightly, and generally at best achieving perfection in one area (aka home office) just means refocusing on another (aka portable office). Also, it’s possible that the standards of the quester in this case changed, making perfection more achievable. But whatever the case, after the momentary panic of boredom, I took stock and found nothing lacking

It won’t last. Anything could upset the balance – a new product launch, a slight shift in job description and requirements, an unpleasant experience with some portion of my current setup. I’m okay with that, since the quest itself has been kind of the point for a long time. But I’m also increasingly comfortable with this new thing called satisfaction: Here’s hoping it sticks around for a while.

http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/19/the-frustrating-impossible-beauty-of-the-perfect-setup/

Computer Security 101


Computer Security in the IT world — a daily intellectual battle dangerously played between the good and the bad guys like a complicated chess game on a global level. Every day consists of countless battles, skirmishes, espionage excursions, reconnaissance, securing data, subterfuge, encryption, deceptions, surveillances, clandestine communications, and rambo raids in a ghostly intellectual dual between the defender and attacker.

The clever guy on either sides wins.


Our world relies on unified interconnected data, services, and computing resources for all aspects of our daily lives. Almost all sectors of our economy have come to critically depend on their availability, and ubiquity and correctness—failure in any part of the system could have devastating consequences on the rest of the system.


What are the attackers targeting?

Each day, all around the world, thousands of IT systems are compromised. Some are attacked purely for the kudos of doing so, others for political motives, but most commonly they are attacked to steal commercial secrets and money, access government and defence related information, disrupt government and industry service, and exploit information security weaknesses through the targeting of partners, subsidiaries, and supply chains at home and abroad.


What is Cyberspace?

“Cyberspace is an interactive domain made up of digital networks that is used to store, modify and communicate information. It includes the internet, but also the other information systems that support our businesses, infrastructure and services.”

— UK Cyber Security Strategy


Many players pose a risk to information

Cyber criminals interested in making money through fraud or from the sale of valuable information; Industrial competitors and foreign intelligence services, interested in gaining an economic advantage for their own companies or countries; Hackers who find interfering with computer systems an enjoyable challenge; Hacktivists who wish to attack companies for political or ideological motives; Employees, or those who have legitimate access, either by accident or deliberate misuse.

The threat is not only technical

Many attempts to compromise information involve what is known as social engineering, or the skillful manipulation of people and human nature. It is often easier to trick someone into clicking on a malicious link in an email that they think is from a friend or colleague than it is to hack into a system, particularly if the recipient of the email is busy or distracted. And there are many well documented cases of hackers persuading IT support staff to open up areas of a network or reset passwords, simply by masquerading as someone else over the phone.


Anatomy of a computer intrusion

Reconnaissance: Attackers research and identify individuals whom they will target through open source means.

Intrusion into the network: The attackers send spear-phishing emails to targeted users within the company with spoofer emails that include malicious links or attached malicious documents.

Obtain user credentials: Attackers get most of their access using valid user credentials. The most common type: domain-administrator credentials.

Establish a back door: With domain administrative credentials, attackers will move literally within the victim’s network, installing back doors for future and continued exploitation.

Install multiple utilities: Utility programs are installed on the victim’s network to conduct system administration, steal passwords, get emails, and list running processes.

Data exfiltration: The attackers obtain emails, attachments, and files from the victim’s servers and then encrypt and exfiltrate the data via the attackers’ command and control infrastructure.

Maintaining persistence: If the attackers suspect they are being directed or remediated, they will use other methods to ensure they don’t lose their presence in the victim’s network, including updating their malware.


Best practices against a cyberattack

While there is no silver bullet to prevent all attacks, the risks can be mitigated, and you can rest more comfortably, if you employ a multi faceted security program. A program that often times is simply based upon best practices:


If you’re an employee:

Use a complex alphanumerical password with a combination of numbers, letters (uppercase and lowercase) and symbols.

Change your passwords regularly

Do NOT open emails and attachments from unfamiliar sources, even if they looked official.

Do NOT install or connect any personal software or hardware to your organization’s network or hardware without permission from your IT department.

Report all suspicious or unusual problems with your computer to your IT department.

If you’re in the Management & IT department:

Implement defence-in-depth: a layered defence strategy that includes technical, organizational, and operational controls.

Implement technical defences: firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and internet content filtering.

Update your anti-virus software daily.

Regularly download vendor security patches for all your software.

Change the manufacturer’s default passwords on all of your software

Monitor, log, and analyze successful and attempted intrusions to your systems and networks.


Protecting against an attack or reacting to an attack is not a black art; most of the methods needed to protect critical information are already known and we just need to employ those methods more effectively. Preparation in advance of the 2:00 am phone call is everything.

Your data is your most precious commodity; prepare to protect it, and prepare to deal with the impact of a loss.

Further Reading

Canada’s Cyber Security Strategy

 — Public Safety Canada

Protect Myself from Cyber Attacks

 — Department of Homeland Security USA

Written by

Hi! My name is Woody, Senior Technical Lead & Product Manager at a leading software security company based in Montreal, Canada.

Skimlinks Says Its Affiliate Linking Technology Drove $500M+ In E-Commerce Sales Last Year


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Skimlinks, a company that helps online publishers make money through affiliate links, says that it had a record year, driving more than $500 million in e-commerce sales.

A spokesperson told me that three quarters of Skimlinks sales go through affiliate networks that report e-commerce sales value, and they reported $402.3 million in sales driven by Skimlinks in 2013. However, since there are other networks that don’t report sales value, the company is estimating that it drove more than $500 million total for the year (more specifically, based on historical analysis, the company says the number was probably between $502 million and $536 million). That’s about double the sales from last year.

Skimlinks’ technology includes the ability to convert regular links and relevant words into affiliate links (in other words, links where the publisher is paid a commission for driving purchases). Recent additions include last fall’s launch of Skimlinks Editor, a browser plugin that allows publishers to compare the current affiliate commission rates across different merchants.

In a conversation with CEO Alicia Navarro before the launch, and in follow-up emails with a company spokesperson, Skimlinks emphasized that the Editor product is the first step toward “intelligent linking,” i.e., links that are automatically updated and don’t require any work from the writer, editor, or publisher: “They won’t have to find products or list prices; and readers won’t be faced with dead links or redirects or outdated pricing.”

Navarro acknowledged that providing monetization data may be seen as a risk to editorial integrity, and she noted that in some cases, publishers have chosen to hide the actual commission rates from editors. At the same time, she said, “There’s a very strong feel that publishers are realizing that if they keep doing what they’re doing, they’re going to become obsolete. … [and] that it’s not a dirty word, making money from something.”

Navarro added that that 2014 will involve building a lot more of that intelligent linking infrastructure.

One thing that doesn’t seem to be a big priority is mobile. While that seems to be where a lot of publishers and startups are putting their energy nowadays, Navarro said that when it comes to actually making purchases, there doesn’t seem to be much traffic from mobile, “So I don’t think we’re missing out on too much yet.”

http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/19/skimlinks-2013-sales/