With Thanksgiving just a few weeks away, it’s the time of year to pause and reflect on what to be thankful for. And with 2013 being another great year for startups and tech, business owners, techies, and geeks from around the world should be thankful for another awesome year. So, here are five things to give thanks for as you gather around the dinner table on November 28th.




Square, the mobile payment and merchant account provider founded by Jack Dorsey (co-founder of Twitter) and Jim McKelvey, continues to generate interest in 2013. The Square Reader, a small plastic device that accepts credit card payments by connecting to the audio jack of a mobile phone was embraced by small businesses following its 2010 release. Today, Square offers a full line of payment products including Square POS which allows customers to leave their wallet at home and pay for goods and services through their mobile phone (Starbucks being one merchant who has adopted the POS system). In 2013, Square released Square Market, a free online store for merchants, and Square Cash, and email money transfer program that allows users to send money via email by simply CC’ing Square Cash and entering the dollar amount in the subject line.


As consumers, let’s be thankful that Square is continuing to push for innovation in the mobile payments industry.





Since 2005, oDesk has been connecting businesses with freelancers from all over the world via the Internet. With more than $1 billion in contracts paid, oDesk is the number one online job marketplace in the world. Last month, oDesk launched Upstarts, a global startup accelerator program. In partnership with over 20 accelerators, oDesk’s Upstarts aims to help startups source talent by breaking down typical hiring barriers – management of talent, geographical obstacles, and hiring risks.


This Thanksgiving, let’s be grateful to oDesk for committing to aiding the development of startups around the world.



The cloud-based boat rental site has been making waves (no pun intended) with its easy-to-use platform and handy features. Since its launch in late 2012, over 10,000 watercrafts have been listed on GetMyBoat (GMB) and the peer-to-peer site has been featured on Fox Business. Developed by NapkinBetaBeyond, the GeyMyBoat app is available for iOS and Android.


Check out the NapkinBetaBeyond-GetMyBoat case study to learn about how feedback, flexibility, and partnerships helped launch GMB.


Boat owners: It’s time to be thankful for having a new stream of revenue available to you courtesy of GMB.





Netflix is still only $8

The monthly fee for Netflix’s on-demand internet streaming service is still $8 and has been since 2010. Despite putting out original content like Orange is the New Black, Arrested Development (Season 4), and the Emmy Award-winning House of Cards and signing distribution contracts with Disney in the past year, the monthly fee has yet to increase. In that same period (2010-2013), the average movie ticket price has risen by 2.03%.  


TV and movie aficionados should be thankful for Netflix’s steady price and keep their fingers crossed that 2014 won’t see any fee increases.


CrowdStrike Technology

Data security company CrowdStrike is taking a new approach to threat protection. Using a defense method it calls “active defense,” CrowdStrike actively searches out hackers and attackers. “[S]ecurity companies look for malware and software exploits, but they change constantly. And new ones are launched by the hundreds of thousands each day,” explains co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch. “At CrowdStrike we look for traces of the adversary and try to find out who the adversary is, what they are after, and what their tradecraft is. We also disseminate that information to enable collective action.”


Alperovitch was recently named to MIT’s 2013 list, 35 Innovators Under 35 making us thankful that someone is taking a new innovative approach to data security.




What else should startups and techies be thankful for this Thanksgiving? Let us know @NapkinBetaBeyond.