National / International News

Yelp's CEO on the end of the professional critic

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-08-06 09:43

Ten years ago PayPal alums Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons had an idea for a website that would allow users to review restaurants and other local businesses. The pair took $1 million in seed capital and turned it into Yelp.

“If you think about the world prior to Yelp, it was the world of the professional critic,” says Stoppelman. “And so that meant lots of businesses didn’t get any exposure at all and the ones that did had kind of a one-shot deal.”

Simmons has since left the company but Stoppelman remains CEO 10 years on. This year is significant for another reason too – in the last quarter, Yelp posted a profit for the first time.

Though it’s free for users to post reviews, Yelp makes money by selling advertisements to small businesses. That concept brought Google knocking in 2009 with an offer to buy the company. Stoppelman remembers the day Steve Jobs called, urging him not to sell. "Fortunately, we chose the independent path,"  Stoppelman says, "and I think the company is much more successful as a result."

As for how he and Simmons came up with the name for their now-ubiquitous company, they credit their early days at a business incubator.

“There was a guy we were working with, David, and he just came up with the name. He said it was like Help/Yelp or Yelp/Yellow Pages,"  Stoppelman says. "And both my and Russ’s initial response was 'Oh, that’s kind of a negative word.' But we slept on it and the next day, it was kind of history."

 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated that the call from Steve Jobs to Jeremy Stoppelman was about selling. It was urging him not to sell. The text has been corrected.

Yelp CEO on the end of the professional critic

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-08-06 09:43

Ten years ago PayPal alums Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons had an idea for a website that would allow users to review restaurants and other local businesses. The pair took $1 million in seed capital and turned it into Yelp.

“If you think about the world prior to Yelp, it was the world of the professional critic,” says Stoppelman. “And so that meant lots of businesses didn’t get any exposure at all and the ones that did had kind of a one-shot deal.”

Simmons has since left the company but Stoppelman remains CEO ten years on. This year is significant for another reason too – in the last quarter, Yelp posted a profit for the first time.

Though it’s free for users to post reviews, Yelp makes money by selling advertisements to small businesses. That concept brought Google knocking in 2009 with an offer to buy the company. Stoppelman remembers the day Steve Jobs called, urging him to sell. "Fortunately, we chose the independent path"  Stoppelman says, "and I think the company is much more successful as a result."

As for how he and Simmons came up with the name for their now-ubiquitous company, they credit their early days at a business incubator.

“There was a guy we were working with, David, and he just came up with the name. He said it was like Help/Yelp or Yelp/Yellow Pages,"  Stoppelman says. "And both my and Russ’s initial response was 'Oh, that’s kind of a negative word.' But we slept on it and the next day, it was kind of history."

'Deeply rooted in Nottingham'

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 09:41
What does Nottingham hometown think of chemist chain's sale?

Two British students killed in Borneo

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 09:41
Two British medical students from Newcastle University - named as Neil Dalton and Aidan Brunger - are stabbed to death in Borneo, police say.

GP charged with sexual assaults

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 09:38
The BBC learns that a man charged with a number of sexual assaults at a County Armagh medical practice is a GP.

Israel-Palestinian talks under way

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 09:10
Indirect talks begin in Cairo between Israel and the Palestinians, after a four-week conflict in Gaza that has claimed more than 1,900 lives.

Johnson to seek 2015 Commons return

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 08:56
London Mayor Boris Johnson confirms his intention to become an MP again at next year's general election, ending months of speculation.

Warsi's replacement is announced

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 08:37
Lords chief whip Baroness Anelay of St Johns has replaced Baroness Warsi at the Foreign Office, says No 10.

First Minister confirms Games celebration

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 08:35
After their record-breaking display at Glasgow 2014, First Minister Carwyn Jones confirms a reception at the Senedd for Team Wales.

Cook 'could not walk away from role'

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 08:31
Alastair Cook says it was 'natural' for him to consider his position as England captain during the team's recent struggles.

Johnson-Thompson withdraws from Euros

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 08:30
Katarina Johnson-Thompson withdraws from the European Athletics Championships in Zurich with an ongoing foot injury.

Minister 'determined' to axe Trident

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 08:30
The Scottish government wants immediate discussions to remove Trident from Scotland following a referendum "Yes" vote, minister says.

Wikipedia 'not perfect but improving'

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 08:26
The site's founder Jimmy Wales says that Wikipedia is "pretty good" and "comparable to traditional encyclopedias".

Cocaine haul in Spanish navy ship

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 08:22
Spanish police say they have seized 127kg of cocaine located in a storeroom of a navy training ship searched in Cadiz.

Sprint Names New CEO, As T-Mobile Bid Is Said To Crumble

NPR News - Wed, 2014-08-06 08:07

The proposed merger was supposed to create a new company to challenge the behemoths Verizon and AT&T. The new CEO intimated that Sprint is prepared to go it alone.

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A State Court Says Rap Lyrics Can't Be Used As Evidence In A Criminal Trial

NPR News - Wed, 2014-08-06 08:02

Code Switch recently wrote about the practice of using violent hip-hop lyrics as evidence in criminal cases. Now a New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled on that very issue.

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Emergency cash after floods 'mayhem'

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 07:54
Emergency payments are to be made to flood victims following torrential rain that caused 'mayhem' across parts of Northern Ireland on Tuesday night.

#SexySocialism and the Scottish debate

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 07:45
And other trends from Scotland's big TV debate

Walgreens to buy up Alliance Boots

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 07:41
High Street chemist Alliance Boots is to be bought up by US pharmacy giant Walgreens, with the new firm to be called Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Man jailed for life for party murder

BBC - Wed, 2014-08-06 07:33
A man who stabbed a friend to death after a failed romance with his sister is jailed for life for his murder.
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