Mr. Osbourne’s Neighborhood


Hello there, neighbor.  It’s good to see you.  I have so many things we should talk about today.  Do you like things that are new?  Of course you do.  Did you know that the Harbor Entrepreneur center has released details of its 6th cohort?  Oh, hello, Trolley. Let’s take a trip to see what new visitors we have in the neighborhood of startups.


Do you ever watch TV? Do you know that in between parts of the show there are things called commercials?  We all love to watch commercials.  And we all like to buy things.  But sometimes we do not feel like going shopping.  Use your imagination with me.  Imagine you are very old, and have a long grey beard and thick glasses, but you can’t get out of bed because you had problems with your hip. Wouldn’t you like to shop on your phone?  If you saw something you liked on YouTube, like a Vintage T-shirt, you could just tap the screen, and the next thing you know, Mister McFeely would drop it off on his bicycle.  It is fun to imagine things.

Mama Lites

Are you afraid of the dark?  We all are, sometimes. It’s OK to be afraid.

Who do I see coming up the path?  Why, it is Daniel Striped Tiger!  Daniel, you are putting lights on everything?  They keep you from being afraid of the dark, I see.  Daniel has even put lights on his underpants.  Daniel Tiger, did you ever see the movie Tron?

Daniel Tiger’s lights will help give us courage.  At least until the batteries run out.  Then we’ll find out what a dark place the world really is.

Topsy Turvy

Oh, look, lady Elaine is in the Museum go round.  It looks like she has created a new startup.  Do you know what a startup is?  Well, that’s OK, no one really does.

Do you ever have ideas?  Well, if you do, Lady Elaine can give you a hip website, an email address, and a set of social media accounts that you can use to say what you feel inside.  That’s right.  Its a startup for creating startups. It seems the museum is going around again.

Oh look, is that a unicorn I see? Is this the neighborhood of make-believe?


Do you like to go outside?  Me neither.  I’d much rather stay inside and play video games. My mother was always telling me “get out of the basement young man and use that college degree you earned”. But would you go outside if you could absorb “stimulating content” and be “entertained on all platforms?”  Maybe.  It is OK if you need to think about it.

Southern Trapper

When we feel scared, we like to talk about it.  We feel safe when we talk to a parent or a responsible adult. It gives me a happy feeling inside to know that Mom’s handgun is in a safe, accident-preventing heirloom leather holster.  It is good to feel safe.


Sometimes we adults like to meet our friends and drink fancy glasses of juice.  It makes us feel special.  But you know, as grown-ups, we do have to pay for that juice.  Also sometimes as grownups we do things that are embarrassing and would rather storm out the door without waiting in line to pay. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just leave and nobody had to know?

Barista Vending

Remember I said sometimes we have to pay for our juice? After drinking juice with our adult friends, grown-ups have to go back to work. We might not like to go back to work, but as grown-ups, we sometimes have to do things we do not like.  Have you ever felt grumpy before? One thing that can bring a smile back to a grumpy person’s face is a warm cup of coffee.  But do you know, some people drink coffee cold. Silly, isn’t it? Our friends at Barista Vending have learned how to make cold coffee by recycling leftover coffee from a place called Star Bucks.  They must have a lot of bucks to make those huge containers full of cold coffee.

Briefing: Sexagesimal Division of Labor

smiling friends with glasses of champagne in club
Clamorous honking of nouveau wealth on upper King Street

Upper King rang out out with the clamorous honking of nouveau wealth when news broke of PeopleMatter‘s acquisition by Snagajob.  The lackluster cousin you talk to every other Thanksgiving of the local tech scene, PeopleMatter, is a leader in the management of hourly employees.  Unfortunately-named Snagajob has to date focused on the luring of wage workers and not so much what is done with them after they are in the boat.  These two form up like a one-legged, one-armed, no-torso, no-head Voltron to present a unified product for the kind of employers that lobby heavily against raising the minimum wage.

Analysts see the blessed union as a positive, albeit defensive, move. At 10+ Earth  (and hundreds of Internet) years old, both husband and wife in this reverse triangular merger are in serious danger of disruption. Presenting the most complete platform for exploiting the proletariat of today is just not enough. The happy couple must find a way to exploit the proletariat of tomorrow or risk getting lapped by younger, more efficient exploiters. Stray DNS resource records intercepted by Soteria, the recon wing of Kenny Roger’s Roasters, have brought to light an impressively innovative vision.

Reverse triangular merger?

Like hunting gave way to gathering and gathering opened the door to farming and farming fell out of fashion in favor of annual wages and annual wages mutated into hourly ones, another iteration of labor employment dynamics is upon us.  SnagPeopleAMatterJob is poised to dominate the emerging field of sub-hourly work. The clear trend is one towards minute wages for minutes of work. Past efforts in this space have failed in the face of comparatively high levels of self-confidence among workers. The ascendancy of Millennials is the last piece in a puzzle who’s completion has been all but inevitable since Adam Smith started banging on about hair pins.

