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That.. (0, Redundant)

Guru80 (1579277) | about 2 years ago | (#41510169)

Would suck

Re:That.. (-1, Offtopic)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 years ago | (#41510259)

Can we get Elena Kagan fired instead?

Re:That.. (2, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41510415)

The Illuminati had her offed a while ago.

They secretly replaced her with Jon Lovitz, a high ranking mason.

Facebook has products? (4, Interesting)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 years ago | (#41510195)

What exactly does Facebook _do_ ?

Re:Facebook has products? (5, Funny)

tapspace (2368622) | about 2 years ago | (#41510215)

What exactly does Facebook _do_ ?

They deal with the goddamn customers so the engineers don't have to!

Re:Facebook has products? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510797)

They have people skills! They are good at dealing with people!

Re:Facebook has products? (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 2 years ago | (#41510243)

Do you have a Facebook account? If so, YOU are their product. They sell your eyes and ears to people who give them money for the privilege.

Re:Facebook has products? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510257)

Sell my eyes and ears? How? All the crap I notice on Facebook comes from my friends, not from anyone who pays Facebook money.

Re:Facebook has products? (5, Insightful)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 years ago | (#41510279)

Facebook took the old adage from the late 90s: Attract eyes and ears then you'll make money somehow.

Nowadays there are ad networks that you can cash easy with this, but back in Google's time, it was like the underpants gnomes equation.

The irony is Classmates.com was first on the scene for meeting your fellow highschoolers, but they charged you for the privilege!

This teaches us one thing: Don't put any barriers in your website for adoption, even if the barrier is a paywall to profit you in the short run.

I think this is why freemium games are coming into their own. You have more people playing, money from ads and some money from premium good sales, and if your game is good, more people will come play it than a traditional 60$ game.

Re:Facebook has products? (5, Interesting)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41510457)

typical marketer perspective. things that cater to the masses are the most watered down boring cliche products possible. No one bothers with the niche anymore and that's too bad. That's where the interesting things hide.

Re:Facebook has products? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510681)

But not the profitable things apparently....

Re:Facebook has products? (5, Insightful)

tnk1 (899206) | about 2 years ago | (#41510793)

There's money in niche products, but things like broad social networks are not built on niches. When you have a social network, you either get as many people on it as possible, or you alternately find a smaller group who is willing to pay and capable of paying. This is not an easy task. And if they pay, you'd better have some first class service and content, preferably service because content these days is pretty easy to copy unless you are marketing something with a short shelf life.

Something like Facebook was started for college students and spread to everybody. They did what they needed to do, which is market for mass appeal. I can't argue with what they did, although I do wonder how far they can take it. The craptastic IPO was just another signal that FB needs to do something or it may not fare so well in the near future.

Re:Facebook has products? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510327)

If so, YOU are their product.

I love that people keep saying this like it's correct. No. They are not in the business of slavery. Grow up.

They sell advertising space. That's it and that's all. Same as a newspaper, same as a TV show, same as a magazine, same as Slashdot. There's no reason to try to make it sound more evil than it is. They just do it better because they know you're (probably) between 30-40 and like automobiles.

Re:Facebook has products? (2)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#41510461)

they also track your cookie trail.. that's different than being pitched at a grocery store..at least before they started handing out those scanners that track your movements through the store while pretending to be a convenience.

Re:Facebook has products? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41511003)

they also track your cookie trail..

No, actually they don't track mine, because I don't have one.

that's different than being pitched at a grocery store.

Again no, it's just the same. When the guy hands you a flier, either say "no thanks" or drop it on the floor, stuff it on a shelf, etc.

Re:Facebook has products? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510463)

Is being a product evil?

Re:Facebook has products? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41511051)

I think there's an interesting distinction. Being a slave is not evil. Dealing is slaves is evil.

But ask yourself, is voluntarily being advertised to evil? Is advertising to people who volunteer for it (in exchange for something) evil? Personally, I'd say "no" in both cases. But that's me.

I think it gets just a little murkier when you starting thinking about doing some correlation via embedded code in 3rd party sites, but again, that's really only of any use for advertising profiles on people that are, again, volunteers.

Re:Facebook has products? (3, Insightful)

MrLizardo (264289) | about 2 years ago | (#41510479)

I think you must be an optimist: They're no *less* evil than television networks, newspapers or Slashdot. (TV shows are sold to TV networks, i.e., the TV show is the product.) When organizations like this are private they (potentially) *can* retain the goals of their founders, but once they're public (and they're founders sell off their stock), they're *required* to try and make the biggest profit possible. They do this by selling certain demographics of eyeballs to certain advertisers. The user's attention is the product.

Re:Facebook has products? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510795)

"they're *required* to try and make the biggest profit possible"

Prove it. I keep hearing that this is "the law", until I read something much more intelligent and educated sounding that said that's not true. I don't know.

