This is NOT how you go about promoting your app

I received an email this morning that first made me do the double-facepalm, then made my blood boil the more I thought about it.  I’m posting it here in order to be instructive to future companies to never send anything like this again.  I’ve also omitted the name of the sender and the company he represents, only because I don’t want to completely destroy his life Peter Shih-style.

Hey Andrew,

I think your audience at MissionMission will really enjoy this release. Not only is ******** a cool app (I’m biased!) but it’s an awesome/inspiring use case they will be able to relate to.

Let me know what you think – I’m happy to tweak, expand, etc. as you see necessary.

Looking forward to hearing back!

-****

Press Release:

Neighbor Discovers Mission District Fire with San Francisco Only App ********

A Mission District man determines the cause for commotion and smoke to be the apartment fire through real-time images of the fire delivered by fellow Mission resident through community-driven mobile app ********.

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 29, 2015 — Last night, many residents of San Francisco’s Mission District were trying to determine the cause for the emergency vehicles and smoke at the onset of the Mission District apartment building fire. One resident, Jonathan W. took a unique approach and was quickly able to not only discover the cause but see the fire in action right on his phone. Jonathan connected with another San Francisco resident, Fritz S., using the app ******** to see what was happening at the heart of the emergency.

New app ******** let’s San Franciscans check out any place in the city, anytime with real-time help from another community member already there. Jonathan took advantage by asking what was happening at 22nd and Mission to cause the emergency. Another ******** member near the fire answered his question and posted a photo of the fire. This photo was then public in the app and quickly became the most upvoted post in San Francisco – quickly spreading awareness throughout the ******** community.

“The ******** community is awesome!” said ******** Cofounder ***. “Not only are people finding the top things happening in the city, knowing what the local weather is like, and finding out if their favorite restaurant is packed – community members are using the app to discover and share emergency situations that could potentially help save lives.”

Next time you need to see what’s happening at ground zero of an emergency – or if you just want to see what your favorite cafe, park, bar, or more look like right now – let the community at ******** help.

Folks, can we all agree that taking advantage of a disaster in order to promote your business is NEVER a good idea?  Seriously.

Map of all the public parks and rec centers that now have free wi-fi

I really had my fingers crossed for Crissy Field so I could blog from the beach, but ohhh well. I guess I can blog from the ping pong tables at Mission Rec.

[via Curbed SF]

When startups go TOO far

20141001-092044.jpg

Some words are just too sacred, and mean so much to so many people, that they shouldn’t have to undergo the indignity of being appropriated in order to woo the fortunes of some narcissistic VC. As our pal Eric put it:

Seriously?!? Can’t they just call it kloosh or something? Jesus Christ.

If someone ever tries to raise seed money for a startup called Dune, I’m going to go all Muad’Dib on their asses.

Incredibly spooky Google Maps Street View photo

[via Apres Garde]

Life as a Google Bus driver

SF Gate reports:

For Brandon Barlow, life as a Google bus driver was one endless cycle of traffic and exhaust.

He left home before dawn and arrived home late, after long hours spent shuttling Google employees back and forth on Highway 101. And Barlow wasn’t paid for the hours he had to wait around near Google headquarters in Mountain View before making the return run to San Francisco. That was the worst part of the job.

“They make everything convenient for Googlers, but they don’t make anything convenient for drivers,” Barlow said recently, exasperated. “There are so many fatigued tech shuttle drivers out there.”

If Silicon Valley shuttle buses are the physical symbols of San Francisco’s tech boom-fueled friction, then drivers like Barlow find themselves in an odd place: Bus drivers have benefited from the boom, but many feel exploited by those who have profited the most from it.

Such workers are tenuously employed with few job protections. Drivers like Barlow don’t even work for Google — they are employees of third-party contractors who typically receive low wages and often paltry benefits. Some drivers have also questioned the legality of practices employed by those contractors, such as requiring drivers to work split shifts in which they spend unpaid hours waiting for the afternoon leg of the commute.

Read on for lots more.

[via SFist]

Totally earnest flyer about somebody’s missing Google Glass

I mean, this is in Berkeley, so…

[via Gareth]

A blog devoted to pictures of large groups of men waiting in line for food in downtown San Francisco

It’s called Man Lines and it is strangely grim and positively haunting.

[via Megan Brian on Ello]

How real estate companies try to entice homeowners into selling during ‘this opportune time’

Always Be Closing!

[Photo by Steve Rhodes on Instagram, via It's Always Sunny in San Francisco]

The Mission, live here and you’ll get laid

I wish that redacter from earlier would redact some of this scene too.

[Photo and title by Erin, via It's Always Sunny in San Francisco]

Drones will soon drop small drugstore items on your doorstep if you want

SFist tells us about the startup that’s making it happen:

QuiQui (as in “quickie,” not “let’s have a Kiki”) is apparently a real thing and not a clever parody of the Internet like the mythological tacocopter. QuiQui promises to deliver small drugstore items to the door of your Mission District (of course) apartment in 15 minutes or less for a mere $1 per delivery fee. Tellingly, the company’s FAQ section lists their closest competitors as Uber and Postmates, which are not exactly direct competition but they all fit the category of “on-demand luxuries.”

The system works like every other smartphone-summoned, on-demand service, but with an airdropped spin: You pull up the app, drop a pin and the order heads your way. To avoid rotor wash and terrorizing small dogs, the drones maintain a minimum altitude of 20 feet, and you’ll actually have to catch your new toothbrush as it falls from the sky.

Coming this July. Read on.