The geeks behind caustic Web 2.0 review site Uncov threw down Friday night at SoMa's Mars Bar. There were no demos, no sponsors, and not a blue shirt in sight. Instead, there was a lot of drinking. My kind of scene. A few months after launching the site, writers Ted Dziuba, Kyle Shank, and Matt Kent decided to venture into the physical world and actually meet some of the people they profiled — the ones who were brave enough to attend, anyway. It was billed as a "Drink the Pain Away" night, and, yes, that description was very, very apt. Uncov, of course, prides itself on being the anti-TechCrunch, and its meet-and-greet reflected that spirit. Unlike the uptight, identically dressed sycophants atTechCrunch9, the crowd at Mars Bar was vibrant, loud, and fun. And drunk. Very very drunk.
There was no pressure to pass out business cards or pretend to listen to a pitch out of politeness. But the Uncov guys are sly. They have an angle, like everyone else in the Valley. They're running Uncov, advertising-free, just to get attention — and then, when they launch their stealth startup, they're going to milk that attention for everything it's worth. Add to that this guarantee: Their company is the one startup that will never get savaged in Uncov. It's just so cynical it might work.
But besides that hidden scheme, it was just a night out at the bar with your sarcastic know-it-all coworkers. "We're less than 30 years old! Nothing we do now is going to have repercussions in the future!" Uncov writer Ted Dziuba cheerfully slurred towards the end of the night, after the shots of Patron but before he started flashing the shocker in almost every picture he posed for.
Other guests were just as charming. AdBrite salesman Joel Sacks, after trying to steal videographer Sarah Meyers's camera, spilled an entire pint on himself and spent the rest of the night smelling of stale beer. When Meyers pointed her camera towards Friendster and Socializr founder Jonathan Abrams, he pretended he couldn't speak English, mumbling gibberish instead. The chaos was capped off by Forbin Group biz-devver Cindy Phung shouting "Geeks gone wild!" If only.
And of course, there were the haters. "I liked these guys before the started getting on the scene," said one guy by the bar, as if he were complaining that his favorite indie band was picked up by MTV.
Not like the Uncov guys are all that cool, really, when you get right down to it. Dziuba drinks whiskey sours, the same cocktail my 93-year-old grandmother orders on a night on the town. And his wife Julia is adorable and way too hot for him. Watch out, guys: I'm going to be exploring this Silicon Valley phenomenon of the too-hot wife soon.
Speaking of too hot, Pownce engineer Leah Culver was upset that her new relationship with LiveJournal founder Brad Fitzpatrick, who plans to celebrate the conclusion of his still-pending divorce next month, didn't merit a Valleywag post. Oh, Leah. If we posted all the things we heard about you, what fun would that be? A lot of fun, actually. "Hot swap," indeed.