Bing Blog

I want to be acquired by Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

I just spent a couple of days in San Francisco, the land of the nine-digit idea.

Every town has its prevailing topic of conversation. In Los Angeles, it's Julia and Tom and Ari and who's in turnaround and who just dumped their agency to go with another agency another guy just dumped. In New York, it's hedges and wedges and bonuses and who just got that six-acre estate in Connecticut, or lost it, who's acquiring what and which and who.

In Miami, it's corned beef or cocaine, depending on your demographic. And in San Francisco, it's all about the guy who just turned 30 and received $300,000,000 for his little company that didn't do anything all that different from any other company except that it made Google (GOOG) or Facebook nervous, so they had to buy it to sleep at night.

It's never eight digits. Nobody ever sold their start-up, which provides hosting for micro-packages that skim information for dweezles, for $10,000,000, or even $99,000,000. It's always more than $100,000,000. Nobody works for chump change. Several older guys, who are now in their, like, mid-30s, have turned around two or three start-ups, monetizing each one for nine digits, and are now once again hard at work in a strip mall above a Starbucks (SBUX), honking away with a couple of engineers at a social network that will hopfrog over Facebook and integrate user experiences into a interface that will fuse their brains to the digital ecosphere.

I don't mind telling you it all made me kind of jealous. I've been working at a pretty big job for quite some time, and according to my calculations I would have to work for another 1,816 years to approach a nine-digit payday, and after taxes it would certainly come out to only eight digits, or if Mr. Obama has his way, only seven.

Worse, the lifestyle out in the San Jose-Mountain View-Redwood City-San Francisco-East Bay axis is almost insultingly humane. People wander in at 10. Everybody dresses like their mommies just put their outfits together for their first day of Kindergarten. Healthy food and beverages are supplied in big, shiny refrigerators. Nobody seems to be yelling. At dinner, I heard a story about a boss that did yell and throw chairs around, but he's out of the business now, having monetized his start-up for, that's right, nine digits. He's old now. Over 40,  think.

I figure my only chance to hit this vein of California gold, is to execute a three part strategy:

1. Spend more time in San Francisco, getting to know people there and taking a lot of meetings;

2. Invent a bunch of applets for the Apple IMachines -- IPods, IPads, IPhones, or conversely, some kind of user experience that in some way piggybacks on Facebook, annoying Mark Zuckerberg to the point where he feels he has to pay me to go away, acquiring my little start-up and subsuming it into his huge corporate body the way an antibody eats a microbe;

3. Get to know as many venture capitalists as I can, and learn the way they talk. I learned several new terms hanging around with them yesterday, but I'm not going to share them with you, because knowledge is power and you could certainly be thinking about this kind of stuff right now instead of wasting your time worrying about sales, customers and daily operations.

The business of America is not business. It's monetizing vaporous start-ups that involve mystical social networking. As of right now, I'm getting with the program. Time is money.

16 Comments Add Comment

Bing the only way you are gonna get Zuckerberg to cough up any loot is to get him to adopt you.

That might be possible, these ultra rich types are always looking for something new that nobody else has....convince him that having a grown man with the brain of a child as a son is the NEW "in thing"...

If he falls for it, then I will show up and we can become rich brothers...The older sons of Zuckerberg..has a nice ring to it.

Bing, don't be concerned yet, when the Guardian and Brink's trucks start picking up deposits in heavenly white trucks equipped with the wings of a snow white doves and the guards only have little bows and arrows, then you might start being concerned!

This all reminds me of a cover on FastCompany's mag a while back ...

A brick wall, with "Built to Last" printed on it, and spray-painted to read "Built to Flip" instead. Perhaps the most spot-on image of the late '90s one could find.

Sadly, it's still going on. Though I guess it's not so sad if you're the one doing the flipping.

I went to one of those strip mall start-ups in Silly Valley a while back. They had blenders for fruit smoothies in the kitchens, massage chairs, and all sorts of whatnots that made it look like they still thought it was 1999. I'd mention some of the other whatnots, but that might peg who I'm talking about.

They had all sorts of leadership types who'd come from this or that other startup. They had this really cool product we and everyone else just had to have. We tried it out in our environment, and not only did it fail, but it beat the snot out of some of our existing infrastructure as well. I don't see how they could have possibly tested this thing in a real environment before trying to sell it. When I explained to them why it was beating the snot out of our existing environment, they were impressed and tried to hire me. Maybe I should have said yes ... they were offering stock options ...

The scary thing is just how much money those ideas can make when the business grows up.

