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(ReadWrite)   Tech Journalists: Let's all have a good cry for those poor snowflake start-ups who wasted billions of dollars this year. TFA Author: Um, how about no   (readwrite.com) divider line 47
    More: Hero, angel investors, sheds, startup company, Robert Scoble, journalists, dollars, Silicon Valley, University of Michigan  
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6865 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Dec 2012 at 8:05 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-12-04 12:50:28 AM
I would like to give that man a couple of months of free TF!

/no, i don't believe you're him. So don't even try it.
 
2012-12-04 08:09:25 AM
The author has a bit of sour grapes I suspects. So no company should ever hire anybody that does not have experience? That means in 50 years time there would be no employment.
 
2012-12-04 08:10:21 AM
Maybe these young people will realize they have only one life and that they should do something valuable with the brief time they have.

This is usually why someone starts a startup.
 
2012-12-04 08:15:18 AM
There was a good point to be made, but he didn't make it. He just old-man-yells-at-cloud'd it the whole way.
 
2012-12-04 08:17:30 AM
All this has happened before, and will happen again. So say we all.
 
2012-12-04 08:21:20 AM

LasersHurt: There was a good point to be made, but he didn't make it. He just old-man-yells-at-cloud'd it the whole way.


This. I was with the author until I read his words....
 
2012-12-04 08:21:44 AM
Is it just me or was that entire "article" basically just a big rant about whippersnappers being stupid because some of them dared to take a chance at doing something bigger than just going to college, slapping on a suit and tie and hitting the pavement with a briefcase full of resumes in a job market where nobody is hiring them outside the Sears bed and bath section anyway?

And this guy used to write for Forbes? Really? You can find less pointless vitriol and better prose from raging fanboys in a Fark thread about Apple or Android. 

Congrats on getting your shiatty pseudo-blog greenlit, though.
 
2012-12-04 08:25:02 AM
Yea those tech start ups never work (unless you're Yahoo, Google, Facebook, etc)
 
2012-12-04 08:32:01 AM

mrlewish: The author has a bit of sour grapes I suspects. So no company should ever hire anybody that does not have experience? That means in 50 years time there would be no employment.


It's not about "hiring people with no experience," it's throwing oodles of cash at some guy just out of school who just uses a bunch of buzzwords to describe a service without much research into whether the service is needed.

Over the last few years I've watched my boss deal with angel investors and VC to try and start up another company. It's fascinating. Half the investors walk right back out the door when they realize he's not 20 years old. This may be because they are only interested in hip young talent, or they realize that they are going to be dealing with someone older and wiser and who already runs a successful company, so the investors aren't going to be able to rake their target over the coals in some money-speak "if the company goes big, well the investors will kick you out to put their guy in place kind of scheme because the stock we are offering you is worthless" scheme.

I got to listen in on another discussion between him and different VC. My boss wanted to start the new business in the same office park that our current business is in for convenience so he could keep an eye on both companies. The VC refused to invest because the VC demanded that the company be started in an area 30 miles away, preferably in a loft studio converted from the shell of an old factory because that would make the company "hip and attractive".
 
2012-12-04 08:32:03 AM

Vegan Meat Popsicle: Is it just me or was that entire "article" basically just a big rant about whippersnappers being stupid because some of them dared to take a chance at doing something bigger than just going to college, slapping on a suit and tie and hitting the pavement with a briefcase full of resumes in a job market where nobody is hiring them outside the Sears bed and bath section anyway?

Its a rant and has the look of being written by someone severely irked off that the money never went his way, wonder if he was turned down for his own startup.
 
2012-12-04 08:34:17 AM
Is it weird that as I was reading the first paragraph, the first thing that came to mind was Curt Schilling's failed game studio?
 
2012-12-04 08:42:42 AM

mrlewish: The author has a bit of sour grapes I suspects. So no company should ever hire anybody that does not have experience? That means in 50 years time there would be no employment.


Have you looked at job listings lately? We're already moving in that direction.
 
2012-12-04 08:43:18 AM
How about a web site where you can make fun of the news?
 
2012-12-04 08:46:02 AM

Mad_Radhu: All this has happened before, and will happen again. So say we all.