All I know is that the one time I was "given" stock options, it ended up as a tax burden for me and a tax right off for the company.

Re:Facebook has products? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510893)

Copied from http://definitions.uslegal.com/b/breach-of-fiduciary-duty/ [uslegal.com] (emphasis mine)

Breach of Fiduciary Duty Law & Legal Definition

A fiduciary duty is an obligation to act in the best interest of another party. For instance, a corporation's board member has a fiduciary duty to the shareholders, a trustee has a fiduciary duty to the trust's beneficiaries, and an attorney has a fiduciary duty to a client.

A fiduciary obligation exists whenever the relationship with the client involves a special trust, confidence, and reliance on the fiduciary to exercise his discretion or expertise in acting for the client. The fiduciary must knowingly accept that trust and confidence to exercise his expertise and discretion to act on the client's behalf.

When one person does agree to act for another in a fiduciary relationship, the law forbids the fiduciary from acting in any manner adverse or contrary to the interests of the client, or from acting for his own benefit in relation to the subject matter. The client is entitled to the best efforts of the fiduciary on his behalf and the fiduciary must exercise all of the skill, care and diligence at his disposal when acting on behalf of the client. A person acting in a fiduciary capacity is held to a high standard of honesty and full disclosure in regard to the client and must not obtain a personal benefit at the expense of the client.

Re:Facebook has products? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510949)

A fiduciary duty is an obligation to act in the best interest of another party. For instance, a corporation's board member has a fiduciary duty to the shareholders, a trustee has a fiduciary duty to the trust's beneficiaries, and an attorney has a fiduciary duty to a client..

The wording proves the point - "act in the best interest of another party". Not "must try and make the biggest profit possible". The false equivalence between the two is why you hear things like "the board of directors/CEO/CFO must make as much profit as possible or they will go to jail" or some such nonsence.

"Best interest" is purposefully vague: you can argue that long term profits (building a trusted and respected brand) is better than next quarter's earnings. What we have now is a direct consequence of tying bonuses to options, leading to risky behavior. If we tied it to wealth, it would be different (there was a article on this in the Harvard Business Review). If a CEO has 1 million shares right now, he wants to make sure that the stock price doesn't tank - and won't do something stupid. On the other hand, if you say - You'll get X extra shares/Y dollars if the stock price rises, he has an incentive to take risky decisions. If the stock price tanks, he doesn't lose anything. Most CEOs have a mix (they already own some stock, and also have some interest in taking risks).

Re:Facebook has products? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41511069)

I agree with you in general that it does not say "try and make the biggest profit possible." But it does say something close to that.

The client is entitled to the best efforts of the fiduciary on his behalf and the fiduciary must exercise all of the skill, care and diligence at his disposal when acting on behalf of the client.

"Best interest" may be vague, but investors (shareholders) as a class have only one interest in common. I concede your point about short-term vs long-term profit. But it is still, after all, profit that the shareholders consider to be their "best interest." The quoted definition clearly says that corporate officers are legally required to "exercise all of the skill, care and diligence at his disposal" in representing that interest.

Re:Facebook has products? (4, Informative)

rnswebx (473058) | about 2 years ago | (#41510629)

That is not all. Facebook also makes a tidy sum from their Facebook "credits" by taking a 30% cut from app transactions on their platform.

Re:Facebook has products? (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#41510643)

They sell advertising space. That's it and that's all. Same as a newspaper, same as a TV show, same as a magazine...

I don't write the content for the newspaper, TV, or magazines. That little distinction there is important enough that everybody else gets it.

Re:Facebook has products? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510667)

They also own any images, content, or ideas you post. Read the terms of use you agreed to, or that they changed, and since you continue to use it, agreed to.

Re:Facebook has products? (3, Interesting)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#41510513)

Sure. And yet they're paying me (in free services I use to interact with my friends and acquaintances) in order to monetize me. If that payment ceases to motivate me to put myself in a position to be monetized then they lose.

Re:Facebook has products? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510711)

>Do you have a Facebook account? If so, YOU are their product.

Do you have a Slashdot account? If so, YOU are their product.

Re:Facebook has products? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510273)

I think the scary thing is that there are still so many people who genuinely don't know.

They provide free time-wasting software to you, and encourage you to tell them all about you. and your friends. Information about you is the product.
They sell info about you to advertisers and businesses. They are the customers.

Will they make enough money to become a long-term stable business before Twitter and/or the Next Next Next Big Thing (TM) steals all of their thunder? Will Justin Timberlake resurrect MySpace, fulfilling one of the signs of the impending Apocalypse? I hope the Cubs winning the World Series is the next sign on the list.

We'll see.

Re:Facebook has products? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41511017)

They sell info about you to advertisers and businesses. They are the customers.

I keep seeing this repeated and it's false. They don't tell the advertisers anything about you or me specifically. Advertisers get to pick certain demographics they want their ads to play for, they don't get information about who actually sees those ads. Yes, there are ways that the advertisers can get you to "leak" information, but they're the same exact methods they can use to get information by means of a newspaper coupon or an in-person purchase at a brick and mortar store.

They are not selling your information. They are not even really selling access to your information. What they are selling is access to your eyeballs- and we already have a word for that and that word is "advertising".

Re:Facebook has products? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510275)

"Herp derp, I'm karma whoring because all the cool kids are so OVER Facebook, and like to pretend they have no idea why it even exists."

Facebook, like Google, is an advertising company. They make their money off of advertising, and use some of their advertising revenue to create services which bring users in, where those users are then exposed to more advertising. To their customers, they offer increasingly sophisticated views of the online behavior and activities of various demographics, allowing better targeted advertising.

In derpster terms, you might say "LOL THEY DON'T DO ANYTHING I WOULD EVER USE."

Re:Facebook has products? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510307)

Make one person an insane amount of money.

Re:Facebook has products? (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | about 2 years ago | (#41510331)

Facebook currently harbors "products" that have left MySpace, Orkut, Friendster, Bebo, ICQ, AOL.. These products will soon migrate further to some new social verticals as the social web matures.

Re:Facebook has products? (4, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | about 2 years ago | (#41510417)

What exactly does Noah Kagan do? Writing blogs is certainly not his superpower. After reading it I felt I knew less than when I started.

Re:Facebook has products? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510565)

The guy sounds like a meathead. I don't know if he is, but he comes across like the typical, know-nothing, intellectual-lightweight you usually find in business departments.

and how does he figure he "lost" $100 million (1, Troll)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about 2 years ago | (#41510533)

He figures he somehow "lost" $100 million that he never had, and that he had no hand in creating. I'm always surprised at how people view that they were "cheated" out of other people's money. This is similar to saying the Winklevoss's "lost" $400 million.

Should have listed to jwz (4, Interesting)

busyqth (2566075) | about 2 years ago | (#41510209)

Do you hate your job? Are you only still there because you're waiting to vest? I feel your pain, brother. The only thing that kept me from leaving Netscape in 1997 and walking away from a dumptruck full of cash in frustration was this script. I ran this every morning for at least a year: it prints out the following motivational message:

Today's NSCP price is $__._; your total unsold shares are worth $____. You are __._% vested, for a total of ____ vested unsold shares ($____). But if you quit today, you will walk away from $____.
Hang in there, little trooper! Only _ years __ months __ days to go!


It's amazing how this script can put it all back into perspective and keep you from going postal and strangling someone. Fill in your numbers, and let it remind you not to do something you'll regret later.

http://www.jwz.org/hacks/ [jwz.org]

Re:Should have listed to jwz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510329)

Today's NSCP price is $__._; your total unsold shares are worth $____. You are __._% vested, for a total of ____ vested unsold shares ($____). But if you quit today, you will walk away from $____. Hang in there, little trooper! Only _ years __ months __ days to go!

What if you're fully vested, but it's a private company with no exit plan? I'd love to say FYIFV, but FM, being FV without liquidity means sweet FA!

Re:Should have listed to jwz (1)

njahnke (757694) | about 2 years ago | (#41510377)

he was fired, though.

Re:Should have listed to jwz (3, Insightful)

jmerlin (1010641) | about 2 years ago | (#41510379)

In the event of a pre-IPO company, it should also include the difference in a competitive salary vs current salary (and reasonable bonuses or raises) for the duration it will take before vesting occurs and insert "You're paying $____ for the possibility that you will cash out big." Just to put that in perspective.

What? (5, Informative)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 2 years ago | (#41510231)

I actually mostly read TFA. This guy sounds like an asshole, but at least he does a decent job admitting it. For those of you too impatient to slog through it, he basically says "I was a product manager but I wasn't very good at product managing" and "I used the brand more than I added to it" (w.r.t holding parties at the office, self-aggrandizing on his blog about working at FB). Not to mention going behind people's backs, like all of Marketing, on a new feature.

Short version: I was a liability, and they fired me for it. At least I learned something.

Re:What? (5, Informative)

rgbrenner (317308) | about 2 years ago | (#41510441)

That, plus.. according to wikipedia [wikipedia.org] he worked there for 8 months over 6 years ago.

At that point, Facebook was already running for nearly two years.

Get over it already... you didn't lose $100m... you were a momentary employee of facebook, where had you stayed for 10x longer, and your share wasn't diluted, and etc etc etc.. you might have made $100m.

Re:What? (3, Interesting)

AchilleTalon (540925) | about 2 years ago | (#41510983)

Anyway, the lessons he learned don't worth 100M. Almost everyone learn them for free. Nothing special in this story at my humble opinion. Everyone with about 5 years at the workplace got these lessons. I estimate that 5 years is the average time to be fired these days.

Re:What? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510549)

In his previous blog post he lists The Fountainhead as a book that changed his life. That's like Charles Manson carving a swastica into his forehead: it's a clear warning to everyone else. Thanks for letting us know up front and saving us the time, benefit of the doubt wise.

"Everyone is replaceable" (3, Insightful)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | about 2 years ago | (#41510725)

One of his lessons learned is that "everyone is replaceable", which is the sort of things action movie villains say when they're pointing a gun at the hero's head.

Re:What? (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 2 years ago | (#41510963)

I wouldn't say he is an asshole. I'd say he's someone who made some mistakes when he was younger, lost an absolute fucking fortune over it, and then did something unusual (for assholes) - he conducted a brutally honest self-assessment, used it to make himself better, and bared it for the world.

Sounds like somebody who grew the hell up to me.

I'll give him $20 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510251)

to cock punch him. I suspect there's a lot of other people that will pay for it, too.

A lesson (5, Informative)

mallyn (136041) | about 2 years ago | (#41510253)

I did read the article.

The person may be an ******, but that does not mean the article is worthless. It is a lesson to take with you.

Re:A lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510523)

It is a lesson to take with you.

Indeed. I learnt that Zuckerberg can't spell.

Re:A lesson (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510623)

The article is worthless because that he might have been a 100-millionaire and that's about it.

Otherwise it was such a vague emo nonpiece that I think it was crap.

why do we care? (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41510265)

I don't know why we care about this guy, but he took firing pretty hard. Who doesn't? As he said, Facebook had an important part in his life, from the article:

At that time, here’s the order of what was important in my life:
1- Facebook
2- Myself
3- Food / Shelter

OK, it sucks the get fired, but he lied in that list above, in reality he actually put himself above everything, and really abused his relationship with Facebook. As he later admits:

I wanted attention, I put myself before Facebook. I hosted events at the office, published things on this blog to get attention and used the brand more than I added to it.

Add to that he wasn't paying attention at all in meetings (well, I don't blame him for that but sometimes meetings are important), he didn't work well with others, and eventually he just annoyed the wrong people too much.

Re:why do we care? (5, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#41510317)

The single best take-home message in the post is nothing new, but have you truly internalized it? You are replaceable, and firing you would hurt you much more than the company. I work in research and it's even worse: whenever somebody leaves, nobody even bothers to carry on the work they'd been doing. What does that mean?

Re:why do we care? (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41510351)

You are replaceable, and firing you would hurt you much more than the company

Speak for yourself. As an underpaid squab, I am much more valuable to the company then they are to me! Firing me would only improve my salary! I would be smiling my way out the door!

Re:why do we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510411)

Speaking of clueless asshole...

Re:why do we care? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510449)

So quit.

Re:why do we care? (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41510569)

There are more reasons to stay at a company than just money. I make enough money to satisfy me (more than anyone in my extended family, actually), and there are other things that make me happy. But it won't bother me at all to get fired, because I've been through that and know how to find other work.

Re:why do we care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510593)

So piss into the coffee maker every morning until they catch on... ... if it would be such an obvious improvement for you, and they're such dumb fucks anyways... really, you're just doing them a favor.

I don't want to see your stupid face at any "occupy" rally in a few months time though.

Re:why do we care? (3, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41510699)

No, I was at the occupy rally last year. Protesting is fun! It was a party!

Re:why do we care? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#41510353)

their research is a dead end

otherwise, you'd hear about their research again

Re:why do we care? (5, Insightful)

petsounds (593538) | about 2 years ago | (#41510637)

The single best take-home message in the post is nothing new, but have you truly internalized it? You are replaceable, and firing you would hurt you much more than the company.

Generally, no. People are not replaceable. When you try to replace one person with another person who on paper seems to be equivalent, you will end up changing the company. At low-levels, the effect will generally be localized, although even at this level the Butterfly Effect can come into play. As you move up the pay scale, switching personnel can have more and more noticeable effects on the company. What role they are in tends to have different effects -- switching out people in a role of creating value for the company can change the company's value in an extreme way. Replacing middle managers tends more to have a multiplier effect on the value creators. And then there is the social dynamic one brings, which can cause huge problems within the company organism.

I think an equivalency to your statement would be: you have no job security. And from an employer perspective: you have no security in retaining the people who give your company value. When either of these parties take those statements for granted, one or both parties will hurt from the loss.

