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(Slate)   From Slate intern to selling a start-up for $25 million in just a few years. Hey, but you got a few greenlights last month, you rock   (slate.com) divider line 66
    More: Hero, startup company, online ads, computing platform, selling  
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6978 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Jun 2014 at 2:43 PM (33 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



66 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-06-06 02:29:22 PM  
This may be the first time I've ever said this, but this was the first time I've ever actually wanted a Slate article to be a little longer and have more detail.
 
2014-06-06 02:36:37 PM  
11. I had 11. That's a bit more than a few.
 
2014-06-06 02:46:19 PM  
I didn't even get that. Thanks Subby.

/slouches away dejectedly
 
2014-06-06 02:46:27 PM  
Good for him, but it still bothers me that our best & brightest are focusing their energies on how to get me to click on an ad.
 
2014-06-06 02:49:53 PM  
Man sells startup using one weird trick.
 
2014-06-06 02:51:17 PM  

Gary-L: Man sells startup using one weird trick.


That Obama doesn't want you to know about!
 
2014-06-06 02:51:53 PM  

JerseyTim: 11. I had 11. That's a bit more than a few.


Well it's easy when you're a TotalFark member.  The challenge is trying to get one greenlit when you're not.
 
2014-06-06 02:52:12 PM  

tricycleracer: Good for him, but it still bothers me that our best & brightest are focusing their energies on how to get me to click on an ad.


This is my gripe on the state of Tech nowadays. Everyone is obsessed with things that will sell ad space. Instead of working on meaningful problems, big problems, we are spending our minds on how to seduce people for their attention and money.
 
2014-06-06 02:55:28 PM  

TotallyHeadless: tricycleracer: Good for him, but it still bothers me that our best & brightest are focusing their energies on how to get me to click on an ad.

This is my gripe on the state of Tech nowadays. Everyone is obsessed with things that will sell ad space. Instead of working on meaningful problems, big problems, we are spending our minds on how to seduce people for their attention and money.


Agreed. Welcome to the essence of capitalism. Click here to find out more.
 
2014-06-06 02:57:04 PM  

JerseyTim: 11. I had 11. That's a bit more than a few.


Yeah, but it's not as many as four tens, and that's terrible.
 
2014-06-06 02:58:45 PM  
I'll take the brunet lass in front with the crazy eyes please
 
2014-06-06 02:59:54 PM  

CarnySaur: JerseyTim: 11. I had 11. That's a bit more than a few.

Well it's easy when you're a TotalFark member.  The challenge is trying to get one greenlit when you're not.


I've gotten 25 this month.
 
2014-06-06 03:00:17 PM  
So by my calculation, that's 50 girls at the same time.
 
2014-06-06 03:05:55 PM  
At least I'm not in marketing.
 
2014-06-06 03:07:06 PM  
Here is my idea for a get rich quick website: a site where you type in your own star trek captain's oath and it plays it back to you with the music in either Kirk or Picard's voice ©

So someone do that and give me 25%
 
2014-06-06 03:08:12 PM  

farkingismybusiness: CarnySaur: JerseyTim: 11. I had 11. That's a bit more than a few.

Well it's easy when you're a TotalFark member.  The challenge is trying to get one greenlit when you're not.

I've gotten 25 this month.


What's your secret? And please, in slideshow with GIF accompaniment, with at least 11 slides but not more than 20.
 
2014-06-06 03:09:46 PM  

Atomic Spunk: So by my calculation, that's 50 girls at the same time.


Farkin' A, man

cdn.hark.com
 
2014-06-06 03:13:21 PM  
FTFA:
"One thing that did cut through the exhaustion was a task I'd been anticipating for more than six years: writing the Facebook post in which I announce ...  that I was not in fact an obscure failure ..."

So.... here's where I pause and ask the guy, lets have a little self confidence, eh? Maybe waiting 6 years to try and "show them" isn't what you should concentrate on.
Otherwise you usually end up all shooty when you end up still being a failure because you were more worried about what people think of you of you than who you are.
 
2014-06-06 03:14:28 PM  

CarnySaur: JerseyTim: 11. I had 11. That's a bit more than a few.

