Tracy Chou’s Block Party is fighting online trolls—and the startup ecosystem itself

 
Tracy Chou has dealt with online harassment since high school. Now she's channeling her expertise on the topic and her programming skills into a new product called Block Party, which helps users manage abusive messages on Twitter. But Chou has struggled to raise money to build her company, and has coded her product largely as a one-woman team with $1.5 million in venture funding. Now, she's facing a new challenge: A well-capitalized startup called Sentropy launched a very similar product just weeks after Block Party's public debut.

The two startups have largely different tactics: Sentropy has raised significantly more money because it is primarily an enterprise company, while Chou is focused on building a consumer brand. But Chou is fighting an uphill battle, competing against a free product launched by a team with nearly 10 times the resources. Is it a rigged game? Read more here.

Katharine Schwab
 
tech
Tracy Chou’s Block Party is fighting online trolls—and the startup ecosystem itself

Chou has struggled to raise funding for her tool to help manage harassment on Twitter. Now she’s going up against a competitor with far more resources.

 
co.design
Herman Miller’s new office line is the anti-cubicle

The new OE1 line embraces a more flexible, less prescriptive workplace.

 
impact
This L.A. mall could be reinvented as housing and worker-owned co-ops

The bold plan for the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza has raised $28 million dollars to try to begin to implement a new approach to urban redevelopment.

 
 
 
Brands can no longer please both China and the West. They’re going to have to pick a side, and there will be fallout whatever they choose.”
Jude Blanchette, chair of China studies at the nonprofit Center for Strategic and International Studies
READ MORE
 
 
impact
This calculator tells you how much your remote work is reducing your company’s emissions

Ending your daily commute might lower your footprint—but not always.

 
work life
How to find a job that fits your personality type

Different jobs satisfy different Myers-Briggs types, says author Kelly Tieger, so it’s important to know your temperament.

 
tech tips
8 great Microsoft Edge features that make switching worth it

Edge packs so many thoughtful quality-of-life goodies into one web browser. Here are some of my favorites.

 
co.design
Want to solve the misinformation crisis? We already have a proven solution at our fingertips

What would Wikipedia do?

 
impact
This new tech mines old batteries to find critical ingredients for electric vehicles

Recycling batteries is time-consuming and involves dangerous chemicals. This new process could make it easier—and reduce the amount of mining required to fuel the clean energy economy.

 
Make your spring cleaning green with these 7 nontoxic, eco-friendly brands

From Blueland to Cleancult, these low-waste, eco-friendly cleaning brands are good for home and the planet.

 
 
recommender
Forget 1-800-flowers: This data-driven florist wants to build you the perfect custom bouquet, based on just a few keywords

I tried Floracracy’s ultra-luxury, bespoke flower delivery—and loved the custom bouquet they designed.

 
NEWS
Expedia Group bets on a return to travel: What you need to know​​​​​​
Expedia has teamed up with Sherpa to offer an online COVID-19 travel advisor tool that allows you to simply enter your origin and destination countries and the date of your travel. 
The tool returns all the restrictions and safety measures in place and lets you know what you must do before boarding the plane. 
Do you need to be vaccinated to travel? Do you need to quarantine on arrival? All these questions can lead travelers scrambling across different government websites to find the answer—a time-consuming and confusing process. 
Expedia’s dashboards are free and available across all of its brands, including Vbro, Hotels.com, and Travelocity.
 
 
 
video
Ben & Jerry's has successfully blended ice cream and activism for decades—here's how
Ben & Jerry's Head of Global Activism Strategy Christopher Miller and Global Social Mission Officer Dave Rapaport talk about the realities of being a mission-driven brand and what they’re doing to change their internal culture to reflect the brand's own outward ideals.
WATCH NOW
 
 
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