Thursday, March 31, 2011 CEO Bill Nguyen on This Week in Startups (video + transcript)

Fresh off's $41 million raise, Bill Nguyen joins TWiST to discuss his successes--and what he would do differently next time. Bill also shares his thoughts on implicit social media, the "bubble" and why he likes to work in the battub.

1:30-3:00 .CO contest reminder- ending April 1. To enter, buy a .co address and email your receipt to Jason and Tyler will pick the best idea.
3:30-5:00 What should we take away from this raise? What does it mean for the industry?
5:00-5:30 You're building an implied social network, correct?
5:30-6:30 Explain to users what is different about an implied or implicit social network versus an explicit one.
6:30-7:30 When did you first have this idea? What was the creative spark and when did you have it?
9:30-10:30 Let's talk about how the app works. Jason can see photos from an employee's weekend even though he wasn't there with him. Explain how that works.
11:00-12:30 What if the user wants to do explicit things with my network? Color feels like a minimally viable product. What's your product philosophy?
12:30-15:00 You're happy that this product is getting so much attention but you also seem beat up by all the attention on the big number. You're taking some of the heat from your team. Would you do anything differently?
15:45-17:15 Steve Jobs was your first investor--true or not true?
17:15-18:15 Isn't it true that if you do something truly revolutionary, 80-90% of people won't understand it initially?
19:30-20:45 Is this the social network for people who are antisocial?
21:30-22:30 You landed Sequoia Capital as an investor. They offered you double the money to go faster, this is the only firm you wanted to work with? Why?
22:30-23:30 How many days did it take to close the deal and how long was the conversation?
24:00-25:30 So in terms of mobile and the non-PC world, you're not opposed to a PC being involved in this process?
25:30-26:00 Any questions from the audience? Why wasn't it ready for SXSW? (Robert) Scoble almost had a heart attack. Were you planning on releasing this there?
27:00-28:00 Question from the audience: Jeff Clapp wants to know about how the data mining aspect and how that can play out long term. What do you plan on doing with all this data?
28:00-29:00 What do you know about the user? Do you know that a photo comes from an iPhone because of the phone's ID?
29:00-29:30 What happens if you lose your phone? Do you also lose your implied social network?
29:30-31:30 Ad for Squarespace. Go to link to get a 14 day free trial.
31:30-32:00 Why did you bring Peter Pham on as a co-founder?
33:30-35:00 How do you get rid of the inappropriate pictures? How do you avoid becoming Chatroulette?
35:00-35:30 You can't possibly mechanical turk every image. Do you just do the first 3 or 5?
35:30-36:00 Is the implied social network patented?
36:00-36:30 How does mechanical turk make the judgment call that things are appropriate in different places?
36:30-37:45 If a user takes photos that are even remotely provocative, they're not going to be allowed?
37:45-39:15 What impact would the product have had in Egypt or Libya? How do you think it will be received in China? Have you thought about the sociopolitical aspects of this product?
39:15-40:00 One third of Twitter's traffic comes from photos, another third from social gaming. Are you going to compete in social gaming?
42:00-43:00 How do you complete, or do you complete, with Foursquare or Gowalla?
43:00-44:15 Is advertising the monetization plan here? Where do you think the money is, or do you not care as you build to scale?
45:30-47:30 You keep opening up the door for a philosophical belief that the implied social network will mean better social behavior. Do you believe something is special about the implied social network, that will make the world behave?
51:30-52:30 Thank you to .CO. Remember to forward your receipt to enter the Squarespace contest.

Multilingual? Translate this episode of TWiST into another language and email the transcript to


Jason: @jason
Tyler: @steepdecline
Bill: @billnguyen
Color: @color

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

best journalism job post ever (for Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

Wow... if this is real I'm moving to florida. 


We want to add some talent to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune investigative team. Every serious candidate should have a proven track record of conceiving, reporting and writing stellar investigative pieces that provoke change. However, our ideal candidate has also cursed out an editor, had spokespeople hang up on them in anger and threatened to resign at least once because some fool wanted to screw around with their perfect lede.

We do a mix of quick hit investigative work when events call for it and mini-projects that might run for a few days. But every year we like to put together a project way too ambitious for a paper our size because we dream that one day Walt Bogdanich will have to say: “I can’t believe the Sarasota Whatever-Tribune cost me my 20th Pulitzer.” As many of you already know, those kinds of projects can be hellish, soul-sucking, doubt-inducing affairs. But if you’re the type of sicko who likes holing up in a tiny, closed  office with reporters of questionable hygiene to build databases from scratch by hand-entering thousands of pages of documents to take on powerful people and institutions that wish you were dead, all for the glorious reward of having readers pick up the paper and glance at your potential prize-winning epic as they flip their way to the Jumble… well, if that sounds like journalism Heaven, then you’re our kind of sicko.

For those unaware of Florida’s reputation, it’s arguably the best news state in the country and not just because of the great public records laws. We have all kinds of corruption, violence and scumbaggery. The 9/11 terrorists trained here. Bush read My Pet Goat here. Our elections are colossal clusterfucks. Our new governor once ran a health care company that got hit with a record fine because of rampant Medicare fraud. We have hurricanes, wildfires, tar balls, bedbugs, diseased citrus trees and an entire town overrun by giant roaches (only one of those things is made up). And we have Disney World and beaches, so bring the whole family.

Send questions, or a resume/cover letter/links to clips to my email address below. If you already have your dream job, please pass this along to someone whose skills you covet. Thanks.

Matthew Doig

Sarasota Herald-Tribune
1741 Main St.
Sarasota FL, 34236
(941) 361-4903

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

CEOs and Pros Poker Tournament

I'm thinking of doing a small tournament during the WSOP this year for CEOs of companies and professional poker players.

What do you think of the name? 

CEOs and Pros
Celebrity Tournament

Jason on Twitter This Week in Startups