Bubble bursts always start in the public markets. Next, VC-backed "unicorns" with ludicrous multiples will soon find themselves unable to raise cash at even half their previous valuations. Then those companies will have to tighten their spending which means layoffs and smaller revenue growth which is a vicious cycle towards even lower valuations, bankruptcies and ultimately a much worse job market for tech workers.
I'm expecting a 30-40% decline in S&P 500, 30% decline in bay area real estate values, 30% of bay area "well-funded" startups going bust, and 25% reduction in market rate pay for software engineers over the next 2 years. Hopefully that will turn out to be a gloomy forecast, but it's best to prepare for the worst.
The problem is shrinking global liquidity. Losses in the Chinese financial system and in the global energy sector are forcing governments, central banks and sovereign wealth funds to sell assets around the world. These are some of the biggest asset managers in the world.
It is unclear to me how this will end. When the mortgage market melted down and destroyed the balance sheets of banks, the Federal Reserve liquified their illiquid assets using QE. For better or worse, QE restarted the jammed shut credit engine.
At the moment, outside of wholly energy dependent countries (Middle East, Latin America, Nigeria, etc.), there does not appear to me a 2008-like financial system shutdown.
Coming back to tech. IMHO, big tech companies with inflated multiples (as benchmarked against the FCF generating engines at GOOG and AAPL) now have a target on their backs. Unicorns that aren't cashflow positive are going to learn how to negotiate down rounds. Real estate values are sticky and will hold up longer than people think. Engineer salaries are not going to drop a whole lot. The number of people employed might.
I give it more credence than the usual "property market correction incoming" because certain fundamentals have actually changed, oil is dirt cheap, China as you say is volatile having blown multiple bubbles and now dealing with the consequences.
Perhaps those who previously bought for investment purposes may need to liquidate?
and so on
> Engineer salaries are not going to drop a whole lot.
Basic economics say that will follow.
None of these events are isolated. They're interconnected and cascade. Everyone will be affected, even those who are flipping burgers in the Bay Area.
hey sure there is a bubble there, but last time I checked BA wasn't caput mundi yet. Plenty non inflated startups do exist, even if not specifically there.
Where the whole economy is sustained by VC money, well, there's gonna hit the hardest. But doesn't seem that the whole IT world is following that model.
Maybe not. Seems like many here are too young. I'm only in my early 30s and am already feeling deja vu. Life is strange.
Accordingly, there's no reason to be investing in fluff like file sharing, app-based bike delivery, or "valuable" services like Shazam when there's real work to be done. In other words, the VC correction unfolding now is exactly that, a correction (long overdue, to my mind, and an unambiguously healthy thing). It will hurt a lot of overextended people to be sure, and unprofitable companies with dubious valuations that are laying people off now are wise to get ahead of the crunch.
As the squeeze tightens, salaries will even out, the balance of power will shift to employers, traffic may improve (slightly), and rents may even stop climbing. But 20-30% declines in the overall housing market? Dream on. Prices here are a function of a massive shortage, off-the-charts desirability, and deeply-rooted peculiarities in the tax code (Prop. 13), not Florida-style speculation. All of these factors are far more impervious to temporary downturns in the employment market.
Having lived through the dot.com crash, I can certainly hear echoes, but deja vu it isn't. The world is now a very different place.
That's not the same situation. Of course you're going to see the $150-200k premium for engineers fall once startups, funding, and jobs disappear. It's already happening in the form of cutting RSUs and bonus packages.
And it has happened before. Why is it so hard to understand this?
Regardless, I was stating that your dismissal of "basic economics" was wrong. It's not basic economics, there's a lot that goes into the equation. Wages might go down. Wages might not go down by a ton. They might drop like a rock. It all depends on a number of factors, but blithely dismissing people with some nonesense about econ 101 is not being intellectually honest.
The key is that wages for /engineers/ will fall if funding and jobs disappear in the tech sector. Today's wages for engineers are high and will be unsustainable when things go bust.
How much they will fall is anyone's guess. But the reasoning behind why they will fall is very straightforward.