Well it's easy when you're a TotalFark member.  The challenge is trying to get one greenlit when you're not.


Yeah, it's like dog years to human years. One non-total fark greenlit is equal to 40 totalfark greenlits.
 
2014-06-06 03:14:34 PM  
Immodest douchebag makes millions and YOU CAN TOO.
 
2014-06-06 03:16:14 PM  
Software and tablet apps seems to be the big gold rush of the current day.  And here I am, a fine arts major stuck with a desk job.

*shoots self*
 
2014-06-06 03:16:54 PM  

Tman144: farkingismybusiness: CarnySaur: JerseyTim: 11. I had 11. That's a bit more than a few.

Well it's easy when you're a TotalFark member.  The challenge is trying to get one greenlit when you're not.

I've gotten 25 this month.

What's your secret? And please, in slideshow with GIF accompaniment, with at least 11 slides but not more than 20.


1. Be funny.
2. Don't be unfunny.
 
2014-06-06 03:17:35 PM  

Hector Remarkable: Immodest douchebag makes millions and YOU CAN TOO.


But hey, at least Fark can hate the guy because he dared to make money.
 
2014-06-06 03:21:03 PM  

Deftoons: Software and tablet apps seems to be the big gold rush of the current day.  And here I am, a fine arts major stuck with a desk job.


*shoots self*

*rifles through Deftoons's pockets for cash and change; scurries away with $12.42 before children arrive to find the body*
 
2014-06-06 03:22:21 PM  
farkingismybusiness:

What's your secret? And please, in slideshow with GIF accompaniment, with at least 11 slides but not more than 20.

1. Be Fark (tm) funny. *
2. Don't be unfunny.



* otherwise known as "lame".

/FTFY
 
2014-06-06 03:23:04 PM  

robohobo: Hector Remarkable: Immodest douchebag makes millions and YOU CAN TOO.

But hey, at least Fark can hate the guy because he dared to make money.


I dare YOU to make money. I dare you. I triple-dog dare you.
And it's not hate, it's envy.
 
2014-06-06 03:30:35 PM  
He created the concept that when I try to navigate away from a website it spams popups that are like... "Hey, don't go!!! Take this survey! Have a coupon! etc etc".

I can't tell you how much I hate popups when I try to navigate away from your shiatty site.  I despise this man.

Merely because he made navigate-away ads popular.  And no, they're not usually blocked by noscript or adblock because they're running off the same domain as the site.
 
2014-06-06 03:30:41 PM  
Obligatory Sour Grapes: Yah - because what this world needs is yet another way to wiggle proctologicaly-fingered advertisements under my farking nose.  Bastard.
 
2014-06-06 03:32:05 PM  
Very punchable Brad, very punchable.
 
2014-06-06 03:40:47 PM  

akya: Gary-L: Man sells startup using one weird trick.

That Obama doesn't want you to know about!


I really don't get one of the ads I'm seeing lately. I guess the ad is trying to sell books, but it says "that librarians don't want you to know!". Eh? Why the fark would librarians not want me to be able to get cheap books?

/still not clicking on the ad
 
2014-06-06 03:41:58 PM  
I think valuing ad pushing software like that baffles me because I so rarely see ads whilst internetting.

The people that bought it must think they can earn well over what they paid for it, but I'm useless to them.
 
2014-06-06 03:42:09 PM  

TotallyHeadless: tricycleracer: Good for him, but it still bothers me that our best & brightest are focusing their energies on how to get me to click on an ad.

This is my gripe on the state of Tech nowadays. Everyone is obsessed with things that will sell ad space. Instead of working on meaningful problems, big problems, we are spending our minds on how to seduce people for their attention and money.


Meaningful problems don't make you filthy rich.
 
2014-06-06 03:48:06 PM  

patrick767: akya: Gary-L: Man sells startup using one weird trick.

That Obama doesn't want you to know about!

I really don't get one of the ads I'm seeing lately. I guess the ad is trying to sell books, but it says "that librarians don't want you to know!". Eh? Why the fark would librarians not want me to be able to get cheap books?

/still not clicking on the ad


Yeah, you don't want to click on that - I did and now Librarians are after me. They really didn't want me to know, and now they've put a bounty on my Dewey decimal-challenging head. With these organized, resentful Librarians on the loose, no one is safe. Do not click on that link.
 
