NYC Tech Talent Draft Virtual Panel

Last week I (Emma) was honored to participate in a virtual panel for NYC Tech Talent Draft program run by NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

The goal of this valuable program is to provide computer science and engineering students from around the country with an opportunity to peek behind the scenes of NYC-based start-ups. Through this virtual panel, the students learned more about the recruitment tactics used by start-ups and received advice relevant to those thinking about starting their own companies.

I was joined by four amazing panelists and an excellent moderator. (listed below)

While I hope I provided some useful information to the participants, especially those at the idea-stage of their own business or those looking to join a very early stage NYC-based start-up, I know that the other panelists, who came from companies at various points in the lifecycle, provided practical, thoughtful advice for the next stage. I, myself, found it useful.

If you’re interested in the NYC start-up scene or considering a position with a start-up, watch this video!



Blinkbuggy: Emma Weisberg, Founder & CEO

Bow & Drape: Helen Pan, Director of Finance and Partnerships

ChatID: Dan Herman, CEO & Co-Founder

FoodToEat.com: Deepti Sharma Kapur, Founder and CEO

Preo: Robert Estelle, CTO & Co-Founder


Gust: Justin Cina, Marketing Director


iPhoneography: Dos and Don’ts

6 tips from our very own founder and CEO, Emma Weisberg, to ensure your iPhone is the only camera you need when baby arrives

iPhoneography. Can you believe that’s become a word? Mobile phone photography has become an artform of its own. Digital cameras are everywhere — reportedly even the Chicago Sun Times laid off their full-time photographers in place of outfitting their journalists with iPhones.

You may not aspire to be a professional-caliber photographer, but you probably want to take nice shots. Parents, in particular, frequently take thousands of smartphone photos of their kids, striving to document each milestone and joyous moment. You don’t want to look back years later and ask, what is that blurry thing in our living room? Here are the Top 3 Dos and Don’ts for basic iPhoneography.

1. DO: Find the right light!
This is the most basic rule in all photography, but it’s even more critical with camera phones. Note that ‘good’ light doesn’t necessarily mean the brightest light. For example, harsh, direct sunlight can cause unwanted shadows on your subject’s face. Bright, non-direct light, such as an overcast day or an open shaded area on a bright day, is ideal. If you are indoors, professional child photographer Julie Campell recommends north-facing windows for beautiful non-direct light!

JCampbell012. DO: Use the Volume button
Use the volume control on the iPhone, rather than the shutter button, to snap photos. This way you reduce camera shake because you push on the frame instead of the screen. To take it even further, you can do this using the volume up button on your headphones. This means you can stand your iPhone up on a table and use your headset to trigger the shutter – wobbleless!

3. DO: Apply the Rule of Thirds
The Rule of Thirds is a basic rule of composition in photography. The guideline proposes that an image should be imagined as divided by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two vertical lines. Important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. The Rule of Thirds is also a nice reminder to get away from always centering your subject. Great news: the iPhone will show you a grid if you ask for it (aka, turn it on), so you don’t need to try to image the grid in your mind.

Now that you have the grid, here’s how to use it:
1. Put the subject of your photo in one of the four intersections between guidelines, not in the center.
2. If your subject looks in a direction or does a movement, then put the subject on the vertical line more distant from the edge in which the action ends, so as to create a movement in the picture, from one side to the other
3. If you are more interested in the sky, put the horizon line on the lower horizontal guideline (vice versa if interested in the ground).
Image Credit.

4. Don’t: Zoom
Don’t zoom with your phone, zoom with your body. The iPhone doesn’t have an optical zoom, only a digital zoom, which means that your photos will have fewer pixels as you zoom in, which results in blurry, pixelated looking photos. If you use your body as the zoom and get closer to your subjects, the iPhone will be able to absorb more detail.