 
2012-12-04 08:49:14 AM
Ahhh, welcome to the modern economy. Where not only are your odds of success smaller than ever as a start-up, but smarmy asswads chastise those that try to take the risks. There is market saturation in nearly every industry, and large monolithic companies rule tightly controlled oligopolies. People are pushed to the outer edges of quirky for business ideas because there is so little room for market share in anywhere. However brave writer, you stay strong lambasting people that took risks to start a business in this bleak economic climate.
 
2012-12-04 08:59:36 AM

basscomm: Have you looked at job listings lately? We're already moving in that direction.


That happens after any recession, it's just unusually pronounced this time because the recession was unusually bad. There are too many unemployed people with experience doing valuable, skilled jobs that got laid off since 2007. Why would you hire some inexperienced, unproven kid right out of school for $45k a year when you can hire a guy who did quality work in the field for 15 years for $50k because he's desperate to get back into the job market after he got laid off in cost-cutting measures at a dying company thanks to the recession?

Besides that, the vast majority of the people sitting on unemployment now are unskilled anyway. The simple fact of the matter is that standing at an assembly line repeatedly snapping two parts together isn't something that Americans should be doing anymore. It was fine when we were the only ones with the assembly lines and international shipping was very expensive, but now that you can set that type of factory up in any third world dirt hole and pay some guy a bag of rice a day to do it, ship it home and sell it for a discount, Americans can't expect to still get that kind of job paying $15-$20 an hour.

What we need is a concerted effort to train the people who are serious about improving their skillsets and getting a job so that they're prepared for more skilled labor. You can't ONLY work with your hands anymore in America if you want a piece of the pie, you have to also be able to work with your brains. There are plenty of good, blue-collar jobs available, we just need to train blue-collar people up so they can take them instead of just letting them rot on unemployment. Not everybody needs to be an entrepreneur or work behind a desk or in a server room, but you can't get a good job anymore ONLY because you have muscle, rough hands and a work ethic. Millions upon millions of other people in the world have those same qualifications and are willing to put them to use for a lot less and at some point Americans are going to have to acknowledge that fact.
 
2012-12-04 09:14:13 AM

LasersHurt: There was a good point to be made, but he didn't make it. He just old-man-yells-at-cloud'd it the whole way.


He has a future at Gawker.
 
2012-12-04 09:52:22 AM
While I appreciate the sentiment (see user name) he could have written that screed in three sentences. Final analysis:

Weird little anti-cheerleader
 
2012-12-04 09:55:17 AM
FTFA: "In my dreams I imagine them leaving the Valley and going off to accomplish something meaningful. Using those brains to do medical research, develop new drugs or eradicate poverty. I imagine them teaching in public schools, providing health care to poor kids. Joining Tesla or SpaceX. Pushing AI a few steps forward. Solving big problems, the kind that can't get solved in three days on a StartupBus.

They might not get rich, but at least they'd be doing something useful."

You see, here's the problem. No one is paying anyone to do something useful. And the author is wondering why people aren't doing those 'hard things' and instead are rolling the start-up lottery.

I bet you if people could make millions solving those hard, big problems as part of a large team (because the complexity of the problems we have now necessitate teams of people working on them) they'd flock to those employment opportunities by the thousands.

Instead we get 100,000 facebooks, groupons, and other idiotic hip and trendy social media companies because if you roll snake eyes and catch the public's/vc's/wall street's attention, you're set on the gravy train for life.

Because if you work for Sandia, or Bell, or Los Alamos, or Raytheon you get a salary - if you actually do solve something big, surprise, you get... your salary. And maybe a small bonus. Because your work at these large engineering companies is owned by the big companies. You definitely don't get a share in the (monumental) profits from your labor, because, surprise, its not you that did the hard thing. No, its the investors, and the shareholders, because they took risks that you might not solve it. Or wouldn't solve it in a timely fashion. Or wouldn't solve it at all.

And they had to market it, get it certified by the government, and get it packaged, and get it monetized, etc etc etc...

You want me to sum it up? In short: The market is structured in such a way for the individual that taking risk trumps achievement in today's economy.


Even shorter: the author of this article is stupid.
 
