Startups

Tech Tuesday: Halloween Edition

We take Hallow’s Eve very seriously here at Valley Girl, and with Halloween right around the corner, some of us have been left to scramble for costumes.  Without wanting to sacrifice dedication for store-bought options, we are thanking our valley stars for our new favorite crafty find, and our Tech Tuesday pick of the week: Craftsy.

On their Apple App Store page, Crafsty describes their app as having “more than 500 online classes in photography, cake decorating, cooking, painting, drawing, quilting, knitting, sewing, embroidery, jewelry making and beyond, so you can gain the skills you need to succeed.”
So if you really want to be Sharknado or the San Francisco Giants’ adorable mascot Lou Seal but don’t feel like Martha Stewart in the craft closet, no problem!!  Craftsy will walk you through dozens of how-to’s for crafting, sewing, even making decorations for that perfect last-minute Halloween party complete with mulled cider.
So break out those glue guns, bust out those sewing machines, and whip up some snazzy costumes to Trick-or-Treat the night away.

We’d love to see your favorite costumes, so be sure to Tweet or Instagram @valleygirlshow with the hashtag #valleygirlhalloween for a chance to be featured next week on our blog!  And be sure to tune in every Tuesday as we launch our weekly installments of “Tech Tuesday”!  Happy Halloween, and of course, keeping with the black and orange theme, Go Giants!!

Craftsy Valley Girl Jesse Draper Halloween Craftsy Valley Girl Jesse Draper Halloween

Our New Set by Laurel & Wolf

You may have noticed on the TV pilot of The Valley Girl Show with Jesse Draper that the Valley Girl has changed her look -- in more ways than one!  To celebrate her big move from the computer screen to the TV screen, the Valley Girl decided that a fresh new look for her set was in order, so Jesse called upon her friends at Laurel & Wolf, an online home design company (for which she is an investor!) to do what they do best.  

At Laurel & Wolf, multiple designers competed to fulfil our vision, and then we picked the winning design within our budget, including a style board, a furniture plan, shopping list, along with instructions for the designer.   Their 3-step process was so efficient!  

Here's the skinny on how it works: 1. Tell them about your space.  Take the style quiz and create a room profile.  They ask you a few questions to get a feel for your space and your needs, and then you chose a package and lauch the contest between the Laurel & Wolf designers, all based in the U.S., competing to create your dream space.  2. You'll then recieve multiple designs from their network of professional designers.  You can give the designers feedback during the contest so that they can improve their designs.  3. Finally, choose the winning design!  L&W guarantees (100% money-back!) that you'll walk away with a design you'll love!

We couldn’t be happier with the Valley Girl’s new set!  Since L&W works with both residential and commercial spaces (including hospitality, retail, space planning, home staging, project management, and event design!) which space of yours will you use them for?  

#getyourdesignon     Also, be sure to check out their blog for a little design inspiration! 

Here's a pic of our original set from our web show days! We certainly were thinking pink!

The Valley Girl Show Laurel and Wolf

This is one of the design boards we were sent from the Laurel & Wolf design team.  While we didn't end up going with it, we absolutely adore its feminie feel! 

The Valley Girl Show Laurel and Wolf Design Board

Below is a picture of the winning design board that our team picked!  While we will always love pink, we love how this design mixes it up with a touch of teal! 

The Valley Girl Show Laurel and Wolf design board option 2

Can't forget the finished product! Here's a behind the scenes shot of the new set!  Thank you so much Laurel & Wolf!! We LOVE our new VGS stage! 

The Valley Girl Show Set Laurel and Wolf

The Valley Girl Show Set Jesse Draper

More about our latest guests…

Richard Berwick, Co-Founder of Twindom

Twindom uses a special camera and rotating platform to capture a 3D scanning of you! Twins are used for many occasions from wedding cake toppers, to capturing new beginnings, accomplishments, and more! Check out Twindom’s website to book your own 3D Photo Session today! 

Website: twindom.com 
Twitter: @Twindom3D
Instagram: @Twindom3D

 

Suneel Gupta, Founder and CEO of Rise

Rise is the diet app that allows you to have a private nutrition expert right in your pocket! Visit the Rise website to read on inspiring weight-loss stories and download the app!

Website: rise.us
Twitter: @Rise

 

Alisa Gould-Simon, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Pose

Pose is the “Instagram of Fashion,” it is the app that helps you buy, sell, and trade clothes! Pose is available for iOS and Android, download the app today!

Website: Pose.com
Twitter: @Pose
Instagram: @PoseApp

 

Todd Wagner, Billionaire Philanthropist and Founder of Chideo

Chideo (Charity + Video= Chideo) allows users to inexact with their favorite celebrities all in the name of doing good. Chideo was recently named Best New App in the App Store!

