6 years ago

“sex is more popular than Jesus on google.”

On Apr 29th, 2013 Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti took the stage to talk to the audience about how content works on the Internet: What sells, what gets shared and why. Peretti, a journalist, programmer, marketer and founding member of The Huffington Post (now owned by TechCrunch parent company AOL), has long been a student of viral media – WATCH TALK HERE – To conclude the talk a bit read below. For the article keep reading here

  • We don’t have unified interests – It depends on context, realize your audience will like diverse content
  • EQ matters more then IQ – Social is about human emotion, not just smarts
  • We are all literally crazy, embrace it – Make content for OCD, narcissistic, and ADHD ourselves
  • Cats on the web aren’t about cats – It is about being human

Kevin Allocca: Why videos go viral, TED Talk, and Peretti’s presentation are the best I have seen in a while about the viral media topic. But personally I would like to know more about these online ‘sharing’ companies that we use everyday. How did they grow so quickly, where is this boom coming from? Because on august 27th 2015, more than 1 billion people logged on to Facebook, marking the first time the social media giant had surpassed 1 billion users in a single day, according to a post on founder Mark Zuckerberg’s profile page

But how is it possible???

  • that the online travel website AirBnB is valued at $24 billion, more than the American hospitality company Marriott, which has over 4,000 hotels to its name and was founded on May 15, 1927″ 


  • “That a video messaging application called Snapchat, a company that made its name on evanescence, is valued at $16 billion. As of now, it has almost no revenue.”

Two years I already wrote about the true origins of Silicon Valley and how Stanford and the NSA built the actual valley – AskTheRightQuestion – “And Ye Shall Know the Truth, and the Truth Shall Make You Free”But today I want to know more these start ups and it’s rise. Like Facebook (the “super-unicorn”), LinkedIn, Twitter, Groupon, Yelp, Pinterest, Uber, AirBnB, and so on. 

To understand it’s context we need to know what these companies are called in the tech-world these days and to my surprise, Aileen Lee, the founder of Cowboy Ventures, chose the word “Unicorn” for these particular companies the “winner of all winners” among software start-ups, because to us, it means something extremely rare, and magical.” Lee and her colleagues completed a fascinating study that I highly recommend, which was published at TechCrunch on Nov2, 2013 and called – Welcome To The Unicorn Club: Learning From Billion-Dollar Startups – READ HERE.  

On June 15th, 2015, Andreessen Horowitz, one of the industry’s top venture firms, explained that one of the biggest differences between the current tech boom and the boom of the 1990s was a new surge in private financing for “late-stage” companies. Have a look at her presentation here.

On September 3rd, Doug Henwood from the Nation wrote a truly brilliant article about these unicorns and it’s quick ‘boom birthrate’ and summarises it perfectly for us: 

Age of the Unicorn: How the Fed Tried to Fix the Recession, and Created the Tech Bubble. The number of “unicorn” tech companies is increasing dramatically—but the bubble will burst eventuallyARTICLE 

  • Investor X puts $100 million into startup Y in exchange for a 10 percent ownership stake. That means that Y is “worth” $1 billion. Of course, there’s no guarantee that anyone else would buy the remaining 90 percent for $900 million, but one can always dream. While the company is on track to lose $150 million this year, it’s projecting that it will be making $3 billion in 2020. Who knows? But investors wanna believe.

Uber is now reportedly valued at $50 billion or more. That’s nearly three times what it was worth a year ago, and more than 80 percent of the blue-chip stocks that constitute the S&P 500 index. It’s nearly twice the valuation accorded to American Airlines. But how is it possbile that there was a GOP eagerness to slash Amtrak by $242 million and got a lot of headlines, while Uber has had no problem raising almost $7 billion… A-one-To-READ!

And just like in J.C. Chandor’s (Son of Jeff Chandor – Merrill Lynch, investment banker for 40yrs) poignantly wrote in his 2011 brilliant screenplay “Margin Call”, that deals wiith the initial stages of the financial crisis of 2007–09 – It’s Just Money – CLIP (YOUTUBE) 

  • “So you think we might have put a few people out of business today. That its all for naught. You’ve been doing that everyday for almost forty years Sam. And if this is all for naught then so is everything out there. Its just money; its made up. Pieces of paper with pictures on it so we don’t have to kill each other just to get something to eat. It’s not wrong. And it’s certainly no different today than its ever been. 1637, 1797, 1819, 37, 57, 84, 1901, 07, 29, 1937, 1974, 1987-Jesus, didn’t that fuck up me up good-92, 97, 2000 and whatever we want to call this. It’s all just the same thing over and over; we can’t help ourselves. And you and I can’t control it, or stop it, or even slow it. Or even ever-so-slightly alter it. We just react. And we make a lot money if we get it right. And we get left by the side of the side of the road if we get it wrong. And there have always been and there always will be the same percentage of winners and losers. Happy foxes and sad sacks. Fat cats and starving dogs in this world. Yeah, there may be more of us today than there’s ever been. But the percentages-they stay exactly the same.” 

just maybe, maybe Jonah Peretti is right – “We are crazy, literally” and will let the next bubble burst again, again. And again….

Photo credit: (TechCrunch, CC BY 2.0)