Author Archives: pmarca

You have to love this industry

I know I do!

October 2:

Steve Ballmer, the Microsoft chief executive, believes that the craze for individual social networks such as Facebook risks being exposed as a “fad”…

“I think these things [social networks] are going to have some legs, and yet there’s a faddishness, a faddish nature about anything that basically appeals to younger people,” Mr Ballmer told Times Online yesterday…

[Ballmer] added that there was little in the way of technology to justify the lofted valuation attached to a site expected to achieve revenues of only $150 million this year.

“There can’t be any more deep technology in Facebook than what dozens of people could write in a couple of years. That’s for sure,” he said.

October 24:

Microsoft Corp. agreed to invest $240 million for a 1.6% stake in Facebook Inc. that values the social-networking site at $15 billion, beating Google Inc. in a closely watched contest.

As part of the deal, the two companies expanded their existing advertising agreement. Microsoft, which previously handled Facebook’s U.S. ad sales, will now also sell the site’s international advertising.

Great job for great person: Director/VP Platform Engineering at Ning

My company Ning is looking for an outstanding Director or VP of Engineering — software development — to run one of our two major development groups: Platform Engineering.

This person will be responsible for running the group that has built and is continuously expanding and scaling the Ning Platform, a unique online platform for building and running social networks and social applications of countless types and features.

This is hardcore Internet software development, at scale, using modern technologies including Java, Solaris 10, and Oracle, heavily based on web services. We strive for rapid development with lots of engineer autonomy and an ever-present focus on scale, combined with a culture of experimentation, high productivity, and relaxed fun.

This role reports to our head of engineering, and will be ideal for a highly motivated up-and-comer who wants an opportunity to knock the ball out of the park.

Ning users have already created more than 110,000 social networks, and Ning’s monetizable page views are correspondingly growing 10% per week.

Ning as a company is an outstanding group of people headquartered in Palo Alto, California and distributed all over the world. In addition to being the clear leader in our market, we are also well financed and recently raised $44 million in Series C equity funding.

Here is the formal job listing.

Here is an introduction to Ning.

If you are interested in the job, or know someone who is, please email us at jobs (at) ning (dot) com.

The Twitter-tracking continues…

Yup, can’t stop

(sailorblur): I don’t give a f***, I don’t give a f***, I don’t give a f*******************!

(pieman): I opened my back door to have a cigarette and there was a huge f*** off spider web across the outside. I screamed like a girl.

(rozic): could the ads on facebook s*** any worse? microsoft ad sales people need to wake up and go sell some real advertising

(mmpantsless): Does Qwest just intentionally f*** with their customers? Traceroute from 30 miles north of Minneapolis to dowtown St. Paul – goes through Chicago.

(cyounce): Oh. Dear. God. Bacon flavored chocolate doesn’t s***. Actually it is pretty good.

(chrisrbailey): Damn I should have asked for a quiet room, my neighbors s*** so far. The woman next door just said, “freedom is taking your bra off”.

(sjor): It can never be one thing. It has to be a whole slew of things together. F*** you, brain chemicals!

(jacksonwest): F*** Wheaties, the breakfast of champions is a slice of apple pie with cheddar cheese and a cup of coffee. That’s what I call nutrition!

(ramsey): I don’t think you’re happy enough. That’s right! I’ll teach you to be happy. I’ll teach your grandmother to s*** eggs.

(riddle): Watching a situation in supermarket. You know you s*** at parenting when your 10 year old child tries to beat you, crying.

And then there are the ones where you are just irrationally happy for the person without knowing anything else:

(moderndaymuse): Receiving a message from my stalker. Apparently he’s fed up with me and moving on. Ha ha ha ha ha Operation F*** Off – A success!

(anorexia): got the medication. thank f***.

And then there are the interesting implications of technology:

(piecesofvenus): I predict that the Razr’s prudish predictive text feature, which creates difficulty typing “f***”, will spur a linguistic change in “duck”.

(indieosaurous): P**** comes up before puppy in my predictive text.

And then there are the cautionary notes:

(polymerjones): Do not f*** with someone who straight punches a pterodactyl.

(panasonicyouth): Holy f***! Chevy Chase!

And then there are the piercing truths of the universe:

(fujikosan): people who perpetually emit unwanted sound s*** energy out of people who are quietly working

(bmf): Ever notice that “no offense” is just another way of say “f*** you”?

Twitter-tracking dirty words cont’d

I can’t get enough

(iis2tar): f***!!!!!!!!!!!!!f***!!!!!!!!!!!!!f***!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Strone): people with “cool blogs” think they are better than the rest.. f*** them..

(amyguth): Overheard in Chicago: “Yeah f*** that. REVENGE is the best revenge.”

(hellorufino): AMERICA! F*** YEAH! Coming back to save the mutherf***in day yeah!