Your extremely talented engineers who build things at scale and understand the fundementals, who are basically a safe per of hands, are still going to be in deep demand. Profitiable companies that work at scale are still going to have real problems and are unlikely to turn around and tell their engineers that they're going to be getting significantly less money, as those engineers are already in their own market and these companies will still want to compete for them.
The startups filled with architecture astronauts who spend most of their time overdesigning, learning new tools, and basically doing anything that isn't meeting user needs, delivering the product or tackling some tough engineering problem, then you're likely going to see a drop because they're not really worth it in the first place.
However, remove the funding and force these companies to actually compete on merit and only those who are actually capable of delivering will still exist. At that point, hopefully, we'll see a rise of new leaders who actally value excellence.
The point is, we can only afford to value hipness over experience in bubbles and it looks like this one's about to burst. Of course, I'm not from the future, so I could be wrong.
You can argue that the drop in employment in startup land may see some movement outside the bay area and into boring lower paid dev jobs, but I doubt that it will be more than a small blip.
TL;DR: If you're at a start up the good times might be over. If you're not, don't expect much change (maybe less likely to see a pay rise). If you're just coming out of Uni and into the job market, you may see interesting times.
Maybe the typical age on HN is 21? :)
This may be true in the general case, but there is a more relevant (IMO) general case here, and that is: demand outstripping supply causes prices to ramp up steeply ... but if that condition wavers at all they will drop.
That is to say, if there is even a single marginal house for sale in the SFBA that can't clear, the whole market drops. Right now that doesn't exist. All (normal, conforming) homes in SF are clearing. If that changes - if there are even one or two marginal houses left unsold - the price plummets.
If a house does not sell at a certain price, typically the owner can lower the sale price.
There's nothing stopping central banks from creating more liquidity through progressive rounds of QE, each of them buying in because they know their country will suffer in the short run if they do not follow suit. Of course this will lead to deflation and another recession in the long run with many losing faith in monetary policy/central banks altogether, but we're not quite there yet. We've still got another couple of years before we hit that phase.
This allows the economy to stay afloat as those with assets enjoy increases in nominal wealth as long as more and more liquidity is injected into the system.
But it hurts the economy in the long run by distorting market signals (wage, unemployment, asset prices) that would take a major correction if the market was allowed to match supply and demand in these respective markets efficiently.
Short summary: QE hurts aggregate demand in the long run through the misdirection of resources and the creation of rent seeking asset bubbles. Weak aggregate demand leads to deflation, regardless of how much liquidity we have on the bank side.
The implied growth rates in many tech stocks is unrealistically high.
The Bay Area's long-term employment prospects simply cannot support current home values or rental rates.
Once public and private equity valuations drop a lot of software development projects are going to get cut and with them the jobs of many software engineers. Engineers who keep their jobs probably won't experience pay cuts, but new hires are going to be expected to take much lower pay packages.
Why? Because the talent is going to be available at lower pay rates. So why pay more?
This is not necessarily a bad thing. There's a lot of irrationality in the tech business now and it's crowding out the rational participants. There needs to be a weeding out process. It is good that it has begun.
Remember to think long-term. Technology and the Bay Area are here to stay. Let's get the creative destruction process over with as quickly and painlessly as possible so that we can get on with making real innovations.
I'd say keep polishing your resume. If you dropped out of school, look for a school with low tuition that isn't University of Phoenix but finish your degree. Stay on your toes: work your way through to graduation, get internships each September (as much as you can).
And though the retire-as-a-millionaire thing might have vanished, you'll land on your feet.
Look at Vancouver, Hongkong, Shanghai, Moscow, Tokyo, all have waaaaay lower average household income than San Francisco Bay Area, yet wil much more expensive realestate price.
The median price for a single-family home in the Bay Area is $841,560 as of Summer 2015.
Why not? What are you basing this on?
I'd love to know what the median rent across all rentals is in SF! ~70% are rent controlled. I'd guess the median rent is maybe half? Around $2000? Just a guess.
There are other games in town, but those two games were seriously inflating salaries here.
that won't happen. During the 2008 big burst everywhere in USA was felling apart but in SF real-estate was just down 5%-10%.
SF can't expand easily since it's water 3/4 all around. Demand still high and supply very low.
That won't change dramatically, with or without a collapse in the public market.
It was a bit more complicated than that ...