Re:why do we care? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#41510723)

Yes each person brings something different to the job. Often so different that I am at a loss to say whether one person is "better" or "worse" than another who is at least in some sense their predecessor. And you know what? Maybe Facebook would now be worth $104,001,000,000 instead of $104,000,000,000 if it had not fired Noah Kagan, and firing him was a mistake. Then again maybe not. There is no way of knowing and nobody at Facebook cares. That is what replaceable means.

'How' may be a bit of an exaggeration. (4, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 2 years ago | (#41510287)

There isn't really a how here—just (rather gamy) reflections on possible "why"s. The piece is not really very good at generating sympathy, either; the author comes across as erratic, impatient, and insecure—more than a little like a stereotypical teenage girl in disguise. Perhaps the true lesson is that marketing is a strange, shallow world. (And more importantly, why doesn't the blog article mention any attempts at intervention before he was let go? Do they just randomly axe underperformers at FB, or was that another critical part of the coherent thinking process left out of the story?)

Re:'How' may be a bit of an exaggeration. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#41510389)

Most HR policies are a no nonsense and zero tolerance to posting inside information and blogging proprietary information. You do it and security and an HR representative arrives at your desk, gives you a piece of paper to sign, and shows you to the door. Or they gave him a warning and he did not heed it?

If it is financial information that is a big no no and can mean heafty fines and a lawsuit. Much more than the cost of letting you go. So money takes and the door it is.

Re:'How' may be a bit of an exaggeration. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510847)

He publicly gave himself the warning:

"He ended up publishing it that night (I was at Coachella and will never again attend) before the actual product was released in the morning. I immediately notified the e-team and assumed full responsibility."

Re:'How' may be a bit of an exaggeration. (2, Insightful)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 2 years ago | (#41510785)

why doesn't the blog article mention any attempts at intervention before he was let go?

That's what I was wondering. From the sound of it, things went from hunky dory to gone in 60 seconds. Weren't there any warnings? Don't people communicate at FB? (Extremely ironic, that.) That end run around marketing, a instance in which communication was very badly handled, sounds like the likely reason, and could justify an immediate firing, but we can only guess. Zoning out at meetings is bad too, but not necessarily fatal. If the meetings were just big wastes of time, as too many tend to be, then he should have done something about that. Don't go to those meetings, or cancel them, or refocus them. It doesn't sound like those meetings were wastes of time, rather it sounds like they were about vital functions, but he found the subjects (massive spreadsheets and more meetings) "boring". Typical non-engineer attitude.

He also goes a little overboard on eating crow and humble pie, which has me wondering about the sincerity of it. He may be doing some posturing, in order to better sell people on something such as his reformed character.

Finally, he recommends that everyone go through the experience of being fired. Like hell! Good for people with hugely swollen heads, perhaps, when it is their fault. But many people are not massively overconfident braggarts, and many firings are very unfair, executed to cover up someone else's mistake, or to make room for the boss's nephew, or out of personal dislike and jealousy, or sheer and totally impersonal bureaucratic bungling, or dozens of other reasons that would get the employer sued for wrongful termination in a heartbeat if disclosed. All a firing does in those cases is show workers that employers won't treat them fairly. Stories of such firings are legion, but employers don't have to care because there are more desperate workers than jobs. We're expected to suck it up, and for the most part we accept this treatment.

Re:'How' may be a bit of an exaggeration. (2)

thesandtiger (819476) | about 2 years ago | (#41510905)

During a hyper growth phase the important thing about human resources is to bring in and keep superstars and ruthlessly cull anyone who isn't for any position that isn't basically administrative or infrastructure. You don't want someone merely good when you can try for someone who is amazing, especially when you are trying to completely dominate what you imagine to be a huge marketplace.

Once the company is firmly established then you can take people who are merely good and work on getting them to up their performance.

It isn't a particularly nice mode of operation, and it certainly doesn't place much value on people as people, but for the people who can thrive in such an environment it can lead to amazing results.

For reference, I have been a single digit employee in multiple firms that have exploded to over 1000 employees within a year of my coming on board and seen this process through multiple times - the first time I was horrified at how casually people were canned, but I couldn't dispute the huge difference in performance between the ones who stayed and the ones who were let go. I had a series of amazing experiences but I'm extremely glad I got my financial security taken care of so that I could get out of that kind of environment and into something relatively non-competitive like academia :)

how did he get hired at facebook (3, Interesting)

Dan667 (564390) | about 2 years ago | (#41510293)

to me, that would be the more interesting article now that we know where he ended up.

If you haven't been shitcanned and ripped off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510303)

You haven't been in this business long enough.
Expect to work long hours at low pay with promises of riches, stock options and extravagant benefits, real soon!
This kind of arrangement usually comes with a huge increases in pay when the product ships.
Of course, you only collect one check at your new higher pay rate.
As soon as the work is done, you contemplate pulling into the path of that logging truck on your way home that last day.

He lost out on a lot of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510315)

And is still a millionaire. So who gives a fuck.

He didnt... (5, Insightful)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | about 2 years ago | (#41510347)

He didn't lose the money when he got fired, I would say he lost it by not having a golden parachute.

And he wasn't very insightful, I mean, he named 3 specific events and a SINGLE reason he thinks contributed to why he was fired.

His reason is stupid. He's was a show-er (rigid non adapting thinker) and not a grow-er (some one who adapts and 'grows the brand') or a veteran (some one who grows a bunch).

Completely arbitrary and meaningless stuff. He sounds like he was working in an environment where hyperbole sold, just apparently not for too long.

Re:He didnt... (2)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#41510739)

Indeed. I have no idea who this person is, yet having read his post, I am now convinced that he missed out on a bigger lesson.

My take-away thoughts: if I'd lost out on $100 million in stock options, I'd probably be fairly pissed as well. And his arguments are kind of backwards / contradict themselves: what he's really saying is "don't be replaceable -> work on as much of the core product as possible, as opposed to trying to be 'friends' with everyone around the office, as being the company dandy won't save you from being fired, but having written (and potentially not fully documented) the core code-base will." What he wrote was "everyone is replaceable" and "I should have spent more time working on the main product than schmoozing."

But then, a fair number of people know this, having studied Aesop's fables -> only an idiot kills the goose that lays the golden eggs, or in modern parlance, only a class A mistake in human evolution fires the main engineer / scientist that actually knows in and out the core product that your company sells / is responsible for your good fortune (not that we haven't seen many a higher up think that someone was accumulating too much power, fire them on pretense, then run around screaming while the company burned down to the ground because his / her replacement(s) would have to spend 5 years taking apart their predecessor's work before they'd gain enough understanding of its inner workings to be able to modify it without destroying it).

So, I'm late to the party. Did Zuck fire him to get the $100 million back? One of those "Oh Shit, we've given out too many stock options, we need to do something to get some of it back" kind of deals? Always, always, assume the worst will happen when pursing a job offer. Any potential intellectual property is purposefully mentioned and locked out, and stock options are kept and vested independent on continued employment, save you are charged with a capital crime (like offing the company founder). Arbitration is handled by an objective third-party, and no conflict of employment (working for one of their competitors) agreements signed without compensation for the time spent not working. And so on...

He trusted Michael Arrington... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510349)

Anyone who trusts Michael Arrington needs to be canned. This guy was a walking social engineering liability.

like the guy says, everyone should be fired once (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#41510361)

it teaches humility

Re:like the guy says, everyone should be fired onc (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510395)

I've already been humbled enough in my life I don't need to be humbled at my job I already know how to work hard k thx bye.

Re:like the guy says, everyone should be fired onc (2)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 2 years ago | (#41510819)

That's right! There are millions of people who will tell you, with a smirk, that you suck. They aren't doing it for you. Their criticisms aren't constructive. They're trying to get ahead, and if they can get ahead of you by convincing you that you really do suck, they'll do it. Bullying doesn't end when childhood ends.

Re:like the guy says, everyone should be fired onc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510475)

Fired for the sake of being fired then? People who do good work should be fired?

Re:like the guy says, everyone should be fired onc (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41510563)

People who do good work should be fired?

It happens.

Moral: marketdroids get sacrificed first (3, Insightful)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 years ago | (#41510373)

The guy's basically a marketing manager. You might be the smartest person in company, but if a glorified salesman is all you are, you can easily be cloned. The exception is if you developed enough good connections OUTSIDE the company that you can take a shitload of the client base if they fire you. I don't think this is the case with Facebook users, fake or otherwise.

Of course, marketing types get paid more than the typical engineer if the product is successful. But if you want a more stable job, it's better to be the craftsman working at the product, than the pretty face selling it at the counter.

Re:Moral: marketdroids get sacrificed first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510481)

There is a difference between marketing and sales, involving quite different skills and responsibilities. You're not going to rise very high in your company if you don't know that.

Re:Moral: marketdroids get sacrificed first (1)

suso (153703) | about 2 years ago | (#41510625)

There is a difference between marketing and sales, involving quite different skills and responsibilities....

Marketing is all about turning on the customer.
Sales is all about sucking them off.

You're right, they are different skillsets.

Re:Moral: marketdroids get sacrificed first (1)

lightknight (213164) | about 2 years ago | (#41510751)

Hmm, I'd imagine sales would be more high pressure. Marketing requires outsourcing demographic studies and ensuring that you attract some attention without offending anyone. Sales requires reading people / their reactions with split timing, and being able to close a deal.

Marketing is filled with the 'beautiful people,' and Sales is filled with the people who give off the oddball wavelength that you can 'trust' them, or when that fails, that you're still getting a 'deal' out of the proposed arrangement.

grammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510427)

"The product is strong with this one. Now learn some grammer. --Mark"
Guess he should have replied to him with a dictionary.

He's a Randian (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510443)

He's a follower of Ayn Rand.

Perhaps if he would cut the self-serving bullshit, He might become a decent human being. But right now it looks like he's a shithead sociopath begging for attention and sympathy.

So in spite of all these lessons, he's just another shithead-sociopath-manager and we're all better off with him simply working in a call center.

So some guy gets fired (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#41510459)

and its front page on Slashdot 6 years later?

Not a healthy topic. (4, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41510467)

It's a familiar story. I worked with a guy who interviewed at a certain small software company back in 1982, and refused their offer because he thought their CEO was an insufferable dork. And of course that dork's name was Bill Gates.

Another bunch I worked with on a skunkworks startup had been with a certain other Big Name back when (this one I have to keep to myself) and just barely missed out at cashing in when they got bought out. The whole point of the startup they had brought me in on was to try and recreate that magic moment they had missed the first time. And of course the startup's product was hopeless, since all it's motivations were the wrong ones.

Which kind of demonstrates the stupidity of the whole approach. I don't mean the obsession with might-have-beens (though that's pretty unhealthy). I mean the obsession with getting rich by being part of The Next Big Thing. Unless you're a fucking genius (and trust me, you're probably not), you're not going to invent something really brilliant, and that's the only sure way of cashing in. Otherwise, you're just rolling the dice. OK, you roll the dice every time you start a business. But to have any hope of succeeding, you have to be focused on the the basics of making your company work, not crapshoot aspects, which are simply beyond your control.

I'm not saying that nobody ever lucks out and gets big bucks. But it's just not something you can plan. If you want to gamble, buy a lottery ticket: the odds in your favor are just as good, and it'll screw up your career a lot less.

Re:Not a healthy topic. (2)

OutputLogic (1566511) | about 2 years ago | (#41510833)

Not all startups invent something brilliant, and it certainly doesn't require to be a genius to get big bucks. A decade ago I worked for a startup that developed a better product than its competitors (evolutionary, not revolutionary). It had a slightly better engineering team, more effective sales force, and more nimble org structure than its closest competitors. As a result, it went public in 2000 and got acquired in 2004. Founders and most of early employees got big bucks. Well, certainly not billions, but many millions. So the obsession of getting rich doesn't mean the stupidity of the whole approach. It's a matter of calculated risk when joining a startup, hard work while working for the startup, and some luck.

Re:Not a healthy topic. (2)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41511065)

Not all startups invent something brilliant, and it certainly doesn't require to be a genius to get big bucks.

I didn't say genius was required to get big bugs. I said that genius was required to make it a certainty.

From your description, that startup you worked for was a well-run company that managed to build some solid value. Now there's no denying that this is the right way to build a good business. And of course well-run companies have a better chance of winning the fat buyout crapshoot. But the crapshoot is still a crapshoot.

My only point here is that if you focus on winning the crapshoot, you almost certainly won't.But if you focus on building a real future for yourself and your company, then you've got something that's worth having whether you win the crapshoot or not.

wow (5, Insightful)

buddyglass (925859) | about 2 years ago | (#41510477)

I don't know the guy from Adam, but Kagan comes across as a bit of a douche. His lessons learned:

1- Selfish. I wanted attention, I put myself before Facebook. I hosted events at the office, published things on this blog to get attention and used the brand more than I added to it. Lesson learned: The BEST way to get famous is make amazing stuff. That’s it. Not blogging, networking, etc.

How about this lesson: be a little less superficial and worry about something besides getting famous.

2- Marketing. The marketing team’s plan was not to do anything and the night before we opened Facebook to the professional market (anyone with a @microsoft.com, @dell.com, etc) I emailed TechCrunch to let Michael Arrington know to publish it in the morning. He ended up publishing it that night (I was at Coachella and will never again attend) before the actual product was released in the morning. I immediately notified the e-team and assumed full responsibility. Lesson learned: I don’t think what I did was that wrong since the marketing team did not do anything to promote our new features. My lesson learned was more I should have involved them instead of just going around them.

Two lessons not learned: discretion and the ability to abide by someone else's decision when you disagree.

Re:wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510689)

My thoughts exactly. "Waaaaaaaah... I was a whiny asshole who didn't respect others, and they *fired meeeeeeeeee*." Yeah, real hard to see that coming.

Re:wow (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41511057)

Yeah, the email to TechCrunch was a really bad betrayal that I don't think, from reading TFA, that he even now really gets. I've been involved in multiple technology roll-outs in which a deliberate decision NOT to call special attention to new features was made. Usually this means management or marketing wants to do a "soft opening" - just put it out there and let the natural discovery by users work for a bit, to allow marketing and the devs to collect data about how the new features are being used or misunderstood, before a very public flood of new users pours into it. It allows time to tweak or solidify things, to make sure when the marketing push comes, the featureset will not faceplant.

Shooting an email to TechCrunch in that case would be like shouting from the bushes with your squadron to your unsuspecting foes "We are so about to ambush you right now!" - If you are well placed, you might still win, but you've blown the strategy before it had a chance to work.

Sounds from the article like he still actually doesn't get that.

Noah, worry not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510595)

Worry not, Noah. Once hyperinflation hits, $100,000,000 bills will litter the street, as worthless paper.

Learn Some Grammer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510633)

To which I would reply to Mark: 'Learn some spelling.'

And then Noah would be all 'Nice burn, dude!'

End scene.

Dont Care (1, Insightful)

Osgeld (1900440) | about 2 years ago | (#41510641)

about some asshats reflection and regret brought on because he lost money

Comments Disabled (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510707)

Anyone else notice that the comments on his page are disabled. A whiny asshat bitches that he sucked and got shit-canned, and he ends up afraid of what people might say on his blog about it. Yeah, that's being "brutally honest" and manning up to it.

You are special, but still replaceable. (2)

Sun (104778) | about 2 years ago | (#41510799)

From TFA:

You are NOT special and there is guaranteed someone better than you on this planet.

First, sure you are special. Everyone, best or otherwise, bring something different to anywhere they work at (unless it's a soul crushing place). Yes, there is guaranteed to be someone better than you on this planet (well, there is a 1:7,000,000,000 chance there isn't). If, however, you are one in a thousand, the company is highly unlikely to find those better people.

To summarize my comment so far: You are special, and it is possible that the company cannot get any better than you. You are still replaceable.

Yes, your replacement will not be as good as you are. They might cost more (at least when amortized over the time it takes them to complete a given task). They might not be as organized as you. They might turn out inferior solutions. At the end of the day, however, they will get the job done.

Shachar

That is nothing... really. (1)

gagol (583737) | about 2 years ago | (#41510911)

1. First job, not even out of college, I got sucked into a marketing firm that was doing ... okay... And I invested time (a lot) to make things going from ok to profitable. I n exchange I was supposed (no contract... I was naive) to inherit 50% of company. I even worked over 100 hours per week sometime, no overtime charged, only vacation 1/1. All that just above minimum wage.

2. I changed jobs 10 years after because the first company got bankrupt. But at that point I was exhausted, as in depression exhausted. I rided it for over a year (good pay, good insurance plan etc...) but not two. When I finally fell, I was unable to work for over a year. That is when I decided to move to the country, no matter what, cause I cant stand stress anymore. Even to that day.

3. I worked as fuckin representative for a clothing company based in my new home town. Middle of the wood to be precise. But it was a family business, and the niece of the big boss was my boss and she knew I was more competent than her. Felling cornered, shed cornered me out of a job using clever and subtile subterfuges.

4. I am currently unemployed, developped a C++ library to handle fuzzy inputs (ai principles applied to user inputs to resolve them in certain time), and no one would employ me around because I have the tag "depression" hangned around my neck. I will probably go to work again in couple weeks as labor for a cheese factory, me, professional of communication products and hobby programming guru.

Life is a bitch... as they say. Is it your bitch? That is the question.

Enjoy my rant!

Re:That is nothing... really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510917)

STFU and go to work! You pussy you shoulod have died already, you arte the problem with capitalism! No time for whiners!

Re:That is nothing... really. (1)

gagol (583737) | about 2 years ago | (#41511045)

Come on, my point was, he has learned valuable lessons and much more people are much more poor and dissatisfied than him in life. We all carry our crosses, so to speak, in a way or another.

This kind of rant will not bring anything useful to the conversation. Please get a life.

Re:That is nothing... really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510927)

Dude!

Re:That is nothing... really. (2, Funny)

raehl (609729) | about 2 years ago | (#41511059)

I will probably go to work again in couple weeks as labor for a cheese factory,

Do they have an employee discount? It will come in handy when you'd like something to pair with your whine.

Facebook Is Like Bitcoins (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41511011)

Sure, missing out on $100 million sucks, but it's kind of fake money. Facebook isn't a real company. It's a fad, like Myspace, and it'll go the same way. To people like me, Bitcoins aren't real either. Sure, they artificially cranked the price of Radeon 5830 cards way way up during the time when I was shopping for one to run Skyrim on (which is how I discovered Bitcoin... I was like WTF is making all these cards disappear from Newegg?!?! and then I was like Oh... lol, I feel sorry for all the suckers on this one...) but if they can be made up out of thin air, a disruptive replacement is guaranteed. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.

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