(talulattdh): Just got the go-ahead from my sweetie to call an exterminator tomorrow! F*** YOU, STINK BUGS!!!

(wingsfrompye): taking it easy and remembering that i am smart and capable and f*** anyone else who thinks they know better than me.

(tofugrinder): Instead of telling people to F*** Off, i’m going to start saying Would You Like To Take A Survey!?

(xxxxxxx): HOLY F*** the cards fired jocketty!!!!!!!!! :O :O :O :O :O :O :O

(imthejoy): german, please put me in jail for being unable to read your f***in’ gazillions of letters!

(bynkii): there aren’t enough letters in “f*** no” to describe the f*** no-ness of the f*** no that is my answer

(yoharryo): what the f***ing f***. Actually offered on a house. Damn. That was shocking.

(Lazybastid): I swear to god, Lynch made Mulholland Drive just so people could figure out what the f*** Lost Highway was about…

(chrismetcalf): A call to Microsoft employees: Make Office 2007 not slow as f***.

(bluecanary): F*** the new Hotmail. Right in the ear, I say.

(toddcawthra): F*** HP

[Oh, good heavens, I can’t possibly endorse that one!]

And then there’s philosophy…

(PandaFace): Girls like her f*** up the good guys and good guys f***ed up by girls like her f*** up good girls.. Never ending cycle.

(stillframe): If the Germans named San Diego after a whale’s v*****, then Boston, too, was a poor translation of ‘City of A******s’…

And then you get the occasional eerie overlap…

(lizzerdrix): The old guy at the pasta shop make me feel his fresh warm ball of cheese that was just made. It felt like a b*** but I didn’t say anything.

(marksmith): Next time you hold a packet of mozzarella in your hand close your eyes and think “b***** implant”. Freaky.

And the Senator Larry Craig memorial twitters…

(bobbyshakes): F*** he is still in here

(bobbyshakes): F*** he’s knocking on the stall

Apology to the producers of the Bionic Woman (and one more question)

In my previous post, I posed 12 questions for the producers of the new television show Bionic Woman.

In question number 9, I asked, “why would you hire that creepy gay-basher dude from Desperate Housewives?”

I apologize for the clearly inappropriate and incorrect part of that question. That creepy gay-basher dude was actually in Grey’s Anatomy, not Desperate Housewives.

While I have you, question number 13!

     

  • Your third episode was a clear and direct ripoff of Jean-Claude Van Damme’sUniversal Soldier crossed with Vin Diesel’s The Pacifier. Will your fourth episode therefore be a clear and direct ripoff of Steven Seagal’s Under Siege 2: Dark Territory crossed with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Kindergarten Cop? Jamie defends a group of adorable schoolchildren on a moving passenger train targeted by scenery-chewing terrorists? Just checking.

Fun hobby of the week: Twitter-tracking dirty words

Step 1: Sign up for Twitter and link it to one of your instant messaging accounts.

Step 2: Read this.

Step 3: Set Twitter to track a dozen of the dirtiest, nastiest words you can think of.

Step 4: Soak in the glorious river of humanity.

Just a few from the last couple minutes:

(cleversimon): It’s “conscience,” not “conscious.” For f***’s sake.

(crummy_cupcake): Ant crawling across my glasses. Now I itch everywhere. F*** me.

(oncogenetic): Let me give a s*** about your tiny problem. Waah, you scratched your hand.

(ennn): Yeah, tell me how I’m not taking on enough work for [company name omitted] when I’m running on an hour of sleep after 2 midterms. F*** this.

(jeangrey): my neighbour started renovating too! freaking hammer sounds alllllll morning. F***!

(glyn): Ah f*** who am I kidding, cheap whiskey you are TOTALLY the boss of me

(vaspers): @[name removed] – You’re trolling me. You put words in my mouth, you ignore my explanations. You keep making wild accusations. F*** you, sir.

(justkatehere): Just told a boy who sorely deserved it to go f*** himself. I feel like a rockstar. JAZZ HANDS!!!!

And one I often agree with:

(AkanahJebez): hey what the f***. how am i awake.

Disclaimer: I am a small angel investor in Twitter. Which by no means reduces the amount of enjoyment I am getting out of my new fun hobby.

OK, you’re right, it IS a bubble

[IMPORTANT WARNING: What follows is satire. I’m NOT being serious. Except for one paragraph at the very end. See if you can spot that one.]

When I first started this blog four months ago, one of the first substantive posts I wrote was called “Bubbles on the brain”.

In it, I attempted to use “logic” to explain the reasons we are most likely not in another dot com bubble.

Since that time, talk of a new dot com bubble or Web 2.0 bubble or Internet bubble has only escalated in volume and intensity.

OK.

You’re right.

It’s a bubble.

A huge, massive, inflating bubble.

We’re all doomed.

Doomed, I say!

