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Posts Tagged ‘Caterina Fake’

FOMO For the Holidays

November 25th, 2011 11:00 admin View Comments

fomo-fear-of-missing-out_design.pngAre you one of those people that aren’t satisfied with the number of your Facebook friends, even if you have more than the average number of 190 as I mentioned in this article earlier in the week.

Are you always checking your Facebook page to see what your friends are doing?

Do you get the feeling you are missing out on something big when you choose to stay home rather than get all dolled up for a night out on the town?

If so, you might be suffering from FOMO, for fear of missing out. This isn’t a new phenomenon: Marshall quoted Caterina Fake’s blog post from March in an article he wrote earlier this summer. But as we move into the end of year holidays, it can be a bigger issue.

“If you’re honest, the things you miss out on don’t always sound as amazing as other people say they are,” says Sophia Dembling writing on Psychology Today’s blog. She goes on to talk about how social media, like many things, is both the creator and the cure for FOMO.

Perhaps some of it is just envy. Just as in middle school, we want to be among the popular group, the trendsetters. This reminds me of the Morrissey video, We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful. (A modern musical version, perhaps, of this maxim by François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld: “In the misfortunes of our friends, we take no small pleasure.”)

In our article asking about how often you are on Facebook, the number of people who check their Facebook pages hourly surprised me, meaning that it was too low an estimate.

rem01.jpgIn my experience, it is almost continuous monitoring for the 20-somethings that I know. It is now de rigueur to place your phones on the table when you go out to eat, so they can be available at a moment’s notice. This indicates to me that someone would rather not be present, no matter where they are.

Back in the olden times when we didn’t have cell phones, restaurants brought landline phones over to your table when you were expecting an important call. Only movie moguls did this, however.

So here are some suggestions. Close the laptop. Set your phone on vibrate. Go read a book and enjoy the solitude. Or go someplace new with a friend, and just focus on each other. Watch a movie and really focus on what is going on with it. Live in the moment and enjoy what you are doing. Even for just a few minutes each day.

Call it a FOMO break.

FOMO logo c/o KentDesign

Source: FOMO For the Holidays

Why We Often Blindside Companies

June 20th, 2011 06:47 admin View Comments

A couple of weeks ago I apologized to the CEO of AdMeld for writing about their acquisition without even contacting him to let him know beforehand or ask for a comment. He wrote back “the call would have been nice.”

I know how frustrating this is because news about me has broken more than once without me getting that call. But I understand. Sometimes a story is breaking so fast (the AdMeld example) or you don’t know/trust the entrepreneur, that you have to write without contacting them first.

The problem is they might just break the news themselves or through another blogger. It happens a lot. It definitely happens to our competitors a lot because I’m often the one getting that call.

Some entrepreneurs we trust a lot, and I’m comfortable talking to them beforehand so they can plan for the post, tell employees, etc.

And others I don’t trust so much. Caterina Fake just fell into that second category.

Late last week I learned that she was pretty far along on her next startup and that she’d raised a round of financing from True Ventures and others. Because I have a very long relationship with her, and respect her a lot, I reached out about the funding. And today she broke the news herself.

Most readers will think this is just fine. And in fact it is just fine. But this is the second time Caterina has done this, and so it’ll be the last time she ever knows we’re writing a story about her or her startups before it’s published.

Last year when she left Hunch it was an extremely sordid situation, with a lot of personal accusations flying between her and cofounder Chris Dixon. Because of some very chatty people close to the company I had all the details about her leaving, and why.

And I never posted. All through summer 2010 and beyond, I let the story go, even just the basic details that she was leaving the company. In the Fall it was becoming clear that the news was going to break anyway, and I contacted Fake to find the tasteful way to write about it. Shortly afterwards she did the same thing she did today, just wrote a blog post with the news.

The blog post, wich mentions me, was a fantastic lie.

I didn’t expect when I returned I’d be met with speculation that I’m leaving Hunch. Reporters calling me (Hi Mike!) asking if it’s true. But I’m a full time employee, and I just took a vacation. :-/

Then later on Quora she revised that position:

Technically I am still a full time employee at Hunch but am changing roles due to the pivot the company has taken. The press is pushing me to make a decision about what role that would be long before I’m ready to announce anything. Chris and I have talked about various options: I can stay at the company, stay on as an advisor, and I’m trying to figure out the capacity in which I can do the most good for Hunch.

I do not plan to abandon Hunch as they are my friends and colleagues and I want Hunch to succeed. Yes, staying on as an advisor is the most likely scenario.

Both stories were, well, lies. She’d stopped working at Hunch full time six months before she wrote any of this, and the reason she stopped working with the company had nothing to do with the press pushing her, or with “the pivot the company had taken.”

I’m still not going to write about why Fake really left Hunch, because it’s not something that should be written. But one thing I’m pretty sure about is this – Fake won’t be getting any calls from me in the future to give her a heads up that we’re breaking news about her startup.