2014-06-06 04:05:52 PM  

sprong89: This may be the first time I've ever said this, but this was the first time I've ever actually wanted a Slate article to be a little longer and have more detail.


Who are you and what have you done with sprong89's body?
 
2014-06-06 04:08:50 PM  

worlddan: CarnySaur: JerseyTim: 11. I had 11. That's a bit more than a few.

Well it's easy when you're a TotalFark member.  The challenge is trying to get one greenlit when you're not.

Yeah, it's like dog years to human years. One non-total fark greenlit is equal to 40 totalfark greenlits.


I've had ELEVENTY-BRAZILIAN links approved, and I've never been TotalFarked except for that one day!

Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket....
4.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-06-06 04:13:25 PM  

patrick767: akya: Gary-L: Man sells startup using one weird trick.

That Obama doesn't want you to know about!

I really don't get one of the ads I'm seeing lately. I guess the ad is trying to sell books, but it says "that librarians don't want you to know!". Eh? Why the fark would librarians not want me to be able to get cheap books?

/still not clicking on the ad




When ever I see the words "don't want you to know" it's guaranteed to be bull caca and I will very much NOT be clicking on it.
 
2014-06-06 04:15:20 PM  

worlddan: farkingismybusiness:

What's your secret? And please, in slideshow with GIF accompaniment, with at least 11 slides but not more than 20.

1. Be Fark (tm) funny. *
2. Don't be unfunny.


* otherwise known as "lame".

/FTFY


99% of the headlines on here are lame though, so it can't be that.
 
2014-06-06 04:17:02 PM  

joonyer: TotallyHeadless: tricycleracer: Good for him, but it still bothers me that our best & brightest are focusing their energies on how to get me to click on an ad.

This is my gripe on the state of Tech nowadays. Everyone is obsessed with things that will sell ad space. Instead of working on meaningful problems, big problems, we are spending our minds on how to seduce people for their attention and money.

Agreed. Welcome to the essence of capitalism. Click here to find out more.


I clicked five times, but I didn't find out more.
 
2014-06-06 04:26:56 PM  
Speaking of web browsing pet peeves: Currently, by far the most annoying thing to me is when browsing on a mobile device and a page is loading, you click on "log in" or something, then the page magically finishes loading and it turns out that where you clicked "log in" or a link to an article or whatever, making your click from a half-second ago send you to link to download the site's mobile app.
 
2014-06-06 04:41:19 PM  

JerseyTim: 11. I had 11. That's a bit more than a few.


2 here.
 
2014-06-06 04:49:59 PM  
Stop it. No. Not a hero. Can't have.
 
2014-06-06 04:54:43 PM  

papatex: Stop it. No. Not a hero. Can't have.


Yeah this. Woo, he gave companies another way to bug us for money. Smart for his personal life. No real gain for society except for bringing us another step closer to dream ads a la Futurama.
 
2014-06-06 05:11:10 PM  

nickerj1: He created the concept that when I try to navigate away from a website it spams popups that are like... "Hey, don't go!!! Take this survey! Have a coupon! etc etc".

I can't tell you how much I hate popups when I try to navigate away from your shiatty site.  I despise this man.

Merely because he made navigate-away ads popular.  And no, they're not usually blocked by noscript or adblock because they're running off the same domain as the site.


Unless I completely missed the part where he was involved in those kind of ads (I certainly could have, just semi-skimming the article), I think you are totally missing the point of what his company is doing.... it is NOT popup ads on the website itself trying to get you to stay, it is that if you just visited a website (ie, Travelocity, and you got 1/2 way through booking a trip to Hawaii), and now you go to Facebook, the FACEBOOK ads will be for "Hey, Book that trip to Hawaii now on Travelocity!!"
 
2014-06-06 05:11:55 PM  
In the current market selling a startup for only $25m - I am picturing a website called "The History of Shovels" that has a counter "you are the 532nd person to visit this page".
 
2014-06-06 05:17:57 PM  

wyltoknow: papatex: Stop it. No. Not a hero. Can't have.

