Category Archives: People

Bravo TV's Silicon Valley reality show

If you happen to be in the San Francisco Bay Area over the next several months and at a tech event, you might be able to catch a glimpse at the latest reality television show to be filmed here. Silicon Valley, a new reality show focused on young tech entrepreneurs produced by Randi Zuckerberg, has just begun taping its inaugural season to be debuted on the Bravo television network later this year. Although considered to be a working title, Silicon Valley will center around probably 5-6 main characters living in the Valley trying to make it big with their startups and ideas. Who knows whether the cameras will follow them throughout the city and other locations as they attend investor meetings, parties, conferences, and other social gatherings, but if they do, I’m sure that things will be very well planned in advance.

What is definitely known is that the main cast of characters has moved into a luxurious home in the Castro district of San Francisco affectionately called “The Villa” where they’ll be living and filming most of their exploits and adventures (a la Real World).  UPDATE: As Kim Taylor points out in the comments below, “The Villa” is not the homebase for the entire cast–in fact, only Ben Way and Hermione Way live in this home.

There’s space at “The Villa” for co-working and private parties and maybe even other social events. But beware, if you go to one of these events, you’ll probably be in the spotlight along with the cast since it’ll be ground zero for filming for the show.

Facebook CEO/Founder Mark Zuckerberg
Don’t be evil — that’s Google’s unofficial motto. But while some companies may take that motto to simply mean “don’t do anything bad”, some might argue that rather than being passive about avoiding evil, companies should actually be more active in combating evil and doing more good. For Facebook, doing good and giving back seems to be very much in part of their effort to give back to the world. Sure, their service allows people to connect themselves with others from around the world, but there’s always more that can be done and one might suggest that Facebook has strived to be good global corporate neighbors. Just take a look at recent events to gain a glimpse at what the power of Facebook has had over our lives–the service has helped directly/indirectly shake the foundation of some of the most totalitarian regimes across the Middle East during the famous Arab Spring event. And Facebook’s founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has not made it a secret that he intends to donate some of his wealth to charity, having signed onto billionaire Bill Gates & Warren Buffet’s “Giving Pledge”. And in 2010, Mr. Zuckerberg famously went on the Oprah Winfrey Show and announced that he was giving $100 million to the Newark Public School System as part of his effort to help Mayor Cory Booker revive the struggling education system.

Facebook and Mr. Zuckerberg have clearly been corporate model citizens helping to illustrate that companies can do good for the public and that more can be done instead of simply pledging never to be evil–there are other philanthropy efforts that need corporate help and it seems that Facebook is leading the way.

Hillary Clinton sends a text (taken by Diana Walker/TIME)We all know that memes can be hilarious and can often involve pop culture icons and celebrities. Whether it’s about Leonardo DiCaprio, Keanu Reeves, Ryan Gosling, or other known individuals, people surely love their memes. One of the most recent ones to take the Internet world by storm doesn’t feature a movie celebrity or musician. Rather, it’s an innocent photo (don’t they always start out like that?) featuring US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton simply sitting in a military plane wearing her sunglasses and typing away on her mobile device.

With such an iconic photo of the Secretary of State being published, there’s going to be someone that will make it into a popular meme. And that’s exactly what Stacy Lambe and Adam Smith did when they created the pop culture hit Texts From Hillary. The premise? Simple…just take the famous photo of Mrs. Clinton looking at her phone, add in another fun photo of another individual doing something on their phone and then come up with a crazy and funny story. That’s it! So far, some of the submissions have been memes featuring the Secretary with known individuals like disgraced politician Anthony Weiner, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington, Vice-President Joe Biden, Jon Stewart, Meryl Streep, Rachel Maddow, Mitt Romney, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Ryan Gosling, and many others. 

PandoMonthly - March 2012 - Sarah Lacy Interviews Path's Dave MorinOne of the hottest startups to hit the tech scene has got to be Path. This private social network was the center of attention at tonight’s edition of PandoMonthly, a monthly event hosted by PandoDaily, the tech publication started by journalist Sarah Lacy just a few months ago. If you’ve never been to one of these events, you should definitely try to go because for entrepreneurs and those eager to break into the scene, this is one of those events that will shed some light and help answer questions you might have about starting your own business and understanding life lessons that famed technologists have gone through. And as tonight’s subject centered around Path, logically the one being interviewed by Mrs. Lacy would have to be none other than Path’s founder, Dave Morin.

Held in the Mission district of San Francisco at Madone Studios, this was PandoDaily’s second monthly event and I must say that tonight’s talk with Mr. Morin was perhaps the best one yet. Entrepreneurs, journalists, tech enthusiasts, and those who work in Silicon Valley all attended to better understand what makes Mr. Morin tick and what he did to overcome all the obstacles to create the antithesis of Facebook. Ms. Lacy wasted no time getting down to the nitty gritty–but instead of talking about anything truly scandalous or outrageous, Mr. Morin was peppered with questions about his humble beginnings at Apple to what he created at Facebook and then ultimately to his failures and successes with his very own startup, Path.

Kevin Rose hosts Diggnation at SXSWIn what was widely reported yesterday, Digg and Milk founder, and creator of the famed web-series Diggnation, Kevin Rose, has joined the Google. Today, in an aptly-placed post on Google+, Mr. Rose officially confirmed it, along with Bradley Horowitz. Although his post on Google+ may be a clear sign or indication that he’s gone 100% over with Google, it should be nothing more than a coincidence. Many months ago, Mr. Rose was one of probably a few people who shed services like Tumblr, Posterous, and WordPress in place of having Google+ be their official blog where people could respond and interact with him.

Nevertheless, it’s the place where Mr. Rose chose to make this announcement, but yet still hasn’t quite divulged what he’ll be doing with the search engine giant. But what he does share is that several of the Milk team will be going over to help build something in Mountain View. Along with himself, Google is acquiring Milk’s other co-founder, Daniel Burka, and their business development guy Chris Hutchins, who might also be known as the founder of LaidOffCamp.

Amid some speculation about what Mr. Rose and the Milk team will be doing, one thing that seems to be clear is that Google intends to put them to work to help build out their social efforts. Right now, there is YouTube and Google+ as probably the search engine’s only social components. YouTube is pretty self-sustaining and doesn’t really need any help, but Google+ on the other hand, needs a big boost. ComScore is reporting that while the social network had a decent boost in its hey day, the recent stats show that visitors only spend an average of 3 minutes within the month of January. Google needs to find a way to get people to stay longer on the site and hopefully Mr. Rose and the team will find a way to make that happen. His extensive experience in creating a service like Oink, Digg, and even Diggnation, should come in handy to help build a more thorough and scalable product line that people will clamor over each other to use, but that depends on how much leverage and freedom he’ll have.

Still no word yet on what will happen to Milk and the rest of the team.

Photo Credit: Kevin Rose at Diggnation during SXSW with Leo Laporte on stage, right before he crowdsurfed via Paul Stamatiou