You are correct that rents/prices fell much more in marginal areas, but "marginal" can mean a lot of things. Very expensive, 3-4 million dollar homes are also marginal (or at least, they were at the time) and those fell a lot. There just wasn't a healthy demand for 4 million dollar homes in SF and Marin during that period, and those prices dropped a lot.
So, yes - mid-range (mid-range for SF) houses in desirable areas did not fall a lot ... but just like houses in undesirable areas dropped a lot, so did a lot of other marginal properties - namely, very expensive ones.
That might easily change.
If average salaries go down, people won't be able to afford pay rent they once used to. There will be less people living on their own and more people sharing with others. This will create oversupply of rental properties which means rent prices will go down.
If rent prices go down, property prices will go down too as property investors won't be able to justify holding a relatively expensive property yielding low rental returns. So they might as well put the property on the market creating more supply of properties for sale. Thus bursting the bubble.
I know both have diversified, and Google has become best friends with the Obama administration.
I just wonder if they will be relevant? These tech companies main reason for living is advertising, and their algorithms.
I look back, and Apple had a physical product. Other than Apple, exactly what companies will be here in a decade?
Actually, I don't think I would buy another new Apple product for myself. I still buy them as presents. It's a nice gift. For myself, I will still buy used while their is a surplus of parts.
I went into my Corte Madera Apple Store on 2-1-16. There's no cash registers. A few printers are attached under the counters for receipts. It's ambience was that of a operating room. I walked out, with a $39.00 iPad mini case. I said to myself, "Is this my last visit?" The case was not the quality I expected from Apple either.
Please don't beat me up. I won't even be back. Just thinking out loud. My prediction of future events have a poor track record.
Sibling comment, compares Goog with MS 10 years back. My humble submission is several people saw it coming even then. I remember reading a book called 'The Search', and also having some discussions with friends, where we felt that Google will overtake MS. But there is no such thing in the horizon, which challenges Google. And people tried - Blekko was noteworthy. DDG is also liked by hackers, but it remains to be seen in the long term.
Now talking about FB's algos (or AI). Its purely anecdotal, but till I was using FB, I found it highly irritating. Imagine if your email was trying to guess which email you like to read, rather than simple time sorted one (and brief categorization, which gmail does).
 This analogy of comparing Google to advertising company has become a bit tiring now as well. I think, thats their current way of making money, we should judge them by what their intrinsic value is - Search/self-driving cars/Youtube/etc. As the means may change (micro-payments via Bitcoin/etc who knows?)
Only Google is a lot more diversified than MS was back then, since Android isn't even their main business.
You didn't used to have to exclude the server market. They owned that too. Then Linux challenged them and won.
In fact, they used to own all PCs. Then Apple challenged them for laptops and won.
Microsoft isn't doing badly, but it's not an unchallengeable juggernaut any more.
And Google won't be forever either.
Google is up with Apple and Coca Cola as most valuable brands, but Facebook is not even top 10.
It happened in many, many markets across the US and the world.
We just saw it happen!
I have watched Bay Area realestate for too many years. I do agree the decline will be at least 30%. I think it will be more like 40%, but who knows.
That said certain areas (Rich areas--Pacific heights, etc.) of San Francisco do not follow the trends. Marin county, with the exception of Novato, do not follow the trends.
I know a thing about tech, lawyers, and banking. You're talking about misconceptions about tech while feeding misconceptions about law and banking.
In reality, most people in all three industries don't make $200K salaries. A big chunk (but by no means all) of Bay-area FANG engineers, New York bankers and Biglaw lawyers get this type of remuneration. Should be said too that most (not all) of these are pulling off insane, crazy-making hours as well.
If you think lawyers are rolling in it you have not been paying attention to what's happened to the profession over the past decade. Simply anachronistic. If you're going to generalize, it's a much better time to be an engineer than a lawyer in 2016.
All three of these professions have massive disparities in remuneration.
For all this talk about how engineers "might" get laid off, this completely ignores the massive contraction of the legal market that has already happened.
Outside of a few specific areas of law, and a few high powered law firms, lawyers don't make that much money.
My ex, a nationally renowned family lawyer in literally the richest area of the country doesn't make more money than i do (and she runs her own firm, so it's not like she is being kept down by partners).