Yeah this. Woo, he gave companies another way to bug us for money. Smart for his personal life. No real gain for society except for bringing us another step closer to dream ads a la Futurama.


Kudos to him, but I don't see the attraction from a purchaser's perspective. You may get another 0.2% of people that have visited your website to click on an ad that brings them back to your site?

Maybe I'm doing my marketing math wrong, but that seems like a small return, unless there is a very high rate of sales to the people that do come back.
 
2014-06-06 05:56:53 PM  
Never heard of it.
 
2014-06-06 05:59:03 PM  
My crowd sourcing idea could be the next biggest thing since MTV, but I have not the connections to even analyze if it could really fly. The concept has been nibbled at by others, but no one has really set it loose yet.

~oh well~

Us visionaries lead such hard lives.
 
2014-06-06 07:54:42 PM  

sprong89: This may be the first time I've ever said this, but this was the first time I've ever actually wanted a Slate article to be a little longer and have more detail.


I'm an M&A attorney who buys and sells startups for a living. What do you want to know?
 
2014-06-06 08:11:33 PM  

xria: In the current market selling a startup for only $25m - I am picturing a website called "The History of Shovels" that has a counter "you are the 532nd person to visit this page".


Wait, the entire history of shovels? Dude, I can't wait to see how they decided that short handles were good for anyone but midgets. Thanks for the website suggestion.
 
2014-06-06 08:15:06 PM  

DamnYankees: sprong89: This may be the first time I've ever said this, but this was the first time I've ever actually wanted a Slate article to be a little longer and have more detail.

I'm an M&A attorney who buys and sells startups for a living. What do you want to know?


In your experience what types of start-ups are selling for the highest dollar amount, what types of start-ups are selling most frequently? Would be my first questions.
 
2014-06-06 08:52:28 PM  

pedobearapproved: In your experience what types of start-ups are selling for the highest dollar amount, what types of start-ups are selling most frequently? Would be my first questions.


I don't really know - as lawyers, we're don't actually have very much insight into the valuation methods.

The thing about startups is that more often than not, you aren't buying the company so much as you're buying the talent involved. In normal acquisitions, the value of the company is going to be tied to the Company's revenue. Companies are usually sold for somewhere between 5 and 10 times their annual revenue (technically its not revenue, but EBITDA, which is a more technical term but you can think of it as revenue). So if a lawn care company has revenue of $5M per year, they will be bought for anywhere between $25 and $50M.

Startups are very different. They usually don't have any revenue, and even if they do, that's not really the metric buyers care about. Buyers (companies like Apple, Google, Yahoo, Salesforce, Twitter, etc.) aren't looking for your business, really - they are looking for you. There's usually a few key employees they want, and the purchase price paid is a way of getting them on board while making everyone who invested in the startup get their money back. A startup which is being bought for $25M (a common price range) doesn't really have any assets (like IP) which are all that valuable yet. They just have the potential in the minds of the developers that Buyers want to unlock.

Every buyer is interested in different types of startups. In my experience, Google tries to buy the most interesting startups; they've recently bought Nest, for example (a transaction my office did, though not me personally), but there's also a bunch of other stuff I can't really say since its confidential. Google is awesome. Of course, my firm doesn't represent every tech company (for example, we don't represent Apple or Facebook), so I'm sure there are lots of companies doing cool stuff I know nothing at all about.
 
2014-06-06 08:57:24 PM  

pedobearapproved: DamnYankees: sprong89: This may be the first time I've ever said this, but this was the first time I've ever actually wanted a Slate article to be a little longer and have more detail.

I'm an M&A attorney who buys and sells startups for a living. What do you want to know?

In your experience what types of start-ups are selling for the highest dollar amount, what types of start-ups are selling most frequently? Would be my first questions.


By the way, took me about 0.2 hours to write that post, so you owe me $110.
 
2014-06-06 09:04:07 PM  
Really informative article, and a nice intro into private M&A transactions. As a buyer for my company this explains it pretty well.
 
2014-06-06 09:05:35 PM  

huntercr: FTFA:
"One thing that did cut through the exhaustion was a task I'd been anticipating for more than six years: writing the Facebook post in which I announce ...  that I was not in fact an obscure failure ..."

