Senate passes crowdfunding bill, bespoke software and more

There’s been big news this week about funding: the U.S. Senate is working to make crowdfunding a viable option for startups, while companies like Tesla are experimenting with raising capital in ways that may translate very well to software. The articles we’ve rounded up also include a few other gems. There’s a discussion of Ruby versus Python that shows more than just the relative merits of the two languages, tips on how to avoid hackathon fails and more.

And don’t forget — if you’ve got news about your own projects, just hit reply and send it our way.

- Thursday

Senate passes amended crowdfunding bill, emulating Kickstarter model

Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites have opened up brand new doors for software developers — but it’s not legal for private companies to raise funds through these sites. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act is seeking to change that. The Senate passed the bill, the House votes on it next week and President Obama has already promised to sign it into law.

Bespoke software

Eric Meltzer wrote up some interesting thoughts on how bespoke software can solve small problems. Just like a bespoke suit can make someone look good even when nothing off the rack fits, Meltzer has some specific software tailoring he’d pay money for.

Ten protips on avoiding hackathon fail

Thinking of running a hackathon? Delyn Simons has some tips to get you past the more common failures that she’s seen in the fifty plus hackathons Mashery co-organized or participated in during 2011.

Yummly’s billion dollar digital kitchen platform

Reading about Yummly never fails to get me hungry: it’s a startup that offers one of the most advanced recipe websites currently online. But the team behind it — who come from eBay and Half.com — are planning a lot more, as this article lays out.

How to get media coverage for your startup: A complete guide

Set aside some time to go through this post from Leo Widrich. It’s got a lot more depth that ‘try to get press mentions.’ He’s got tips on how to pitch, how to build on-going relationships and a lot more that can make a world of difference to a brand new startup.

Tesla’s ambitions fueled by customer down payments

Startup capital is always the big question for any new venture, whether we’re talking about a new mobile app or a car. Tesla is using advance down payments to cover operating costs and, for better or for worse, it’s a model that translates to software development.

What does Ruby have that Python doesn’t, and vice versa?

This community wiki on Stack Overflow keeps growing. You might feel that you’re familiar with both languages already, but reading the responses offers interesting insights — how coders choose which language to use in a given situation can involve unexpected subjectivity.

Retro link of the week:

The inclusion principle

When you’re building something new, you may just get it to the point that most users can use it most of the time. To really grow a project, though, you have to think about what it would take for all users to be able to work with it — and that includes users who are blind or have other disabilities that change how they use software and hardware. This article may be from 2009, but accessibility is an ongoing issue.

About Thursday Bram

Thursday Bram has been fascinated with technology and business since she was recruited to work with a startup focused on launching rockets into space in high school. She has started her own business, written for sites like CNET and GigaOm, and thought a lot about whether space flight or the web are going to wind up having a bigger impact on the human race.