The trend toward The Now is not isolated to Upper King. Read on for a sector-by-sector briefing on how startups in Charleston and beyond are clambering aboard The Good Ship Hyper-immediate.

Is there a doctor in the house?

Stimulatr, jewel in the crown of the the Harbour Entrepreneur Centre’s first biomed incubator class, are making a big pivot from emoji-based onanism to something years ahead of its time and regulatory clearance. Their product is a micro-dose caffeine delivery system interfacing with wearable tech and blood-bourne nanobots controlling precisely located releases. If they can avoid being crushed by reactionary, bearded, pour-over enthusiasts then they are poised to replace coffee shops with something altogether more efficient. Uber has invested heavily, for obvious reasons, if only to bridge the gap before self-driving cars are reliable.

PokitDok are enhancing their APIs so as to permit changing doctors mid-procedure to get a better price. Where is it written that the same hands that cut you open need to be the ones that yank out the silver-dollar-sized gall stones found within? Dentists everywhere are breathing heavily into a plastic mask to calm the realization that the Silicon Harbor has reduced them to interchangeable cogs in a heavily-medicated machine.

Giving & Taking

Bidr have finally brought real-time to charitable giving. Ever wished that you could reallocate that twenty dollars you gave to cure some disease to a homeless vet instead? We all have. Now you can avoid the pain and inefficiency of giving twice by controlling your gift from end-to-end. Forward looking charities are adapting their pitches to this just-in-time model.

RAAD‘s research laboratories are rocking around the clock experimenting with quantum time so that their growing user base can text about getting screwed on bottle service from several locations at once. Simultaneity has a high probability of being both a winning and losing theme in nightlife.  The deadening effects of emotionally detached modern entertainment are surely and most expensively experienced in volume, and dedicated party people can look forward to multiphasic rejection and polytemporal regret.

On The Left Hand Side

The sexagesimal revolution is a natural fit for sharing economy exploits like Lyft and Airbnb. Cars and homes will soon be available by the minute for those that want to watch an episode of Bridezillas in fast forward or need a ride, but only for 100 feet or so.

Vaga are spinning their collective Herman Miller task chair to corner the window office of micro-charges for nano-cubilcles.  Ambitious property owners can charge for spaces as small as 1 square meter for times as low as 30 seconds, enabling road warriors to make any space their office space even if just for the time it takes to blast out a killer tweet.

Red-ish Bull

In a move applauded by both the Sierra Club and the Conservation League, a partnership between Planet Fitness and SCE&G will power generators run by exercise bikes. This is expected to generate power during peak demand in January and taper off in early February.  SCE&G is developing power meters with higher self-image to compensate.

More Than Meets The Aye

No one will be surprised that the Charleston Digital Corridor is keeping up with progress. “To make efficient use of space and time, we are launching CampGround, an effort to deploy RVs where startup employees can live, work, and play,” says Ernest Andrade. “These RVs will be equipped with new Eatabit devices that allow eWorkers to direct-deposit their wages, and purchase food, medicine, and bitcoin-mining supercomputers, delivered by drones.”  The delivery service will be outsourced to the cloud-based logistics platform CompanyStore.

In search of further efficiency, Automated Trading Desk is grinding away on a stealth concept combining the best parts of drones with the worst parts of capitalism. Debticons are blockchain-powered exchange tokens that transform from coins into drones that deliver themselves. A cloud of untraceable legal tender will soon be blocking out the menacing Carolina sun. Go ahead and forget the PIN for your chipped credit card. You won’t need it.

Brave New Business Models

One good wave of disruption deserves another. Sub-hourly wages are just the beginning. Quonceptual is as usual a step ahead and working on the next, next big thing – sub-minutely wages.  Their technology SWAT team is reportedly building the technology which will allow software employers to pay coders only for time spent pressing keys down and not for unproductive time spent waiting for their Cherry MX Brown keys to recoil. This additional efficiency will revolutionize levels of dissatisfaction among Holy City Hackers.

Nate DePore, PeopleMatter’s grandfather, has assembled the founding team for SecondJob – a platform for hierarchical employment. Nate and his team will hand-select and employ a seed group of twelve work-at-home entrepreneurs who will each form a sub-startups around each of the company’s top-level functions. Each sub-startup will in turn hire entrepreneurs to form micro-startups who will do the same at the nano-startup level and so on. This multi-level market for labor will achieve scale through entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs in a reverse triangular relationship network of unlimited value and dubious legality, even.