So.... here's where I pause and ask the guy, lets have a little self confidence, eh? Maybe waiting 6 years to try and "show them" isn't what you should concentrate on.
Otherwise you usually end up all shooty when you end up still being a failure because you were more worried about what people think of you of you than who you are.


I actually read that part twice. I didn't take it the same way though. I took it more as a situation where he wanted to stand proud and announce "I did it" without coming off like a jerk. If you are self-employed you need two megatons of self confidence per year just to last. It seems as though everyone you know will give you their expert opinion on how your doing it wrong, how your going to fail, how this, that and everything else is a mistake and so on. I know for a fact people will doubt you, laugh at you, make fun of you and bet you will fail. Even family.
 
2014-06-06 09:08:16 PM  
This just in: People who can afford to be interns come from higher socioeconomic levels than the average.
 
2014-06-06 10:03:24 PM  
Fark you, Subby.  I had my 100th greenlight this month and now I can die happy/
 
2014-06-06 11:05:27 PM  

DamnYankees: pedobearapproved: DamnYankees: sprong89: This may be the first time I've ever said this, but this was the first time I've ever actually wanted a Slate article to be a little longer and have more detail.

I'm an M&A attorney who buys and sells startups for a living. What do you want to know?

In your experience what types of start-ups are selling for the highest dollar amount, what types of start-ups are selling most frequently? Would be my first questions.

By the way, took me about 0.2 hours to write that post, so you owe me $110.


I'm starting to doubt your buying and selling startup boast, but I do believe the lawyer part.
 
2014-06-07 12:11:43 AM  
'Atsa lotta white folks......
 
2014-06-07 12:19:41 AM  

CarnySaur: JerseyTim: 11. I had 11. That's a bit more than a few.

Well it's easy when you're a TotalFark member.  The challenge is trying to get one greenlit when you're not.


It's easy. You just have to be relatively clever.

/I'm a liter
//people just sponsor me for the hockey playoffs
 
2014-06-07 12:25:09 AM  
Sounds like yet another company that doesn't really do anything.

Maybe I'm just jealous. I am, for buzzword speak, a full-stack developer, and I have no ideas. I can't come up with ideas like this because the technologist in me says, that preposterous, no one will value or pay for that! It's just [some ridiculously simple thing] + [some bullshiat monetization strategy that isn't really thought out _OR_ advertising crap]

I'm one of the few developers who would love an 'idea guy'. Sigh.
 
2014-06-07 12:50:28 AM  
EBITDA is earnings before income taxes...what's the DA for? Regardless, would income be a more accurate multiple to use than revenue, particularly in low margin industries?
 
2014-06-07 12:51:50 AM  

NorCalLos: EBITDA is earnings before income taxes...what's the DA for? Regardless, would income be a more accurate multiple to use than revenue, particularly in low margin industries?


Depreciation and Amortization. Also, it's "Interest and Taxes", not "income taxes".
 
2014-06-07 02:03:55 AM  
I've had a few greenlights.  But I just don't have the talent for writing a misleading headline without RTFAing.
 
2014-06-07 03:19:41 AM  

Lee Jackson Beauregard: I've had a few greenlights.  But I just don't have the talent for writing a misleading headline without RTFAing.


Practice raging over Obama before deciding on the final headline--it always works. Give it a good 2 Minutes Hate.
 
2014-06-07 04:56:01 AM  

daveinsurgent: Sounds like yet another company that doesn't really do anything.

Maybe I'm just jealous. I am, for buzzword speak, a full-stack developer, and I have no ideas. I can't come up with ideas like this because the technologist in me says, that preposterous, no one will value or pay for that! It's just [some ridiculously simple thing] + [some bullshiat monetization strategy that isn't really thought out _OR_ advertising crap]

I'm one of the few developers who would love an 'idea guy'. Sigh.


Personally I feel like this guy took advantage of some marketing algorithm that he was exposed during his time at slate.  No one really just overnights some perfect idea.
 
2014-06-07 06:11:10 AM  

pedobearapproved: Personally I feel like this guy took advantage of some marketing algorithm that he was exposed during his time at slate.  No one really just overnights some perfect idea.


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