Website: Chideo.com
Twitter: @Chideo
Instagram: @Chideo

 

94Fifty is a GPS Basketball that connects to your smartphone and helps you improve on your basketball techniques. The ball is set to measure shot arc, release, backspin, dribble power and more!

Website: shop.94Fifty.com
Twitter: @94Fifty
Instagram: @94Fifty


Jesse
and Rick Barry had blast playing a 1 on 1 game with the 94Fifty basketball! 

Website: RickBarry24.com 

 

Google Glass 

Google Glass is the handsfree computer you can wear, Jesse is now a Glass Explorer! 

Website: www.google.com/glass
Twitter: @googleglass
Instagram: @googleglass

 

The Valley Girl's 5 Tips for Startup Success

5 tips for startup success

1. No one is an island. Isolation rarely leads to success. Everyone needs support from time to time! Find people with similar passion and dissimilar ways of thinking, whether they’re mentors or friends who believe in you, your mission, and who can give good advice.

2. Believe wholeheartedly in your product. You will be spending days and nights and weekends and all of your free time on this company.  Throwing 100% of your energy into something you aren’t passionate about is draining. You passion will shine through to your employees and investors. 

3. Stick with It. If you believe in your company, you should see it through. If your heart if halfway in it, maybe being an entrepreneur isn’t the right path. 

4. The customer is always right. If you are consumer facing, listen to what your customers want and adapt accordingly. Know when to pivot. Change isn’t bad. Missions change. Companies change. Don’t assume you’re the smartest person on the subject. 

5. Be Fearless. There are large companies out there. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for your company. If you don’t believe in your product, why should your investors? 

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” —Steve Jobs

And be sure to tune into the television premiere of "The Valley Girl Show with Jesse Draper" on Sunday, August 3 on KICU channel 36! 

Bikini Season Gets Technical

The Valley Girl reviews her favorite apps and gadgets to get in shape this summer!

Gain Fitness      http://gainfitness.com/

The skinny: While we’ve cherished our love/hate relationships with personal trainers in the past, we’ve been loving the fact that we can carry free personal trainers around in our pockets. The Gain team has sought out experts for their favorite exercises and tips, putting them into one app for you to rock the workout room, hotel room, or any room. 

Gain app

Why it’s fab: Workouts are customized based on your fitness level, goals, and time constraints. Their tracking tool gives you the satisfaction of knowing you’re on your way to chiseled abs and buns of steel, even when you can’t see the results in the mirror yet. Find every kind of workout from bodybuilding to yoga routines, and read the trainer tips if you’re not sure how the praying mantis pose is supposed to look. 

Price: Free; upgrade to Premium Packs for $5-$10. 

Vally Girl verdict:
There’s enough variety in the app’s workouts and enough available YouTube videos you can search separately that paying for an upgrade might only be worth it if Jillian Michaels is your spirit animal.


Cyclemeter
    https://abvio.com/cyclemeter/

The skinny: In the Silicon Valley, packs of cyclists on the road are about as common as taxi cabs in NYC. While there aren’t as many cycling apps as running apps, cyclists rejoice -- in the case of Cyclemeter, quality beats quantity. 

cyclemeter gps

Why it’s fab:
It tracks, maps, records, and compiles all of your rides and data into beautiful graphs. Plus, Cyclemeter isn’t only limited to biking. It can track loads of other activities, too. Leave your Garmin at home, because this is one app we’d love to ride away with. 

Price: Free; upgrade to Elite $4.99. 

Valley Girl verdict:
If you’ve already spent hundreds on the bike and spandex shorts, the five bucks you’ll spend here is more than worth the splurge for what you’ll get out of it.


HealthTap
     https://www.healthtap.com/

The skinny: How many times have you just wanted to ask your doctor a question, embarrassing or otherwise, without having to schedule a full fledged appointment? “I’ll find the answer online myself,” you say. One sniffle and three clicks later, the internet tells you that your common cold is actually a cancerous tumor superinfection. With HealthTap, get all of your medical mysteries answered by an actual human doctor, no waiting room required. 
HealthTap
Why it’s fab: Explore their free database, or for a small fee, ask a doctor you trust any specific private question you may have, and your M.D. will answer you right away in 150 characters (or longer for an extra nominal fee). HealthTap is the affordable, accessible health clinic of the future. 

Price:
Free to search their database; $.99 per specific question. 

Valley Girl verdict:
According to HealthTap, 1/4 of all doctors visits are informational Q&A sessions. While a dollar per question might seem like a lot, when you consider that the average co-pay is $29 and that waiting for an appointment slot to open up can take days, we’ll definitely give HealthTap a shot the next time we need an expert opinion.