Maybe I'm being irrational, but I suspect that the drops won't be proportional and the housing isse in SF will just get worse.
In the rental market a big driver of the landlord decision cycle is needing, at a minimum, to have a reputable tenant and to cover the cost of carry of the asset (mortgage, etc). In many cases if their cost of carry is met (and that's often a low bar....many landlords in both NYC and SF own their apartments outright, or are paying tiny monthlies on a refinanced mortgage that was originated in the 90's), then the priority is getting a reputable tenant who won't destroy the place or create drama.
If the above paragraph is confusing, basically what I am trying to say is that a landlord often prefers, for example, $3000/month from a tenant who they think is 98% likely to be an "easy tenant" to $3500/month from one who they think is 80% likely to be the same. In other words, there's a market premium on reliable tenants, especially in places like SF that have aggressive tenant-protection laws which make landlords even more antsy.
As layoffs start happening (as they did in the nine months before we signed our lease back in '09) landlords of reliably-paying, drama-free tenants start getting antsy about keeping their current tenant or finding a suitable replacement.
As such, what drives prices in markets like NY/SF isn't just supply-demand equilibrium; there's also a significant behavioral economics angle aspect to it as well, as landlords are willing to pay a premium for peace of mind.
Therefore, I would expect a significant drop in SF rents if layoffs start coming.
I would much rather have someone who pays less, but is financially and mentally stable. So yeah, rents will drop pretty fast once the market softens.
SF in particular is a unique market because you have one population that is hell bent on staying here, and another that is primarily here for work opportunities. The latter population will clear out pretty quick once the work starts to dry up.
So yeah ask. And be prepared to move. If you aren't prepared to move, you're not ready to save.
It also depends on the kind of property taxes prevalent in the states. e.g. in California, property taxes are set at the time of purchase, while in Texas they are reassessed every year. So, my landlord (in Texas) basically increases the rent to cover for the increase in property taxes.
I was able to do the same thing when re-signing the lease for my NYC (East Village) apartment in June 2009. My roommates and I drafted a letter requesting a 10% reduction, citing decreased rents 1) in the neighborhood and 2) in the rest of the city - specifically in the financial district where "luxury" buildings were giving away multiple months of free rent as a signing bonus - and the management company accepted it without a word.
Landlords are scared to death of deadbeat tenants like this, it costs a lot of legal fees to get rid of them, and they're freeloading while you're walking through the necessary legal processes.
Every time the apartment goes onto the market they're rolling the dice again - so the value of an existing pleasant tenant is substantial vs. the risk of a tenant of unknown quality.
Which isn't to say you can just get your rent slashed whenever you want, but it's part of the negotiation, and coupled with a recession it can be a powerful argument.
Vast majority of rentals in NYC if you asked the super for a discount in rent you'd be requested not to let the door hit your ass on the way out.
If we made $200k+ each, or if even just one of us did, $4k wouldn't even be worth thinking about.
 by "afford" I mean that there is money left at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, the average American couple would have less than $3.5k before paying, regardless of what their rent is.
We also save a lot (and are healthier and save time) by cooking at home instead of going out to eat.
So, really, we get to both live in downtown SF, and travel pretty much whenever we feel like it.
I ask because I'm a remote worker for an SF startup, home base in a low cost of living area, but I travel frequently as well (but the home was purchased somewhere where the house is paid in full already and the monthly upkeep is ~$500/month).
Two reasons why I choose to stay here: 1) building said network so I can go back to proper nomading easier, and 2) access to the startup lottery; nobody gives shares/options to remote workers and/or independent consultants/freelancers
Lottery is a nice potential upside with next to zero downside as an engineer
I received equity as part of my remote worker compensation (my entire team is remote though).
Also, anecdotally, in 2008 some of those fired were expensive new hires. "The bottom 25%" might be defined as those fired but otherwise I don't think there is a definition of "bottom" those who get fired all fit. Say, if a project or a department is terminated, often everyone is let go, instead of trying to keep "the best" and replacing "worse" people elsewhere with them, etc.
