I like how New York Times reporter Brad Stone ends his doom-and-gloom trend piece in today's paper — with a quote from a man who has more reason to be paranoid and jaded than most, failed Friendster founder Jonathan Abrams. Abrams, who now runs a six-person startup called Socializr, says he's prepared to “hunker down if things go bad," a scenario he's certainly familiar with. Then like some man on the corner wearing a sandwich board, Abrams rails against all what Stone describes as the "uninspired, copycat entrepreneurs" of Silicon Valley who are "obsessed with the internal gossip and minutiae of the industry."“The economy is tanking and people are arguing about whether they should go to Demo or TechCrunch,” Abrams told the Times. “Few companies sound like they are breaking new ground. It’s like, ‘Here is Twitter for dogs.’ And people still think they are going to get rich by being a blogger.” Hm. Twitter for dogs does sound pretty lame. But then, so did "Friendster for college students."
Richard Kimber, managing director of Southeast Asian operations at Google, won't be moving into the search giant's new Sydney offices. Instead, he'll serve as the new CEO of Friendster — probably enticed by a healthy share of the early social network's latest $20 million in venture capital. While it remains to be seen if Kimber can help the company's investors limp to liquidity (read: trolling for cash with Friendster's social network patents), he can probably introduce Friendster founder Jonathan Abrams to all sorts of Vietnamese hotties.
Digg cofounder Jay Adelson is now asked by the likes of Kara Swisher how he'd fix big media companies, as in this clip. But there was a time when he barely knew what to do with his own Internet startup, Equinix. That tale and more covers 54 out of 294 pages in Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good, Sarah Lacy's soon-to-be-released book about Web 2.0. The first page of the book's index, one of many to come:
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.
With Facebook friends like these, who needs enemies? Noah Kagan, who left his job at the social network abruptly in mid-2006, now has a Facebook group in his honor: "Boycott Facebook until Noah Kagan is re-hired!" Valley prankster and Friendster founder Jonathan Abrams created the group. We pinged Kagan, who's now working happily at online personal-finance startup Mint.com and blogging at Okdork.com. Kagan, when pinged on IM, was as bemused as we were to hear about the group, but had no idea why Abrams was starting it a year after his departure. The Facebook group, however, might not be telling the whole story about the Facebooker's departure: A well-placed tipster says Kagan was fired for leaking company secrets to TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington.