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Author Topic: Startups and the Big Lie  (Read 3924 times)

mouser

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Startups and the Big Lie
« on: August 02, 2015, 12:02:24 AM »
Often it feels to me like economic success is one big pyramid scheme... Here's an article about the central role lying plays in the startup model where companies raise billions based on a mirage of get-rich-quick success they create.

Quote
They have little choice. Funding is contingent on growth, but that growth can only happen if no one really understands the funding situation. Founders have to tell the lie – that everything is fine, that a feature is going to launch even though the engineer for that feature hasn’t been hired yet, that payroll will run even though the VC dollars are still nowhere on the horizon.

Lying is a requisite and daily part of being a founder, the grease that keeps the startup flywheel running.



from slashdot.org
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 08:37:58 AM by mouser »

Contro

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Re: Startups and the Big Lie
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2015, 06:14:33 PM »
 ;D

Give them food then.
I read a novel about gold fever in California. If you want get rich put a restaurant.

Our era is a terrorific story about lies.

Perhaps the best business is teaching other good business. And if for some reason the thing goes wrong at least you have no risks.

 ;D

wraith808

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Re: Startups and the Big Lie
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2015, 09:56:26 AM »
Often it feels to me like economic success is one big pyramid scheme... Here's an article about the central role lying plays in the startup model where companies raise billions based on a mirage of get-rich-quick success they create.

Money begets money.  That's a seminal truth.  I would agree to you that it's as corrupt as you make it out to be- if not for one thing.  Haven't been in that situation, it's expected.  When we were doing it, we cut to the bone, and asked for only what we needed to get going.  And found that what someone had told us was true- scale matters.  If you ask for only a little money, they expect you to fail, and expect that the idea isn't worthy of consideration.  It's a system that those that you are asking for money made.  You're playing by their rules.  And their rules require you to lie.

40hz

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Re: Startups and the Big Lie
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2015, 01:06:20 PM »
;D

Give them food then.
I read a novel about gold fever in California. If you want get rich put a restaurant.

Our era is a terrorific story about lies.

Perhaps the best business is teaching other good business. And if for some reason the thing goes wrong at least you have no risks.

 

Could well be true.

One thing for sure...all those companies that served the needs of startups back in the 90s (Dell, OfficeMax, Staples, Kinkos, Steelcase, etc.) made far more money selling those young hopefuls equipment and business services than the vast majority of those startups ever made with their own businesses.

There's a lesson there. A bride brings home a husband. A bridesmaid, 20 offers from hopeful suitors for a date. Do the math... ;)

If I were to ever start another new business, it would be a bank.

xtabber

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Re: Startups and the Big Lie
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2015, 02:29:37 PM »
...all those companies that served the needs of startups back in the 90s (Dell, OfficeMax, Staples, Kinkos, Steelcase, etc.).

Dell?  Dell was started (as PC's Limited) in 1984, changed its name to Dell in 1987 and went public in 1988. It didn't really become a major player itself until the early 90's.

And if any company illustrates the need to lie to grow a startup, it's Dell.

In the mid to late 80s, when tech publications ran regular comparisons of personal computers, PC's Limited systems could only be ordered direct from Michael Dell, and he made sure they got hand tuned souped up systems that outperformed the off-the shelf systems they got from major manufacturers.  As a result, Dell's PCs won every benchmark for a while (until the other companies wised up) and became the standard others were judged by.  But unless you worked for PC Magazine or PC World, you could not get a system from Dell that performed like that.


MilesAhead

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Re: Startups and the Big Lie
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2015, 02:36:57 PM »
...all those companies that served the needs of startups back in the 90s (Dell, OfficeMax, Staples, Kinkos, Steelcase, etc.).

Dell?  Dell was started (as PC's Limited) in 1984, changed its name to Dell in 1987 and went public in 1988. It didn't really become a major player itself until the early 90's.

And if any company illustrates the need to lie to grow a startup, it's Dell.

In the mid to late 80s, when tech publications ran regular comparisons of personal computers, PC's Limited systems could only be ordered direct from Michael Dell, and he made sure they got hand tuned souped up systems that outperformed the off-the shelf systems they got from major manufacturers.  As a result, Dell's PCs won every benchmark for a while (until the other companies wised up) and became the standard others were judged by.  But unless you worked for PC Magazine or PC World, you could not get a system from Dell that performed like that.



Hmm, if I had known that I would have purchased all my PCs from Neil J. Rubenking.  ;)

mouser

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Re: Startups and the Big Lie
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2015, 02:41:56 PM »
One of the lesser-publicized facts of the recent hacking of the Ashley Madison website, is that nearly all of the female accounts were fake -- created by the company to make it look like the site was active and popular: http://gizmodo.com/a...-database-1725558944

This seems to be the standard operating procedure of website these days, where seeming to be popular is a necessary first lie.

MilesAhead

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Re: Startups and the Big Lie
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2015, 03:15:33 PM »
One of the lesser-publicized facts of the recent hacking of the Ashley Madison website, is that nearly all of the female accounts were fake -- created by the company to make it look like the site was active and popular: http://gizmodo.com/a...-database-1725558944

This seems to be the standard operating procedure of website these days, where seeming to be popular is a necessary first lie.

I remember when the internet explosion was happening.  I checked out a few of the dating sites.  Membership was free.  But communicating with women cost money.  I got these invites from women with pictures.  It was obvious that the women who posed for the pictures would not have any trouble getting dates.  More like they would have trouble keeping undesirable guys from communicating.  I never sent a communication because I was sure the scam was send invites to suckers(er, I mean male clients of the service) to get them to pay to send messages to the babes.  Then the babes beg off for some contrived reason.  They have to because they are fictional characters.  It is not worth the effort to try to get $5 or $10 back so the suckers just cancel the service.  Same old scam, new ad copy.  :)


Deozaan

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Re: Startups and the Big Lie
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2015, 03:40:35 PM »
One of the lesser-publicized facts of the recent hacking of the Ashley Madison website, is that nearly all of the female accounts were fake -- created by the company to make it look like the site was active and popular: http://gizmodo.com/a...-database-1725558944

Isn't that why the site was hacked in the first place? The hackers were mad about the site lying about having so many women on the site, or something?

This seems to be the standard operating procedure of website these days, where seeming to be popular is a necessary first lie.

Yeah. This was mentioned elsewhere on this site. The way Google (and other ad companies/stores) recommend things is by their popularity. So sites or products that are popular among a few people become popular among many people. It's a big, "Hey, check out this site/product/video because other people are checking it out."

There's actually very little of "Hey, check out this site/product/video because it's a good site/product/video."


MilesAhead

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Re: Startups and the Big Lie
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2015, 04:11:46 PM »
There's actually very little of "Hey, check out this site/product/video because it's a good site/product/video."

That reminds me of auto dealership ads.  They blare on about being number one in sales for their region.  All that tells me is to be prepared for high pressure and bait and switch tactics.  Why would I care how successful the dealership is?  The only conceivable reason would be if lifetime maintenance was thrown in with the purchase and I was afraid they would go out of existence before I got my free tune ups and brake jobs.

It's like who cares if anything is printed in the encyclopedia.  Just buy a set from me because I sell more sets than anyone else.  Strange logic!

superboyac

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Re: Startups and the Big Lie
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2015, 06:15:47 PM »
One of the lesser-publicized facts of the recent hacking of the Ashley Madison website, is that nearly all of the female accounts were fake -- created by the company to make it look like the site was active and popular: http://gizmodo.com/a...-database-1725558944

This seems to be the standard operating procedure of website these days, where seeming to be popular is a necessary first lie.

I remember when the internet explosion was happening.  I checked out a few of the dating sites.  Membership was free.  But communicating with women cost money.  I got these invites from women with pictures.  It was obvious that the women who posed for the pictures would not have any trouble getting dates.  More like they would have trouble keeping undesirable guys from communicating.  I never sent a communication because I was sure the scam was send invites to suckers(er, I mean male clients of the service) to get them to pay to send messages to the babes.  Then the babes beg off for some contrived reason.  They have to because they are fictional characters.  It is not worth the effort to try to get $5 or $10 back so the suckers just cancel the service.  Same old scam, new ad copy.  :)
I also used the dating services and still do once in a while.  Once you do it, you develop an eye for what is real and what isn't.  From my own experiences, 80% of profiles are unreliable.  Most of them are straight up fake.  if they are not fake, there are pretty significant lies going on regarding their relationship status.  There are also a ton of lies in how people represent themselves.  So my conclusion after the whole thing was that it's fun to try once in a while, I got some dates out of it.  Some were good, most were not.  But that's real life also.  Ultimately, I felt they didn't make anything easier for me.

Now, on the flip side, I have had friends who have had success with these things, including long committed relationships, and even marriage ina couple of cases.  The difference was this...most of them paid for the premium services.  if they didn't, then there were factors like this involved...in some non-urban places, it's hard to meet people, or there just aren't a lot of people (small towns).  So in those cases, these things work better because there is more of a genuine intention behind it.  In a huge urban environment like a los angeles, they don't work well at all IMO.  Because the girls are already being hit on constantly in every kind of way...online, offline, gym, street, work, etc.  Same with the men to an extent.  So for some reason, it just doesn't work well.  at least it doesn't make anything easier. 

Now, the exception is NY.  For some reason, for a guy, NY is great for dating online.  i don't know why.  LA is terrible, NY is unbelievable.

bit

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Re: Startups and the Big Lie
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2015, 10:10:26 PM »
Often it feels to me like economic success is one big pyramid scheme... Here's an article about the central role lying plays in the startup model where companies raise billions based on a mirage of get-rich-quick success they create.

Quote
They have little choice. Funding is contingent on growth, but that growth can only happen if no one really understands the funding situation. Founders have to tell the lie – that everything is fine, that a feature is going to launch even though the engineer for that feature hasn’t been hired yet, that payroll will run even though the VC dollars are still nowhere on the horizon.

Lying is a requisite and daily part of being a founder, the grease that keeps the startup flywheel running.



from slashdot.org
Would the flip side of the coin, be the 'entrepreneur' who specializes in buying big financially healthy businesses or factories, then laying everyone off and selling off all the assets at a profit?

For example: James Garner in Cash McCall.

MilesAhead

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Re: Startups and the Big Lie
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2015, 10:23:20 AM »
For example: James Garner in Cash McCall.


One of my favorite films and books.  Of course in the story McCall doesn't plunder businesses.  He builds them up then sells them at a profit.  Kind of like The Loan Ranger shooting the gun out of the bad guy's hand instead of just plugging the guy through the heart.

But I did enjoy pissing off some chefs by ordering "a burnt steak" in various restaurants.  Actually if you can get them to burn it the taste is rather like steaks at a cookout.

xtabber

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Re: Startups and the Big Lie
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2015, 11:16:49 AM »
...all those companies that served the needs of startups back in the 90s (Dell, OfficeMax, Staples, Kinkos, Steelcase, etc.).

Dell?  Dell was started (as PC's Limited) in 1984, changed its name to Dell in 1987 and went public in 1988. It didn't really become a major player itself until the early 90's.

And if any company illustrates the need to lie to grow a startup, it's Dell.

In the mid to late 80s, when tech publications ran regular comparisons of personal computers, PC's Limited systems could only be ordered direct from Michael Dell, and he made sure they got hand tuned souped up systems that outperformed the off-the shelf systems they got from major manufacturers.  As a result, Dell's PCs won every benchmark for a while (until the other companies wised up) and became the standard others were judged by.  But unless you worked for PC Magazine or PC World, you could not get a system from Dell that performed like that.



Hmm, if I had known that I would have purchased all my PCs from Neil J. Rubenking.  ;)


Actually, it was Bill Machrone, who was editor-in-chief at PC Mag at the time, who explained what Dell had been doing and put in place controls to prevent manufacturers from gaming the system that way.