To some extent, it is easier for the Chinese to defend the on-shore yuan market (CNY) through capital controls. It is harder to defend in the off-shore yuan market (CNH). Great discussion from a few days ago here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11008872
I personally have tremendous admiration and respect for managers of the Chinese economy and I think betting against the Chinese government is just a money-losing, dumb idea.
IMHO, the big threat continues to be oil. Cheap dollar funding has pumped up global supply to well past demand. This is crushing the economies of oil-exporting nations through currency devaluation. Ruble, CAD$, Nigerian Naira, Krone, Bolivar, etc. have gotten crushed.
Developed Market banks and investors have poured a lot of money in emerging markets in the past decade. Some of that investment is going to be lost.
It is an open question whether we are working up to an event that is similar to the 1997 Asian financial crisis, 1998 Russian default, the 2012 European debt crisis, the 2008 Global financial crisis, or something milder, or something much worse.
If they do it again then they lose all credibility with the rest of the world. And how the world responded would change China's trajectory.
So its interesting to see what they do.
And by expecting, you mean investing accordingly?
Hopefully that will turn out to be a gloomy forecast, but it's best to prepare for the worst.
Actually, it's not. Being right at the wrong time is arguably the worst kind of "wrong" you can be. It doesn't pay to be the only sane guy in the asylum.
I could definitely see a decline in engineer salary, which could be significant in certain markets. But who knows.
The readjustment of the market to reality is going to be a big issue, especially when one looks at just how many companies are operating at huge losses. Most people already know that it can’t continue like this.
The good thing is, real estate values will decrease like the pay, so people can rent at cheaper rates in the bay areas.
The bad thing is, those who have bought a house are f~~~~~d.
We’ll probably see a lot of tech giants like Twitter (no income? really?) tumble, and others take a small hit (like Google).
This needs to happen. We need to see housing as more a consumption item than an investment item. The more people see it as an investment, the more the NIMBY policies we see to increase home values to levels which price young and low earners out of the market.
I could see them operating with 100-200 employees.
What do you mean by no income? Twitter makes billions in revenue...
If there is a problem, the Fed will drop interest rates, maybe even go negative, and that will cause bond rates and conceivably mortgage rates to drop as well.
The Fed wants inflation, and most importantly home price inflation. They will do whatever it takes to stop deflation, they've already said this. Bernanke said he would drop bags of money out of helicopters, obviously an exaggeration, but basically this is how critical the Fed views the fight against deflation.
The Fed has very little room to drop interest rates and won't do so to prop up the NASDAQ while the economy continues to grow and add jobs.
And they can go negative interest rates which would be crazy, but it's happened before, and currently going on in Japan.
They've bubbled up again not only in SF, but also in most every single area with job growth - SoCal, the whole I95 megalopolis, Denver, SE Florida, Dallas and Austin, Minneapolis, and the Pacific Northwest.
In fact, only parts in the rust belt, South, and Midwest remain affordable, based on historic standards. Unfortunately, the majority of job growth is not in these areas.
I do not see how homes can retain their value when Boomers begin dying and down sizing, as they own the majority of wealth in real estate and the next generation is loaded in debt already and not forming large households at the historic rate.
The "helicopter" thing is a metaphor, not to be taken internally. The is a related action to be taken but it's not nearly as exciting as helicopters :)
I hope very much that you are correct, but I'm kinda droopy about the prospects, frankly.
It's a poor business founded on poor assumptions
A strange game.. the only way to win is not to play...
I've been a software engineer for going on 20 years now. Have a plan, just in case, even if you're good at programming (I am.)
In short, if you just bought a big chunk of San Francisco real estate on the basis that you pay it off in a few years when you cash out the options in your hyped up tech startup... well good luck with that.
I don't dispute your gloom, but I challenge your %s.
- "Well Funded Startups" have a >1 correlation to the overall stock market. (Market moves 10%, they move higher than 10%) So if we see a several year 30-40% decline in the S&P, this will cause more than 30% of the "well-funded" startups to go bust. Anyone who can't switch to cash flow positive would have a high likelihood of going under.
- Real Estate values tend to move slower than stock market prices. (People can ride the market out, and just not sell the house) It would take a very sustained market hit to cut real estate by 30%. Also, much of the money fleeing China is coming to the Bay Area. (This isn't to say that it couldn't happen, but you'd need to see 5+ years of a depressed stock market) The reason it tanked so much in 2008 was that the bubble was in the financing mechanism.