2012-12-04 10:05:09 AM
First half of the article was great. Spot on. Lots of bullshiat out there. And he was right about it being like the lottery and being wasteful.

But the second half of the article read like a merc work paid by the big companies. That the author calls being a cog of the corporate wheels a good thing made me puke.

So, what he says about he problem is right, but his solutions are shiate.
 
2012-12-04 10:28:38 AM
I'm never selling my Fark stock.
 
2012-12-04 10:28:55 AM
"It's wannabe journalists writing about wannabe investors giving money to wannabe entrepreneurs and everyone in the circle jerk believing that the whole thing makes perfect sense because, trust us. This. Will. Be. Huge."

true words
 
2012-12-04 10:52:57 AM

mrlewish: The author has a bit of sour grapes I suspects. So no company should ever hire anybody that does not have experience? That means in 50 years time there would be no employment.


No, he's saying venture capitalists shouldn't give money to someone with no industry or professional experience to create an entirely new company from scratch, which is an entirely different thing. Because a tech company is not a restaurant, you're not going to be able to stay afloat while you figure out what you're doing.

Basically, people shouldn't trust you with their money unless there is some sort of indication that you know what to do with it.

imashark: Because if you work for Sandia, or Bell, or Los Alamos, or Raytheon you get a salary - if you actually do solve something big, surprise, you get... your salary.


And your name is on patents and papers that mean that from now on, you get to pick your jobs instead of the other way around. Which, frankly, is much more beneficial in the long term than getting to effectively embezzle some startup money once (because you don't usually get a second chance there). Also, Los Alamos is mostly academic, it tends to run on grants and stipends, not salary. You might add Intel to that list, too, once you've done a few years with them you can pick your jobs.
 
2012-12-04 11:14:06 AM
He's right but he also starts down the corporate shill route by mentioning the alleged "tech crunch," which companies have been complaining about about since at least the late 70s. Companies are always whining about being able to find competent engineers and other tech fields and then five years later they lay them off. They then wonder why people aren't going into the "hard" sciences.
 
2012-12-04 11:17:52 AM

Vegan Meat Popsicle: basscomm: Have you looked at job listings lately? We're already moving in that direction.

That happens after any recession, it's just unusually pronounced this time because the recession was unusually bad. There are too many unemployed people with experience doing valuable, skilled jobs that got laid off since 2007. Why would you hire some inexperienced, unproven kid right out of school for $45k a year when you can hire a guy who did quality work in the field for 15 years for $50k because he's desperate to get back into the job market after he got laid off in cost-cutting measures at a dying company thanks to the recession?

Besides that, the vast majority of the people sitting on unemployment now are unskilled anyway. The simple fact of the matter is that standing at an assembly line repeatedly snapping two parts together isn't something that Americans should be doing anymore. It was fine when we were the only ones with the assembly lines and international shipping was very expensive, but now that you can set that type of factory up in any third world dirt hole and pay some guy a bag of rice a day to do it, ship it home and sell it for a discount, Americans can't expect to still get that kind of job paying $15-$20 an hour.

What we need is a concerted effort to train the people who are serious about improving their skillsets and getting a job so that they're prepared for more skilled labor. You can't ONLY work with your hands anymore in America if you want a piece of the pie, you have to also be able to work with your brains. There are plenty of good, blue-collar jobs available, we just need to train blue-collar people up so they can take them instead of just letting them rot on unemployment. Not everybody needs to be an entrepreneur or work behind a desk or in a server room, but you can't get a good job anymore ONLY because you have muscle, rough hands and a work ethic. Millions upon millions of other people in the world have those same qualifications and are wil ...


krant.telegraaf.nl
 
2012-12-04 11:29:54 AM

Jim_Callahan: And your name is on patents and papers that mean that from now on, you get to pick your jobs instead of the other way around. Which, frankly, is much more beneficial in the long term than getting to effectively embezzle some startup money once (because you don't usually get a second chance there). Also, Los Alamos is mostly academic, it tends to run on grants and stipends, not salary. You might add Intel to that list, too, once you've done a few years with them you can pick your jobs.