MyFitnessPal
     http://www.myfitnesspal.com/

The skinny:
Of course we know that gimmicky fad diets and cleanses aren’t the healthiest way to lose weight, and that we usually end up gaining all of the lost weight back, and then some. If only the proven calorie-counting method wasn’t so arduous! MyFitnessPal has solved that problem. 

Why it’s fab:
The best way to lose weight is by simply tracking the foods you eat. MyFitnessPal lets you track your foods, calories, and nutritional value easily with their website and app, making weight loss not only possible, but simple. They also have the largest food database of any iPhone calorie counter. 
MyFitnessPal
Price:
Free 

Valley Girl verdict:
Between their website syncing, barcode scanner, and recipe calorie calculator, we’ve run out of excuses to skip a day of tracking. Between this and drinking green slime, we’ll take this diet-free weight loss approach any day!


RunKeeper
     http://runkeeper.com/

The skinny: RunKeeper is the simplest way to improve and track your fitness whether it’s your first 5k, biking to work, or training for Ironman. 
RunKeeper
Why it’s fab:
While there are many, many GPS running apps, RunKeeper is our pick because in addition to calculating your standard running pace, cycling speed, route distance, elevation and calorie burn, this app gives you the option to follow pre-planned routes. You’ll know exactly how far you’re going to run beforehand, while being able to mix up the familiar mundane paths. Plus, it syncs with MyFitnessPal and hundreds of other health and fitness apps and devices. 

Price:
Free 

Valley Girl verdict: Working out isn’t fun when it’s boring. We love the pre-planned route option that changes our daily routine, and that it syncs with our new activity tracking bracelets.


Moves
     http://www.moves-app.com/

The skinny:
While activity tracking bracelets are all the rage right now, and while we do love our Jawbones and Fitbits, there is an easier, free option that won’t clash with our outfits. 

Why it’s fab:
Because we feel naked without our phones, Moves makes tracking your fitness foolproof because the app runs in the background of your phone, calculating everything from steps taken to calories burned, showing your daily activity in a simple, stylishly designed storyline. 
Moves App

Price:
Free 

Valley Girl verdict:
While we love knowing how many calories we’ve burned after vacuuming the living room, one small drawback we have to consider is that GPS apps can drain battery life, like, a lot. The creators did address this by designing Moves to use GPS sensors sparingly, and by including a Battery Saving Mode. If you have a battery boosting phone case, this could be the app for you!


Ubersense Coach
     http://www.ubersense.com/

The skinny:
Ever wish you could compare your golf swing with Tiger’s? Or your tennis serve with Maria’s? Ubersense Coach is the ultimate free private coach. Simply film your motions with the in-app HD camera, and then play it back in slow motion with their drawing tools. 
Ubersense Coach
Why it’s fab:
The analysis doesn’t stop there -- you can then compare your form side-by-side with videos of professional athletes, and even get expert feedback from instructors or watch their drills. 

Price:
Free; upgrade with Pro Packs from $4.99-$29.99. 

Valley Girl verdict:
While the Tennis Pro Pack might be worth the frappuccino price if we’re feeling particularly technical, we’re not sure that dishing out thirty big ones to also break down our bowling form would be the best way to spend our paychecks. Also, unless you have a phone or tablet stand, using this app is most likely going to be a two-person activity. Just be sure to steer clear from your local little league dads for awhile after introducing this app to them.


LG Lifeband Touch
 (On sale May 18)      http://www.lg.com/us/fitness-activity-trackers/lg-FR74-heart-rate-monitor 

The skinny:
For anyone who has ever used a chest strap heart rate monitor, you know how inconvenient and uncomfortable they are to wear, especially when wearing a sports bra isn’t optional for some of us. LG’s brand-spankin’-new heart rate monitor device doesn’t need to be worn around your chest, as a watch, or in the handles of your cardio equipment. This newfangled invention monitors your heart rate using the thing we would never go to the gym without: Ear buds.

Why it’s fab:
The HRM Earphone Heart Rate Monitor continuously monitors a full range of data including distance, calories, steps, 3-axis accelerometer direction, all without sacrificing music quality. The earphones are connected to a lightweight medallion device that serves as the data processing hub, sending real-time info via Bluetooth to the free LG Fitness app on your phone.
LG Lifeband Touch
Price:
$179.99; free app download.

Valley Girl verdict:
Heart rate monitors range from $17-$200. You pay for the increased capability of the device to compute everything from calories burned to the quality of your workout. In the case of these LG buds, you are also paying for the innovative reading method, as well as comfort and ease of use. While we have loved our chest band/watch combos because they were the best technology available, we will happily toss our sweaty, smelly bands in the bin once these go on sale. Watch out, Polar. The future is now.