- I think if you count equity, the market rate pay for engineers would get hit worse. Options that on-paper are worth 500K can quickly go to zero in a down round. Other variable comp will get hit too. Not sure about base salaries. Even in an enormous down market, most of the world will still be short engineers. In 2001 the folks who got crushed were the Marketing majors posing as Web Engineers.
You didn't mention my big hope though... A 30-50% reduction in Bay Area commute times! :-)
One bright side to a crash - it is better to start a company where good talent is plentiful and cash is scarce, than the other way around.
With regards to VCs and Unicorn investing, we really only saw institutional money get serious about investing in tech startups after 07/08 when the markets shifted and traditional asset classes didn't return as much as they used to. It's easy to look at startups, see the ones that survive and their high ROI and think it's a great place to invest without seeing all the other ones that morph into lifestyle businesses and don't go anywhere or flame out. Throwing near limitless amounts of institutional money into a very noisy market leads to the rise of cheap capital and the ability for anyone to get funding regardless of the extent of their business plan. I think we will see a retraction of available capital which will lead to an increase in bootstrapping and an increase in vetting by serious VCs who need to improve the hit/miss ratio since capital will be tighter.
I need to drum up more capital to invest. Best time to buy and hold is in a major downswing. You get durable assets for cheap!
I tend to look for things that are strong on fundamentals and get murdered because of market sentiment and not because of business performance.
So I'm kind of curious to hear any anecdotes from users here profiting in 2008...
You don't have to time anything right or pick any winners with this strategy, because you'll invest all the way down and all the way back up. You might not have made money from Jan 1 2008 through Dec 31 2008, but that money would have made a killing subsequently.
Of course if you were out of work in 2008 that is easier said than done.
OTOH If you try to make a killing by shorting, there's an infinite number of ways to end up broke by getting the timing wrong. If you bet everything on picking bottom, you can miss the boat or miss the bottom. Not nearly as risky as shorting, but certainly not as reliable as staying the course.
I'd love to hear how people timed the upswing from 2008.
Now I believe we're going down. I'm shorting through options to get some bigger action. 3x from SQQQ not good enough- so buying 6-12 month puts on Cloud companies and QQQ. Didn't get in it at the top - started at about 10% below the top.
Care to share how you did that?
As a recovering academic, I find myself getting incredibly scummy e-mails from ResearchGate which actually purport to be from people I have done research with, putting their name as the sender, without that person even taking any action to send the e-mails. It's a spamming/phishing tactic that for some reason hasn't gotten them banned from the major e-mail services.
How do I know that the person named in the e-mail is not choosing to send these e-mails? Someone I once did research with passed away last year, sadly. He started supposedly sending me ResearchGate invitations six months after he died.
Then they sent an e-mail with pictures of me, and said "are any of these people you?" Apparently RG thinks I need a photo so bad, it tried to search for one on the internet, and asked for confirmation.
It's not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but it is creepy.
I deleted my LinkedIn account over five years ago, and hunted down every "no, really delete" option I could find on the site and in their emails. It didn't work. LinkedIn will still happily let users and recruiters find my old ghost profile and try to connect with it. I have quite a number of former co-workers who think they have a contact channel with me in LinkedIn even though it would never reach me. LinkedIn isn't just a nuisance, it's actively poisonous and dangerous.
I'll be doing all my future job hunting on StackOverflow Careers, thanks.
I accidentally sent my friends a bunch of annoying messages to their school email addresses as I sat there clicking and asking myself, "How are we not connected, we've known each other for years?". Really we are but LinkedIn creates these shadow profiles for each of their email addresses.
Especially since they seem to never go away and you can invite repeatedly, like once a quarter when you scroll through asking yourself, "How are we not connected, we've known each other for years?"
So ever since then, LinkedIn has been trying to trick me into sending invites to people I've never met who I've briefly inquired about sharing an apartment with, various administrators at the schools I attended, and women who I went on some dates with back in 2009. Having an interface that's designed to funnel me into an inauthentic and embarrassing social gesture means I have to keep a state of anxious vigilance whenever I use it.