I was being a bit indiscriminate with picking my research and development institutions as examples, but the point is that most people see the start-up money pinata and go after it rather than the long slow burn of design, research, or engineering jobs. Mainly because engineering jobs are difficult for those without gobs of natural aptitude, and the benefits of dealing with that difficulty don't seem to compensate commiserate with the ease of the money pinata opportunities. Maybe its a matter of perception.

Still, it's the same thing why financial jobs were the hot thing for a while. And lawyers before that.
 
2012-12-04 11:34:19 AM
Showed this article to a friend and here's his reply:

There's a true-to-life analogy hiding here. My wife's mother is 83, has Alzheimers, and her grandkids are hitting her up for money.

"Hey Grandma... the bank won't approve our $450K mortgage. I know, we just graduated last year, but Ken and I are looking hard for jobs. In the mean time, would you lend us the money? Love, Barbie"

We keep telling her "There's a good reason the bank won't lend them the money. So you shouldn't either!"

Angel investors are the grandmas of the startup funding world. They have money and want people to like them.
 
2012-12-04 11:41:52 AM

Mad_Radhu: All this has happened before, and will happen again. So say we all.


I love it... "OMG, the valley used to do something great and today it's all these shiatty startups!". Mental blank over the whole .com bubble much?

/what's phase 2?
 
2012-12-04 11:59:44 AM

imashark: FTFA: "In my dreams I imagine them leaving the Valley and going off to accomplish something meaningful. Using those brains to do medical research, develop new drugs or eradicate poverty. I imagine them teaching in public schools, providing health care to poor kids. Joining Tesla or SpaceX. Pushing AI a few steps forward. Solving big problems, the kind that can't get solved in three days on a StartupBus.

They might not get rich, but at least they'd be doing something useful."


Like blogging.
 
2012-12-04 12:29:25 PM

Mad_Radhu: All this has happened before, and will happen again. So say we all.


Yup. I remember reading the same article every year since '97 or '98.
 
2012-12-04 01:00:07 PM
"It's wannabe journalists writing about wannabe investors giving money to wannabe entrepreneurs and everyone in the circle jerk believing that the whole thing makes perfect sense because, trust us. This. Will. Be. Huge."

Wow. Author nailed the state of the industry. Rarely in my life have I agreed with an opinion piece so whole-heartedly.
 
2012-12-04 01:05:59 PM

mrlewish: The author has a bit of sour grapes I suspects. So no company should ever hire anybody that does not have experience? That means in 50 years time there would be no employment.


You must've read some other article.
 
2012-12-04 01:09:41 PM

mrlewish: The author has a bit of sour grapes I suspects. So no company should ever hire anybody that does not have experience? That means in 50 years time there would be no employment.


If you have no experience or know how, claiming to be a startup entrepreneur is asinine, as is funding such a person. THAT is what TFA is getting at. It's not limited to startups, either. Industry is full of MBA's who don't actually have any hard skills.
 
2012-12-04 01:11:06 PM
www.explosm.net
 
2012-12-04 01:20:43 PM

balial: Mad_Radhu: All this has happened before, and will happen again. So say we all.

I love it... "OMG, the valley used to do something great and today it's all these shiatty startups!". Mental blank over the whole .com bubble much?

/what's phase 2?


It never truly ended. It's a lot of the same players from before.
 
2012-12-04 01:31:31 PM
Yeah, what did startups ever do for us, except build out online shopping, search, platform-as-a-service, contribute to open source, develop Agile methodologies, polish and perfect other business tools and processes, and occasionally create 10-figure game-changing businesses that have impacted all of our lives for the better?

Personally, I long for the days of renting a phone from my local Baby Bell.
 
2012-12-04 01:34:26 PM

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: balial: Mad_Radhu: All this has happened before, and will happen again. So say we all.

I love it... "OMG, the valley used to do something great and today it's all these shiatty startups!". Mental blank over the whole .com bubble much?

/what's phase 2?

It never truly ended. It's a lot of the same players from before.


Yup, exactly. And if you go and read some of the source articles the author is claiming are complaining about the funding drying up... they're not really. They're just stating it as fact. This guy just wants to put words in other peoples' mouths and ignore the fact he's wrong.
 