Source: Why We Often Blindside Companies

Glitch Has Finally Ironed Itself Out: Beta Next Week And $10.7 Million In New Funds

April 12th, 2011 04:06 admin View Comments

It has been well over a year since we first looked at Glitch, a new massively multiplayer online game from Tiny Speck. At the time, they were in their very early alpha stage, but co-founder Stewart Butterfield expected a full beta to happen later in the year. Obviously, that never happened. Despite progress, Glitch remained in alpha. But next week, the game finally opens up to beta testing, Butterfield has announced today.

Also announced: Tiny Speck has raised a fresh $10.7 million Series B round from Andreessen Horowitz and Accel to spur the full-on push.

Anticipation for Glitch has been high since its inception in part because of the talent working on it. Butterfield co-founded Flickr and brought former Flickr head of engineering Cal Henderson along with him on this new project. The team had also recruited top designer Daniel Burka, who worked on the project for well over a year until his departure last week to start the new incubator Milk with former Digg alum Kevin Rose. Other Tiny Speck co-founders include Eric Costello and Serguei Mourachov.

Interestingly enough, Glitch marks a return of sorts to the idea that eventually led to Flickr: Game Neverending. That MMO had a photo-sharing aspect that eventually became the focus for Butterfield and co-founder Caterina Fake. Then Yahoo scooped them up and now it’s the Flickr we all know and love today despite Yahoo’s questionable guidance.

Butterfield notes that while beta testing is starting next week, there are still “tens of thousands” of users waiting to get access, so the roll-out will be gradual.

Along with the new funding, Andreessen Horowitz general partner John O’Farrell will join the Tiny Speck board.

Source: Glitch Has Finally Ironed Itself Out: Beta Next Week And $10.7 Million In New Funds

Glitch Has Finally Ironed Itself Out: Beta Next Week And $10.7 Million In New Funds

April 12th, 2011 04:06 admin View Comments

It has been well over a year since we first looked at Glitch, a new massively multiplayer online game from Tiny Speck. At the time, they were in their very early alpha stage, but co-founder Stewart Butterfield expected a full beta to happen later in the year. Obviously, that never happened. Despite progress, Glitch remained in alpha. But next week, the game finally opens up to beta testing, Butterfield has announced today.

Also announced: Tiny Speck has raised a fresh $10.7 million Series B round from Andreessen Horowitz and Accel to spur the full-on push.

Anticipation for Glitch has been high since its inception in part because of the talent working on it. Butterfield co-founded Flickr and brought former Flickr head of engineering Cal Henderson along with him on this new project. The team had also recruited top designer Daniel Burka, who worked on the project for well over a year until his departure last week to start the new incubator Milk with former Digg alum Kevin Rose. Other Tiny Speck co-founders include Eric Costello and Serguei Mourachov.

Interestingly enough, Glitch marks a return of sorts to the idea that eventually led to Flickr: Game Neverending. That MMO had a photo-sharing aspect that eventually became the focus for Butterfield and co-founder Caterina Fake. Then Yahoo scooped them up and now it’s the Flickr we all know and love today despite Yahoo’s questionable guidance.

Butterfield notes that while beta testing is starting next week, there are still “tens of thousands” of users waiting to get access, so the roll-out will be gradual.

Along with the new funding, Andreessen Horowitz general partner John O’Farrell will join the Tiny Speck board.

Source: Glitch Has Finally Ironed Itself Out: Beta Next Week And $10.7 Million In New Funds

Flickr Head of Product Steps Down: Is It an Omen?

March 14th, 2011 03:26 admin View Comments

While Yahoo has said that it is “absolutely committed” to social picture sharing site Flickr, the same might not be said for the folks at the top of the company. Today, Flickr head of product Matthew Rothenberg announced that he would be “stepping away from Flickr,” the third such departure since Flickr co-founders Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake left in 2008.

Can Flickr hang on in the photo sharing realm or will other niche social photo sharing services and Facebook – the biggest photo sharing site on the Internet – take its place?

Rothenberg made the announcement on his Twitter account today, writing “Here goes: after 5 years, I will be stepping away from Flickr. Will miss working with such a talented, hard-working, and hard-drinking team.”

A number of products at Yahoo have been on shaky ground lately, with the company announcing last fall that it would shutter Delicious, MyBlogLog and Buzz. Now, as Facebook continues to dominate social photo sharing on the Web, and photo sharing apps like Instagram and PicPlz take off, confidence in Flickr’s ability to stay afloat could be waning as well.

Professional photographers may also be abandoning the site, as it has had troubles lately with censorship and even accidentally deleting thousands of photos and telling the owner they were gone forever.

Does Rothenberg’s departure spell serious trouble for Flickr? It could, but it doesn’t sound like it does for Rothenberg. “And yes, I know what I’m doing next,” he later tweeted, “but not announcing it just yet.”

Source: Flickr Head of Product Steps Down: Is It an Omen?

