It Pays to Be Nice: A Tale of Two Startups

Approximately two years ago, two startups that had yet to launch products raised more than $40 million, respectively, based almost solely on the track records of their founders. Both companies went on to stumble badly, but only one of them was pilloried for its failings.

Silicon Valley Reacts to Jobs’ News: ‘Visionary Founders Matter Most’

“Funny how much emotion you can feel about a stranger. And yet every phone call I make, every time I’m on my computer, he’s part of it.” The words belong to writer Susan Orlean, writing yesterday about famed entrepreneur Steve Jobs. But one imagines that millions of people experienced the same, queer feeling, following the […]

Kwedit Shifts Gears, Rolling Out PayNearMe Next Month

VC-backed startup Kwedit is best known for three things: for enabling people to pay for digital goods online through small amounts of virtual credit; for its silly name; and for the viciously funny lambasting it received by Stephen Colbert for both of these things.

But Kwedit’s founders and investors have had a bigger ambition for the company almost from the start: to enable at least one-quarter of the U.S. population to make remote cash transactions — from global remittances to bill paying to catalog shopping to the purchase of virtual goods in social media games.

“Basically, if you want to use cash to pay a vendor but can’t hand it to them directly, we’re building a set of services to do that for you,” Shader told me back in March.

Apparently, those services are nearly ready. In August, peHUB has learned, the company rolls out PayNearMe. According to its site, the service is targeting “25 percent of American households that don’t have a credit or debit card” along with the “75 percent who do, [but] don’t want to use them online for security, privacy, or budgeting reasons.”

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