[And yeah, I'm aware of people doing this for other services too, eg financial account management. Expecting they'll become further anecdotes later one... :(]
When I clicked connect, I thought I would invite her to my network, but it ended up with an invite to LinkedIn to her email.
The difference is that you were not aware of how interested in LinkedIn the contact was, and you were not aware you were ALSO inviting her to join LinkedIn
At this point, I honest /just/ /don't/ /know/ how to stop getting emails from them. In my entire life I've only had a facebook account for a few hours (created one out of necessity a few years ago -- closed it after just a few hours of use at that time). And I still get emails. I've clicked unsubscribed probably fifty times by now, but I still keep getting emails. I just don't know how to stop it. Incidentally this is one of the reasons I cheer for blackhats taking shots at Facebook, I'd love to see the behemoth shot down. They don't respect me or my time, I don't respect them.
Useless, of course. But just because they ignore internet norms of decent behavior doesn't mean I will.
This worked out fine for Facebook: I visit their webpage when I want to know what's going on over there, and they never send me email.
Also, if you're in the USA, you should report those messages to the FTC.
If you try to unsubscribe from an email list and your request is not honored, file a complaint with the FTC. via https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0038-spam
And I don't need any more luck; my initial problem is solved (I no longer see spam from Facebook, and I am taking steps to ensure they are aware of their problem, in case they weren't).
The problem was worth the time I spent on the config; it is manifestly a waste for me to involve the FTC, since I don't have to worry about Facebook's spam anymore and am willing to eat the tiny amount of bandwidth involved.
I think it's a bit extreme to cheer for hackers to take down a big company just because they send you a few emails. How much time has it really cost you, in total, to delete their emails? 5 minutes? And for that the "behemoth" should be "shot down?"
It really just isn't the emails, it's rather that they're one of the biggest pioneers of dark patterns: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/04/facebooks-evil-interfa...
I'm extremely conflicted about all of this. I want the open web to thrive, but I'm beginning to realize that in a free and open internet parasites who partake in these such practices are rewarded all too well.
It's really a shame but I think that when your business is built off of trying to monetize user engagement with ads and you're under the scrutiny of the public market it's only a matter of time before this starts to crop up. I imagine there are/were many people at all of these companies against this sort of thing but with enough employees and enough outside pressure to deliver growth I suspect it's nearly impossible to avoid (without an extremely explicit mandate from the top)
It appears so. This is amusing to me -- because when I was involved in a startup setting 2 years ago, I remember distinctly having conversations with my coworkers about the frequency of emails we were sending. We argued against sending too many emails because it would waste the user's time, it wasn't right, etc. And in the end we followed through - we were very mindful of not bothering our users with anything other than what is very necessary and important. But Facebook et al. have more of a 'fuck the user' philosophy and they seem to be faring well for it. This is very much a trend, little players are playing strange tippy toe games while the big players selfishly and shamelessly mess it all for everyone.
That's close to the proportional death rate from air travel accidents (3.6 billion passengers/year, around 500 deaths).
Facebook takes---in Fermi numbers---about as many lives as plane crashes.
That's pretty much the kind of fallacy behind "if all people on Earth give 10$ for <cause> we can solve <big problem mankind hadn't solve in a century>."
135 out of 1B isn't big at all, it just looks big because of the biases we have when interpreting big numbers. Not mentioning the fact that the aggregation isn't very relevant (it's not like 135 people will have their entire life wasted while the others are not annoyed at all).
They're wasting 135 people's entire lives worth of time. Every single day. :(
Where are you getting that 1b number from? Most of Facebook's active users are presumably not receiving these emails or not being particularly enraged by them, since they like using Facebook.
Why the hyperbole?
Agree it's scummy and they are mixed in with actual folks on LinkedIn but they are not creating shadow profiles.
You mean they scrapped it from your email account because you clicked on one of their links in your email.
The biggest joke is the entire concept they have of using a connection to connect you to someone else who they know. Which of course depends on the definition of "know" which with linkedin means literally nothing.
This was all in the interest of keeping the numbers going up which is obvious. And that's fine if that is your business model. But the business model here seems to be showing growth for the sake of wall street as opposed to growing the business in a meaningful manner.
