Pulse grows from 1M to 11M users in 2011, works on monetization

Pulse, which makes a news reading app for Apple and Android tablets and smartphones, threw a party in the penthouse of the Kimberly Hotel last night to celebrate it big growth. “These guys offered to pay me for using our technology,” said Richard Ziade of Readability. “I should have accepted their offer.” He shook his head with a laugh, admiring the view and grabbing a slice of seared tuna off a passing tray.

America, keep rewarding your dissidents

Ever since I became an academic six years ago, I have been one of the biggest critics of U.S. competitiveness policies. I documented, for example, that we had our data wrong when it came to India and China’s advantages in engineering education and R&D, that we didn’t understand how to build innovation centers, and that our assumptions about entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship were wrong. I have been particularly vocal about America’s flawed immigration policies. I quantified the amazing contribution that skilled immigrants make in the technology industry and raised the alarm about the reverse brain drain that is in progress. I testified, assertively, to Congress, and have been badgering our political leaders to act on these important issues.

After 10M downloads in 1 year, Scan gets $1.7M from Menlo and Google Ventures to perfect QR codes

Like most people, Garrett Gee thought the experience of creating and using QR codes kind of sucked. “They were not visually appealing or user friendly,” he told VentureBeat. So as a sophmore at Bringham Young University in Utah, Gee and few friends created their own iOS app, Scan, to help users create and interact with QR codes. 10 million downloadsand less than a year later, and the startup has scored $1.7 million in funding from big names like Menlo Ventures, Google Ventures, Yuri Milner’s Start Fund, Social + Capital Partnership, and Lady Gaga manager Troy Carter.