DOOMED!

It can’t last.

It won’t last.

It can’t won’t not last.

Here we sit, with over $7 billion in venture funding this year chasing exactly zero good ideas.

Paid keyword ads? All BS. Once users figure out those things on the side of the page aren’t natural search results, that’s it, no more click-throughs. Pop goes the souffle.

Ad targeting? Snort. The creme de la creme for Internet advertising, so to speak, is those acne cream banner ads you see all over Facebook. That’s it. That’s the best Internet advertising will ever be. Get used to the bottom of the barrel, suckers.

Subscription fees? Premium services? Ecommerce? Sponsorships? Mobile advertising? Mobile fee-based services? New hosting models? Video advertising? Music subscription services? In-game advertising? Massively multiplayer games? Digital gifts? Affiliate bounties? HA! Don’t make me laugh. Oh, wait — YOU JUST DID.

So people everywhere are flocking to these newfangled trendoid web sites by the tens of millions and spend hundreds of millions or billions of hours on them every month. So what. It’s all a big fad. Think hula hoops. Pet rocks. The macarena. The clock is ticking, and the 15 minutes is almost up.

Move along, move along, nothing to see here.

These are not the droids you’re looking for.

Venture capitalists? All stupid, and unnecessary to boot. Everyone knows that you shouldn’t need to raise more than $5.37 in loose change to start a new web business. I mean, c’mon.

Entrepreneurs? Smoking dope. What are they thinking? Why aren’t they all working for Apple, helping to build a fatter Nano? What’s wrong with them? Potsmoking, mussed-hair, rooftop party-going, trendy glasses-wearing, sandal-clad, Red Bull-snorting, laid-getting wankers, the lot of ’em. The sooner they realize the world never changes and there are no new opportunities to pursue, the better.

Facebook apps? Good God. So they spread virally to millions of users in a matter of weeks. Not worth anything. Everyone knows that. Can’t possibly build a business. I mean, don’t you realize what else can spread to millions of people in a matter of weeks? Do you want to catch any of those? I don’t think so!

Call off the dogs.

It’s all over.

Stick a fork in it.

It has ceased to be.

The metabolically-differenced lady has sung.

Right now this industry is just like Wile E. Coyote in the old Road Runner cartoons, ran out over the edge of the cliff, hanging in midair, gravity just about to kick in.

Think Acme servers.

Where’s it all going from here?

Now that I’ve raised a monster Series C round for my own company, all other funding of all other startups will immediately cease. No new competitors to my company need be started. There’s certainly no major opportunity in what we’re doing; why go after your fair share of a $0 dollar market?

Further, now that my company is in a rapid viral growth loop, will all the users please stop using anything new that comes along. And while you’re at it, stop using most everything else also, please. Cut it out with the fads already. Posthaste. Chop chop.

Venture capitalists, I don’t think I need to tell you what to do. OK, I do. Hand back the money you’ve raised from LPs. Quickly. Quietly. OK, now step away. Don’t make any sudden moves. Back out of the office park, slowly, slowly. Hey, look at the bright side — carried interest finally getting taxed properly won’t affect you anymore! And now you will have time to play 250 rounds of golf a year instead of just 225, and you can focus on getting your Porsche 911’s retrofitted to run on ethanol.

All you other startups funded in the last three years? Punt. Now. Liquidate the company — get whatever cash you can for the Aeron chairs and the foosball tables and the lava lamps and the RAID arrays and shut down now, hand the cash back to the investors, preferably on fire, and leave town, head down, in shame. All those young programmers and product managers can go get jobs in retail footwear where they belong.

You big companies — you eBays, you Yahoos, you Googles, you Amazons? Yes, and you, Microsoft? Think the new new B2B — back to boring. What’s with all these new products? The world is confusing enough. Shut ’em down and let’s go back to the good old days: Windows ME, Mac OS 9, dialup modems, and 640 megabytes ought to be enough for everyone. You’re just screwing us all over with all this new fancy broadband video-enabled phone-call-making wifi web-based lightweight touch-interface gorgeous long-battery-life flimflam — just look at how you keep dropping the damn prices. I knew I’d be better off not buying any of it, ever. The class action lawsuits are in the mail. And for God’s sake, raise your dividends — what, you think there’s any growth left in this industry? Fools. When the great shareholder revolt comes, you’ll be first up against the wall.

You wanton scribblers of what will now once again be referred to as the “press”, as everyone suddenly goes back to reading the news on smudgy-inked paper — start cranking up the I told you so stories. You know you’ve been wanting to tell ’em — here’s your big chance! Pulitzer is waiting.

The sooner we all get back to 2003, when the few surviving companies had huge giant markets all to themselves, with no competition anywhere in sight, because everyone knew the world had come to an end, the better.

I will accept your applause and gratitude in the form of immediate compliance.

Thank you.