2012-12-04 01:57:43 PM

Jim_Callahan: No, he's saying venture capitalists shouldn't give money to someone with no industry or professional experience to create an entirely new company from scratch, which is an entirely different thing. Because a tech company is not a restaurant, you're not going to be able to stay afloat while you figure out what you're doing.

Basically, people shouldn't trust you with their money unless there is some sort of indication that you know what to do with it.


Its true, but there are all of the counter-examples of highly successful start-ups that were started by students or recent graduates. Although in general these were mostly students from tech backgrounds (Comp. Sci and Engineering) and they often partnered up to some extent with acquaintances studying business. Now there are people with zero relevant experience/training. Still I don't think it is fair to paint them all with one brush. TFA references "Stanford grads" with a tone of sarcasm, but having recently visited that campus they have a pretty rich tradition, and continue to encourage, entrepreneurism among students. Quite a few have done very well.
 
2012-12-04 02:28:48 PM
Here's some stunning, Earth-shattering news: You know all those hundreds of incredibly stupid startups that have been raising seed money in Silicon Valley despite the fact that the people running those startups have no experience doing anything, ever, and have no idea at all how to generate revenue (let alone profit) with their lousy ideas, because, in fact, there is no way to make money with their lousy ideas, because in fact their ideas are lousy?

Aye, we call 'em bloggers.
 
2012-12-04 02:46:43 PM

ProfessorOhki: , we call 'em bloggers.


I haven't learned anything about Kickstarter but ...

Is there any fact checking done on the campaigns? or Could one arbitrarily boost up their bio when in reality he/she doesn't have the means or experience to create the project the money is being raised for?
 
2012-12-04 02:52:00 PM
This is a repeat of 12 years ago. Anyone who does not remember that has no business starting a business.

All of this trouble started when people started giving obscene amounts of money to children.
 
2012-12-04 03:18:51 PM
readwrite.com

looks like somebodies been image grabbing from the Politics tab
 
2012-12-04 04:41:53 PM

Tenatra: ProfessorOhki: , we call 'em bloggers.

I haven't learned anything about Kickstarter but ...

Is there any fact checking done on the campaigns? or Could one arbitrarily boost up their bio when in reality he/she doesn't have the means or experience to create the project the money is being raised for?


i.imgur.com 

/Mandatory
 
2012-12-04 06:04:16 PM
ecx.images-amazon.com

Was like that 25 years ago too.
 
2012-12-04 09:37:03 PM
Look, TFA isn't biatching about startups in general, just people throwing money at any fool who comes along with any fool idea. This is so like the .com bubble I had to check the date on the article. These angel investors don't seem to remember that for every Google and Amazon, there were about ten thousand webvans and pets.coms that went down the shiatter overnight. Seriously, Gourmair? How could anyone think that would work? Have we already devolved into a nation of immobile Hutts who can't even get off our asses and find a gourmet grocery?

Really though, this phenomenon is way older than the internet. For every Wal Mart or Target, there are thousands of Beanie Baby stores or similar idiotic shiat that crater in its wake.
 
2012-12-05 01:13:47 PM

Commander Cyclops: webvans


Webvan.com is still around fyi

Also, they were a pretty good idea, just before their time. Also qualifying good ideas : all those bike delivery services during the late 90s that operated in NYC. Man those were pretty cool times.
 
2012-12-06 02:43:01 AM
For everyone here blasting back that at least these start-up guys took a chance please note they aren't doing it with their own money. They have fools like Aston Kutcher and Justin Beiber deciding to plow some of their money into crap-shoot angel investing to burn through. They have guys who scored in the past just watering the infield in hopes of that thousand-to-one shot and whats not mentioned is how much equity the start-up wonderkind have to cough up to get it. If you are some kid fresh out of Stanford or halfway though and you spend a year or two chasing a rainbow with someone else's money you are doing minimal risk taking. You are just risking a bit of your time at a time in your life when you have plenty to spare.

If you want me to call you an entrepreneur then put some real skin in the game beyond maxing a credit card, bootstrap something till its clearly viable with a bit of revenue to offer up as PROOF. Don't have your business model be based on exit strategies and/or advertising revenue for a change.

/I wonder how many Flooz bucks Whoopie Goldberg ended up with twelve years ago and if she still has any?
//If thats obscure than this really is your first internet rodeo.
 
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