Linkedin does serve a purpose it allows people to humble brag which is helpful even if they aren't looking for a job and don't need the connections because, say they own a business (and I don't mean a startup but it could be that as well). It's become an acceptable way to show where you went to school, what you have done in the past, and where you work or what you are the owner of. There really aren't that many other ways you can do that w/o appearing to be actually bragging and trying to impress someone (meaning it's not the same as having a personal website or even pointing people to a link "about me" page on your business website or a wikipedia page.
What's amazing is that they apparently don't want to filter the bogus requests as opposed to merely the requests that are from legitimate people (not bots) and simply trying to build what appears to be a network.
Welcome to the world. Version 2.0. Codename: pointless.
For this reason, I'm somewhat lenient in adding LinkedIn connections, as long as I at least have some idea who the people are. Unfortunately, many connection requests are from people I've never met before.
My how things have changed.
And... I can't forget the fake invitations I receive every week with fake photos that I detect searching on Google images by an image.
"posting original stuff to groups with thousands of members and not receiving a single comment or click to some link"
LinkedIn had the chance to build some amazing forums. LinkedIn should be the place that you think about when you want to have a conversation about business. They clearly have the traffic. They could have done something amazing with their groups and discussions. They have wasted all of their chances.
They made a big (incomplete) UI overhaul which managed to make them less easy to use, and half the time fails to load posts (every 1-2 posts as you scroll down is loaded via script, fails a surprising amount of the time, or simply refuses to fire!).
I'm at a total loss as to why they hate Groups so much. Not enough page loads / ad impressions? We run a few groups - ranging from 10L to 90K in size, some of which are quite active. But discussions tend to engage ~.001% of users.
I have an account, turned off all email-based notifications, and stop by every half-year or so to see what's in my inbox. It's usually full of messages, but I never get any emails from them.
Am I just lucky? What's up?
LinkedIn is generally crappy at what is supposed to be its primary purposes, and they do shady UX stuff. But they have very granular controls for email and push notifications.
So both your experience and the grandparent's are possible - they respect you, once you've signed up.
"I am on linkined now. What do I do?"
I am pretty surprised that in SV, they have one of the worst performing mobile experiences. It is always super slow, lags, unclicks, takes me back to an entirely previous page when hitting back, as opposed to the screen I was looking at before I read that profile... etc...
I turned off all email notifications and despise the fact that they email my contacts about my activity.
On a monthly basis, I get LinkedIn "invites" from friends who simply didn't understand LinkedIn's hostile and deceptive user interface. They think they're just importing their contacts to conveniently++ find existing profiles but in reality, they're unwittingly giving permission to LinkenIn to spam their address book to recruit new members.
You may be good at defensive web surfing to keep your contacts private but most others are not.
Btw, there was a previous discussion from Feb 2014 about it: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7276032
++ (understandably because they don't want to manually retype each contact name into Linkedin. Ain't nobody got time for that.)
I wonder if you can prevent them from stealing the address book if you install their Android app?
If gmail started emailing your friends because you used gmail, that would be a good reason to not use gmail.
You seem to be a little out of touch here. There are several examples of people withholding their contacts list from services like LinkedIn right here in this thread. It's not hard to imagine at all -- just read the posts.
In fact, right above your post that you responded to, the hn user vitd wrote, "why did you give them your contacts? I've been on it for years and have never uploaded a single contact."
Lastly, you're trivializing the situation by suggesting that recipients just mark it as spam and move on. The issue is that LinkedIn deliberately crafted the emails with header "FROM: YOU" and your photo in the message body to make it look like you explicitly sent the email inviting them to join. It's clever social engineering so that the recipients harvested from your contacts list do not treat it as spam. Some recipients know the disguised nature of LinkedIn spam and know you didn't actually send it but many do not (especially older executives). In those cases, they think that you are one of those clueless flakes that signs people up for multi-level-marketing vitamins and vacation timeshares. People genuinely got embarrassed by LinkedIn's spam practices.
Enough people were angry about spam being sent behind their back that they sued LinkedIn: http://www.businessinsider.com/linkedin-settles-class-action...
It really is a poor product for what it looked like it might become.
Not sure if this is still valid.
If anything, this will cause them to send even more emails!