• Startup Idol: Building a stronger feedback loop

    OwnerListens wants to improve online suggestions.

    By Kurt Wagner, reporter

    FORTUNE -- OwnerListens co-founder Oren Dobronsky simply wanted feedback. After opening his restaurant Oren's Hummus Shop in Palo Alto in 2011, he spent months asking customers for their thoughts on his new establishment with little success. The customers were either too shy, or the feedback he got on websites like Yelp (YELP) wasn't specific enough. As a business owner, he needed MORE

    Jul 19, 2013 4:26 PM ET
  • Startup Idol: Happier wants you to share the love

    Founder Nataly Kogan has good reason to spread cheer.

    By Kurt Wagner, reporter

    FORTUNE -- Nataly Kogan understands the pursuit of happiness -- in her younger years, she lived for it. As a Jewish refugee from Soviet Russia, Kogan escaped her native country at the age of 13 with a handful of suitcases and $600 in cash for her entire family of four. Jumping between refugee camps across Europe, Kogan finally MORE

    Jul 19, 2013 4:09 PM ET
  • Wrapp raises $15 million as social gifting matures

    Stockholm-based Wrapp is locking up more funding and moving headquarters to San Francisco.

    By Kurt Wagner, reporter

    FORTUNE -- Stockholm-based Wrapp, the company known for giving away gifts, is on the receiving end of a present from Sand Hill Road this morning -- $15 million in funding. Wrapp, whose app enables users to send free and paid gift cards to friends or family using a smartphone or Facebook, today announced a Series MORE

    Jun 13, 2013 7:30 AM ET
  • Hookup app Tinder wants to change its image

    The mobile dating game that lets you rate people by their looks is trying to shift into a tool for business networking.

    By Daniel Roberts, writer-reporter

    FORTUNE -- Nope. Nope. Nope. YES. Nope …

    That might be your thought process while using Tinder, a mobile app that offers up photos of people to judge with a "yes" or a "nope" -- depending on their attractiveness. The iPhone app, which debuted in October, connects MORE

    Jun 6, 2013 12:02 PM ET
  • Web-like analytics are coming to brick-and-mortar stores

    A company called Placed is applying some of the methods used online to the real world.

    FORTUNE -- Foot traffic at bookstores rose by 27% in the first quarter of this year, according to a report issued this week by Placed, a Seattle-based company that aims to bring Internet-like marketing analytics to the offline world.

    That seems like a surprising number. It's hard to know for sure how accurate it is, or MORE

    - May 24, 2013 12:07 PM ET
  • Report: Americans spend 2:38 hours a day glued to their tablets and smartphones

    Only 31 minutes is spent surfing the Web. Apps take up the rest of that time.

    FORTUNE -- The iPhone was barely a year old and Apple (AAPL) had not yet launched the App Store when Flurry Analytics began measuring mobile usage and helping developers sell ads.

    Today Flurry measures the activity of more than 1 billion active mobile iOS and Android devices a month, and to celebrate its fifth anniversary Wednesday MORE

    - Apr 3, 2013 7:28 PM ET
  • Paper: Silicon Valley's favorite drawing app

    With Paper, a handful of ex-Microsoft employees are proving the iPad is more than just a consumption device, one digital brush stroke at a time.

    FORTUNE -- If you thought the iPad was still purely a consumption device, take a few minutes to doodle around with Paper by FiftyThree.

    Since co-founders Georg Petschnigg, Andrew S. Allen, Julian Walker, and Jonathan Harris launched the company nearly a year ago, its drawing app MORE

    - Mar 27, 2013 6:58 AM ET
  • Japan: Where the iPad is changing lives

    Apple's iPad is a revolutionary device, yes. But Japan has embraced it in unusual ways.

    By Michael Fitzpatrick

    FORTUNE -- Best-man Toshiyuki hands out two iPads at a Japanese wedding reception. He's something of an early adopter while some of the older guests are unfamiliar with touch screens, despite their country's tech-savvy reputation. But the tablet's intuitive quality wins them over as they begin happily perusing a slide show of images MORE

    Mar 25, 2013 5:00 AM ET
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  • The Toy Story guys are making a talking toy - and it's amazing

    You likely haven't heard of one of the most ambitious startups to emerge this year. ToyTalk wants to revolutionize talking toys.

    FORTUNE -- Talking toys are a dime a dozen. But intelligent talking toys? Not so much. The amount of computer code and processing power needed to pick up on the nuance of human conversation -- even one with a child -- is vast. More importantly, being entertaining requires different skill sets MORE

    - Feb 22, 2013 6:51 AM ET
  • Mobile apps are increasingly fleeting

    A generation of popular apps is being defined by how brief their use cases are.

    FORTUNE -- New apps are pushing the boundaries of brevity. Not Angry Birds-esque, which could eat up five minutes of time, but far less. The question is, if mobile apps increasingly are all about "snacking" -- using them in even shorter bursts -- just how brief can their functionality get?

    I first encountered this trend last Thanksgiving, MORE

    - Feb 8, 2013 11:56 AM ET
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