Flickr Burning As Yahoo Fiddles: Head Of Service Walks Away

March 14th, 2011 03:28 admin View Comments

When you ask Yahoo who is in charge of Flickr, they always point to one man: Matthew Rothenberg. Well, technically, there are people at Yahoo above him in charge of the group of products that Flickr is in (Applications Division). But it’s Rothenberg, as head of product, who they’ll tell you is leading the day to day.

Not anymore.

Rothenberg is out as head of product for Flickr. He tweeted the news himself earlier today. He had been on the team for five years, dating back to when original co-founder Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake were still running the ship. They left long ago, but Rothenberg stuck around.

One funny thing here is that we had been hearing for weeks that Rothenberg was leaving. But Yahoo kept denying it until the bitter end. But it’s hard to deny a public tweet, I guess.

Here’s their official statement:

Matthew Rothenberg has made the personal decision to move on to a new endeavor.  In the interim, Markus Spiering will be stepping in as head of product management. Flickr continues to have an innovative, energetic and creative leadership team that is dedicated to its community of members. Flickr remains a key priority for Yahoo! and we are fully committed to making it the best photo-sharing experience on the Web.

More to come.

Source: Flickr Burning As Yahoo Fiddles: Head Of Service Walks Away

Funding for 1000Memories – A Nod to the Power of Digital Memories

February 16th, 2011 02:01 admin View Comments

Memorial site and service 1000Memories.com announces today that it has closed a $2.5 million Series A round of funding. The startup’s list of investors is an impressive one, including Greylock Partners, Paul Buchheit, Keith Rabois, Ron Conway, Caterina Fake, Mike Maples, Chris Sacca, among others.

1000Memories is a website where friends and family can come together to remember someone who has passed. 1000Memories aims to create a permanent online place where people can come, share their stories, and remember the lives of their loved ones.

1000Memories offers what we’ve called “Obituary 2.0″, a recognition that the Web has changed and can change the way in which we memorialize loved ones. You can create a 1000Memories site for someone – it’s free – and then invite friends and family to join and to participate in what the company calls a “Wikipedia-like approach” to the obituary.

If you’ve lost a loved one, you know what a horrific process dealing with things like obituaries can be. If you’ve had to negotiate death and social networks, you understand how inadequate many of the tools for talking and sharing can be. 1000Memories co-founders – Rudy Adler, Jonathan Good, and Brett Huneycutt – all experienced a loss. Their stories underwrite much of their mission, so far in the company’s history they approach all of this with incredible respect and support.

The investment announcement is a testament to that. So, much more powerfully you might argue, is the memorial that recently took shape on the site in honor of the protestors who died during the recent protests in Egypt. “Egypt remembers“, 1000Memories’ first group site, was started when Toronto entrepreneur and Egyptian ex-pat Mahmoud Hashim contacted 1000Memories, saying he thought the site would be a good way to make sure those who lost their lives had an online monument, of sorts, in honor of their sacrifice. Students, translators, doctors, writers – the names have been pulled from a Google Doc. As friends and family have come forward, photos have been added and full, individual profiles have been updated for the many of the 160-some-odd names.

egypt_remembers2-1.jpg

Source: Funding for 1000Memories – A Nod to the Power of Digital Memories

Greylock Invests $2.5 Million in 1000Memories (TCTV)

February 16th, 2011 02:59 admin View Comments

1000Memories has raised a $2.5 million round led by Greylock Partners, with the participation of some high-profile angel investors including Caterina Fake, Ron Conway, Keith Rabois, Mike Maples, Paul Buchheit and Chris Sacca. Greylock’s David Thacker is joining the board.

1000Memories aims to be a site where loved ones can commemorate the lives of those that have passed away. Several sites have tried to do this, and previous attempts have come off as cheesy or morbid. 1000Memories has struck a chord with its stylish design, and its commitment to always offer the product for free without garish ads.

Obituaries are one of the only bastions of newspaper classifieds that haven’t been disrupted, Thacker says. In San Francisco, a basic obit can cost up of $1,500, and it’s a static, non-collaborative mention that only runs one day.

1000Memories’ timing couldn’t be better. Facebook and other social networks have brought people closer to people they’d fallen out of touch with, providing an efficient medium for communicating a death and for sending condolences and remembrances. And increasingly, those memories are already captured digitally, via photos, videos and emails. And as newspapers become increasingly irrelevant, it’s natural that there’s some solution for celebrating someone’s life online.

So while it’s easy to see that something like 1000Memories should exist in the world, the question is how long it will take to build a laudable service like this into a real business. Co-founder Jonathan Good stopped by our studios to talk about the news– unfortunately he didn’t come prepared with many details on what the funding means for the company or what the money would be used for. He also refused to give us any sense of how big the user base was or even any basic idea of how much the service has grown or how many tribute pages have been built.

It’s a shame, because those are key questions. Customer acquisition will be a challenge for the site, since most people don’t have a death in their families or communities several times a year. Given the emotional investment people make in 1000Memories, I hope the company will be a bit more forthcoming in the future.

Source: Greylock Invests $2.5 Million in 1000Memories (TCTV)