John Perry Barlow @ Hacking Society
I think this next quote really has significant implications for understanding Internet History. I think what Barlow is saying that Facebook and Google are more democratic because of how much their employees are living with the services themselves.
Quick thing, they may not Something I think is really worth considering. This is a heterodox view. I recently realized I visited Facebook and Google, with a bunch of U.N. human rights ambassadors, and listen to the spiel. And it dawned on me, that in some weird way they may be the most democratic institutions I’ve ever seen, because they actually consist of their constituents.
And if you think about how of Facebook has morphed extremely rapidly over the course of its history, and how Google has morphed. I think they feel what their constituents are manifesting and react to it almost in ways that they can’t see themselves.
Networks destroy existing institutions and then new institutions are created on top of them. Just like Troy, you know, layers on layers. And I think we’re going, you know, to me the really interesting question is, how are we going to make better institutions after the revolution is over or, you know, as the revolution is going on.
You know, if you think about the American Revolution versus the French Revolution, then you have a really great example where, you had one that had a lot of forethought about, let’s try to build some new institutions on top of this network uprising. Relatively speaking to the power structures of the day, and you had another one that didn’t really think about it, and it very rapidly fell back into something that resembled what had existed before.
And I think we’re.
(And then the third republic)
That’s right. Yeah. So, I think the real challenge is not to try to imagine some utopia in which the network works completely different way is to say, “Okay, how do we harness the energy of the network and channel it into institutions that preserve as much of it as possible? @timoreilly at Hacking Society
And there’s ways in this clashes but the other world been engaged with which is the countries we live in and the communities we’re a part of. And you know, we know where that’s going yet. But there are clearly different rules to it. And, you know, being a citizen of the Internet is way more satisfying than being a citizen of whatever country because there is actually response to you. @yanceystrickler CEO of Kickstarter
Hacker Society John Perry Barlow
John Perry Barlow: Let me say something quickly, and then I’ll shut up. Well, for awhile. Years ago, I was addressing a bunch of bank CEO’s, major bankers, several members of the Federal Reserve Board, and I asked them if they had a minute to decide whether they would give up all of their assets, public and private, I mean, corporate and personal, and all of their relationships, which would they chose?
And nobody went with their assets. Because everybody understood that they could rebuild their assets from their relationships, but not the other way around. And I said, “Well, why do you go on placing so much emphasis in economic theory on the thing that is less important to you?” And one of them said, “Because as we can measure it. “
Now, I think we’re actually reaching the point where we can start to measure relationships. In some quantitative way.
Congrats to Buddy Media from a Distant Observer
5 years ago a close banker friend of mine introduced me to an energetic second time entrepreneur named Mike Lazerow. Mike had started a golf internet business and sold it to Time Inc, but was embarking on a new ambitious idea to become the online currency of Facebook. As I recall the early vision for Buddy Media, they would be a version of what Paypal was to Ebay. I think there was something called Buddy Cash.
Mike was looking to fill out his executive team and we talked on the phone and exchanged emails but we never met. He was all in on Facebook. He talked about the Facebook economy. At the time, FB probably had fewer than 50mm users or so. He was convinced that Facebook would be massive and whole companies would be built around it.
Buddy Media rapidly pivoted away from currency app development towards helping brands manage Facebook. I only knew what I read in the trades, Buddy Media seemed to be building a services business to me. Periodically I’d run into Mike’s early investors Alan Patricof and Eric Hippeau and they would tell me Buddy Media was going to be huge. Roger Ehrenberg, who was alternating between writing posts about the American economy and banking systems and formulating his big data strategy, was an angel investor in the deal. I thought Mike’s scale challenges and Roger’s investing thesis didn’t jive. But Roger praised Mike’s entrepreneurial acumen and anybody who knows Ehrenberg knows he is careful to dole out accolades.
A year or two later I met Mike at a party and periodically I’ve seen him at an industry events. I’m sure most of our conversation were through twitter and facebooke. My last interaction was inviting him to class at NYU a few months ago. He wanted to come to NYU, but it conflicted with standing Tuesday date nights and he reluctantly declined my invite.
Now he’s come up with a top 5 (I think) New York City Internet exit. It’s a big deal for a variety of reasons. I really don’t know Mike or Kass or anybody who works at Buddy Media, but here are a few observations from a distant admirer.
Disclosure: I’m not a journalist and I’m not fact checking this post.
1. Mike and his team sold relentlessly. He was on the road all the time. I followed him closely on twitter (before there was foursqure) and he was traveling the country to talk to marketers. He was at Imedia, or Adtech, or some social media conference. He was on the road. . This work is in the trenches. It’s hard and it requires great tenacity.
2. Mike knew how to balance facebook cheerleading with client service. There were times when I thought Mike would shill (especially at or about F8), but I also think he was drinking the actual Kool-Aid and he saw customers benefitting. He was an evangelist, but then he could also be pragmatic.
3. The decision to support other platforms (Twitter et al) could not have been easy. Buddy Media appears to have an intimate relationship with Facebook and it’s possible that FB was frequently a potential acquirer. I thought this was a strategic inflection point. Buddy Media got it right (at least according to Salesforce).
4. Scaling a client service organization is brutally difficult. The advertising/marketing business remains high touch. Of course, Budddy Media has a killer set of products, but clients need handholding and upselling. You need really great people to represent the company. Selling and service are challenging. Kass and her organization really must have been exceptional at this. The revenue growth they have achieved is hard to do and maintain quality service.
5. Mike and Kass have three young kids. Dennis Crowlely, David Karp, Rob Kalin, etc have zero collectively. Jonah Peretti and Jon Steinberg do have kids and they seem to be making it work. Startups are children and they need an unbelievable amount of attention and focus. Raising a family and building a high value company at the same time speaks volumes about the Lazerows’ management skills. From a distance, this is an exceptional achievement.
I’m just really excited to see people try so hard and succeed. Buddy Media outcomes are only possible because of the enormous sacrifices made by founders, leaders, and employees. It’s great to see it pay off.
You have my admiration.