The Class Clown Expands His Audience “School wasn’t really my strong suit. I’m better at just being me,” says Jerry Purpdrank, who has parlayed his talent for comedic, semiautobiographical Vine videos into social media stardom and a burgeoning rap career (he recently released his debut mixtape, “Through the Grape Vine”). Purpdrank was a 19-year-old college student when he posted his first video to Vine. A year later, he dropped out of school and moved from Boston to Los Angeles to collaborate with other creators. He now has a rotating crew of regulars who appear in his skits. Today, Facebook commands most of his attention, thanks to its broad audience. “I reach kids from age 13 to people over 40 on Facebook,” he says. “Men and women, it’s all spread out. It’s very international.” … [Read more...] about The Social Mediators: 7 Young Social Stars Share Their Rules For Engagement
Woodman sees GoPro as a sort of mini Apple, a hardware company that is evolving into a software platform with social networking features. Its business model will even include monthly subscription fees alongside steady hardware upgrades. He evinces no worry about naysayers who compare GoPro to the Flip, the superhot handheld digital video recorder that launched in 2007, quickly dominated the camcorder market, was bought by Cisco in 2009, and shut down in 2011, when video-capable smartphones quickly made it obsolete. Today’s smartphones are becoming ever more durable—both Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 are water-resistant—while lens quality is rapidly approaching GoPro’s most advanced offering. (The iPhone 7 offers a 12-megapixel sensor, the same as GoPro’s new Hero5, and a true zoom lens, which GoPro’s Hero5 lacks.) “My kids are 16,” says Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush. “And I don’t recall ever going to a … [Read more...] about Can GoPro Rise Again?
5. The technology. GM’s initial approach to autonomous driving was to incrementally add features to existing vehicles, gradually making drivers more comfortable with deferring to a computer. But when Ammann nailed down the acquisition of Cruise in March, it marked an investment into the more radical all-at-once strategy being pursued by the likes of Google and Uber. Launched in 2013, Cruise has built a complex array of software and hardware that uses artificial intelligence to pilot a car. While in-house GM engineers were working on their own fully autonomous system, Ammann and Barra came to believe that Cruise was further ahead—and so they jumped. Cruise CEO Vogt has been obsessed with self-driving cars since childhood, and designed his first autonomous vehicle for a state fair at the age of 13. When Vogt started Cruise, his goal was to sell autonomous-driving kits that could be retrofitted to regular cars. After he pivoted to the bigger idea of operating a fleet of … [Read more...] about Mary Barra Is Remaking GM’s Culture—And The Company Itself