ATHERTON — I'm told I left the party too early, but once Third Eye Blind started playing, Thursday night's iLike bash was pretty much over for me. Don't get me wrong — I like Third Eye Blind. It's right in tune with my utterly bland and more than slightly gay musical tendencies. But this is exactly why I will never, ever use a service like iLike, which makes a Facebook app that allows you to reveal your musical taste, or lack thereof, to your friends by posting songs, and find people with similar tastes by seeing who's going to concerts. Here's the thing: I know my taste in music is egregiously bad. I don't want to advertise the fact to the world, and if anything, I want to meet people who specifically dislike the music I listen to. That's all right, though — what I really wanted to listen to was the buzz in the room.
As I walked into the swank backyard of Marc Bodnick, the Elevation Partners managing director who is, unlike private-equity colleagues Bono and Roger McNamee, not a rock star, I was instantly handed a mango margarita and surrounded by men with mustaches. "What is this? The Edge?" I thought to myself. But it turns out that the Castro-conformist facial-hair regime wasn't the result of the gay mafia; no, it was just one of those Silicon Valley workplace motivational schemes gone horribly wrong. iLike CEO Ali Partovi abstained, but twin brother Hadi, the company's COO, joined in. He's in the upper left of the above collage, joined by various employees.
Snacky but control-freaky PR doyenne Brooke Hammerling tried to stop me from taking pictures, but I snuck away, whipped out of the camera, and went crazy documenting the iLike team's unfortunate facial hair. They even offered to supply a disposable razor and shaving cream so I could convert my goatee to the preferred look. I declined.
The party was ostensibly for iLike, but there was a big contingent of Facebookers, pumped from their second ultimate-frisbee win against Google. Founder Mark Zuckerberg showed up, and we made small talk about his sister Randi's burgeoning online video career. Then I sat down to dinner with Ron Conway, the angel investor, who affected a lack of concern about the meltdown in the markets. He did seem a bit distracted, though. Could the rumors be true that he just lost a big local deal to out-of-town venture capitalists?
Speaking of power VCs, as I was talking to Conway, VentureBeat blogger Matt Marshall pointed out semiretired Kleiner Perkins partner Vinod Khosla to Eric Eldon, one of his writers. It was a really good turnout — especially considering that Bodnick and iLike were competing with a private, but well-attended, August Capital event just down Sand HIll Road. I'd tell you more, but much of the night was off the record. Good thing, too, as I had one too many mango margaritas.