Yahoo does $6.5 billion in annual revenue at 19% margins.
Ebay does $8.7 billion in annual revenue at 30% margins.
Amazon does $24.5 billion in annual revenue (but at only 5.6% margins).

However, all these stories (including the fresh, new guys building the next-big-thing) need to be accompanied with a footnote or link to the term survivorship bias.

You got me at the end there, where you use those two tried and truisms: "knowledge is power" and "time is money". Whenever I hear that, I remember one of the best (clean) jokes I've ever heard:
Assume the following:
Knowledge is Power (K = P)
Time is Money (T = M)
Power is Work over Time (P = W/T) (engineering equation)

Using algebraic substitutions:
K = W/T and K = W/M
So, if work remains constant, then the more you know, the less money you make.

Solving for Money (M):
M = W/K
So, Money approaches infinity as Knowledge approaches zero, regardless of Work done (the more you make, the less you know).

Solving for Work (W):
W = MK
So, Work approaches zero as Knowledge approaches zero (i.e., the stupid rich do little or no work).

It makes for great discussions.

I want to be acquired by Mark Zuckerberg

Bing, this particular phrase is vaguely disturbing.

It is messed up, it is stupidly unbelievable that big money is being bet on stupid social networking-super wonder browsing-"engines" and the likes; I wonder if that is the path that is going to make us reclaim world technological dominance, why are not we spending big money in developing alternative energies?, vaccines?, more reliable cars?, space shuttle's next generation?, space exploration?, nanotechnology?....why?..

Yes, I hear gold nuggets as big as Bing's head have been discovered in the Klondike. It's all there for the taking! Just gotta have the gumption to reach for it. Go on, you sluggards.

Yes Klondikers,head for the hills. Dig up a fortune. By the way, I'm in the business of selling shovels. Wanna buy one, or two?
And wanna bet who ends up the millionaire?

San Franciso or better known as "The people's socialist repubic of California" with the chief commissar, Comrade Pelosi are trying to take the USA into the next depression. So go ahead all you young hipsters with minus level emotional quotients, lead us on to the great richs, until comrade Obama has to pay the financial piper and then you rich techies will be taxed back to a mobile home in Eloy Arizona.

Bing, it seems as though venture capitalists and private equity firms are syndicated; their money is untouchable to the individual; look at how moguls must beg for their "bonus".

Warren Buffet gets paid a mere 100 thousand annually--his allowance, the rest is probably like bank deposits in Bangslore; if he'd try to reach for it, he'd need a padded glove to prevent the bite that goes with a withdrawl.

You're right about the rich and famous; they just love to read about themselves and the syndicates money they tout!

It is sad that now days the most profitable companies (Yahoo, Ebay, Amazon, Google, etc) produce...nothing!!! and if they disappear tomorrow, nobody will miss them and they will make no difference, this when you compare them with companies that the produce something real and necessary.....

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB2000142405274870395490457510984073185378...

To be fairer, you need to think about the hundreds of companies that fail out here every year. 100 companies at $1 million each gets you to nine figures.

It was not very long ago that middle America was talking about retiring at fourty on a tropical isle.

Today, the gurus' and moguls', with their big bucks, can't say enough about, simply, survival!

Yesterday, feast. Today, famine!

Tom:

If Google disappeared, I'd miss it. I use google all day every day. Years ago, I used to have an entire room full of filing cabinets devoted to squirreling away information from suppliers, trade shows, etc. and two people spent the better part of their days filing and indexing all of this already out-dated information. Search engines and on-line documentation have eliminated that.

As for Amazon, sure, I could buy books at a brick and mortar store. I'd likely buy half as often, and I'd have to endure some gum-cracking imbecile trying to sell me a loyalty card every time I went to the checkout.

Both of these companies produce something for me in that they "produce" efficiency.

I wonder when the authorities are going to do something about bearshare a carter from GODADDY.COM, INC. server name dns.netvision.net.il (194.90.5) nypop.netvision.net.il (199.203.1.20) Domain Name Owner Domains by Proxy, Inc. I have to pay a technician to remove the aggressive uninvited guest that took control of my internet, when a got home, the daredevil was back in my computer and I can’t get rid of it. Karen I think is her name, from that underground company, send me instruction via e-mail, but what she said didn’t work, that means that the muenster they created went out of control and have then well trained, (we get Google running with MSN, but not with FIREFOX) Know I’m concern that bearshare takeover Microsoft explorer too. These abusers should be put in jailed without parole or fined. And paid their victims for the agony and expenses we have to go through.

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