5. Don’t: Over edit
We all love to use those Instagram filters but the sad truth is that filters and fun effects decrease the quality of our photos. Emil Pakarkis from iphonephotographyschool.com warns us that default filter strength is almost always too strong and the quality of your photos suffers so use post-processing if and only if it helps you enhance the feel or message of that photo. Try an app like Snapseed that gives you full control over the power of the filter and all the adjustments you make.

6. Don’t: Use Flash
It’s tempting to use flash when we can’t find good light, but don’t do it unless it’s absolutely necessary! In addition to causing red-eye, the flash can also ruin your low-light photos by adding a glare and making colors cold and unnatural.

Bonus Tip! Here’s an extra Do, specific to photographing our kids, from photographer, mom and founder of Begift, Tamara Kate: Get on their Level. As a general rule, always get down on their level vs. shooting from standing. But have fun and switch up perspectives too! Put the camera on the floor, walk outside of the room for a pan-back, shoot aerially from above.

Image credit: Leanna Lofte 

Homepage image source.


Facing Your Fears: A lesson from my 5 year old daughter

As a parent, I like to think I have some things of value to teach my kids. If my childhood reactions serve as any indicator, some of those lessons will be accepted with thanks while others will be rebelled against under the inarguable fact that they know better (read: teenager). In the end, I can only hope that the “life” lessons my wife and I try to teach our kids will be heard, if not listened to, and absorbed to come to their aid and guide them when they need them. Continue reading


That 80’s Vibe!

For those of you who are old enough to remember the 80’s, you well know that there are some things best forgotten. Like what, you ask? Allow me to remind you.


The horror.  The horror.

I’m sorry I had to do that to you.  The big hair, the leg-warmers, the parachute pants and, of course, the massive shoulder pads are all things that most of us who lived through those dark times would rather forget. But there is one thing from the 80s that cannot be denied: the music! Yes, it was cheesy, but it was impossible to ignore and, let’s be honest, it was good! That’s why I just had to share this amazing transformation of the Game of Thrones theme song by Steve Duzz to a tune that would feel right at home in the 80’s.  Enjoy!

Liad Spiro

COO, Husband to CEO, Blinkbuggy user, and rehabilitated mullet-sporter



Blinkbuggy Reflections: Father-Daughter Bond

We really love this heart-warming story of how a father connected with his daughter through napkin notes he put in her lunch. Let us know some of the unique ways you’ve connected with your kids.



Blinkbuggy Grab Bag: The “Dying” Arts? Not here!

Hello Blinkbuggy-ers!  Every now and then, while exploring the “interweb”, I come across things that, for one reason or another, just blow my mind and put a smile on my face.  This is one of them.  For many of you out there, when you think of the Banjo, the first thing that comes to mind is some backwoo….well, let’s just say it’s not always complementary.  But, in the right hands (I’m looking at you Bela Fleck, Steve Martin [yes, that Steve Martin!]) the Banjo is an amazingly beautiful and “happy” instrument.  So it was with real surprise and some awe that I came across the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys.  These incredibly talented artists are also KIDS!  Not one of them is older than 16 and yet they play their instruments as if they were born playing, which I guess, considering there age, is entirely possible.  Amidst the national debate about where (and if) the arts fit in to our kids education, things like this continually confirm my conviction that they do.  After all, look how happy these kids look…and they’re on TED!  Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Happy Memories!

Liad Spiro

COO, Husband to Founder & CEO, and Blinkbuggy User


Blinkbuggy Grab Bag: NYC Tips and Etiquette

We love New York City.  Granted, we’ve been here for a while so it’s possible that we no longer see the “forest from the trees” when it comes to those little things that make it special.  You know: garbage, honking, yelling, general lack of courtesy (not us, of course!).  We can appreciate how it may be a little overwhelming…especially if it’s your first time visiting.  Well, to help you make your visit to the Big Apple as enjoyable as possible, we’d like to share some basic NYC tips and etiquette suggestions courtesy of Nathan Pyle (http://www.nathanwpyle.com/).  Check it out at the link below.  At the very least, you’ll be a little better prepared to tackle the concrete jungle.