I have to commend you on your sleuthing, but even more so for not unmasking Thompson when you had the chance.
I somewhat regret the appearance of a conflict of interest on my part there (that would not have been present if I had put it on Medium, for instance), because it really did look like a growth hack on my part, and I can't stand when people do things like this for traffic. It was certainly nice to see the traffic, but that's not why I did it.
Syrah - the site that it's on - was sort of an engineering proof of concept for me. I wanted to design something a little like Medium so I could better understand what was involved, and that's what it is. It was a pretty major effort to do it all on my own and I definitely learned a lot. I wanted to take that experience and use it for another, much larger project, where we built a CMS that could power websites, apps, etc, and let people white label it for their own use (sorta think Wordpress, but for more than just websites). Ultimately YC didn't take us and I ended up falling into another project that I'm working on now. I'd love to revisit someday, but for now, I just use Syrah to write things because I put so much time and love into it. Sometimes they are large (I broke a lot of the Tango issues: https://syrah.co/joshdickson40/565f62f40eaac8b79f519b17), sometimes they are not (https://syrah.co/joshdickson40/56aead844b23e3498c0392a1).
Unfortunately your answer is this thread itself. As I am writing this comment it is Link #1 on HN. That is to say that people love this kind of content and it drives pageviews, so media outlets are incentivized to write about it. We have only ourselves to blame :/
> Now that Startup L. is retired, Thompson doesn’t mind the secret getting out.
I hadn't seen this, good read if you haven't either.
Now, I obviously disagree with that opinion, but I'm also not a member of the media. It was also apparent after looking into it that there was absolutely no COA that would have justified outing him at the time.
"This data is encapsulated in what are called “Data Beans” which are stored on the hard drive as zeroes (Optimal bean or “prime bean”) and ones (Flatbean or “bad bean”). These Data Beans are stored magnetically and retrieved as necessary. If a user requests too much data at one time they can suffer from data poisoning.
The computer’s RAM also stores Data Beans in the cloud. No one knows how this is done or why
David's also really talented at trolling (though in this instance, the show was in on the joke):
@davemcclure - Dave McClure
@pt - Parker Thompson
@tylerschultz - Tyler Schultz
@supernate - Nate Clark
I could never narrow it down to one of them. I had a simple theory: in the beginning, Startup L. Jackson's Twitter followers had a higher probability of following the real author's account, and they would have probably followed the author before Startup L. Jackson.
All I had to do was get the list of people following SLJ (which Twitter provides in reverse chronological order), then find who those people followed before SLJ. The people above were followed by at least six of SLJ's first 500 followers, making them prime contenders, but as I said, I never found a smoking gun for any of them.
What I expected to find was that, if I looked at who SLJ's first 100 followers followed, I'd find some accounts they disproportionately followed prior to following SLJ. And I did find that - the people followed by the first 100 (prior to SLJ) pointed to a Pivotal connection. Because many of them were following @pt, it wouldn't have made much difference if @pt didn't follow SLJ.
I'm going to try @devops_borat now...
".@sama SO I SHOULD SELL SOFTWARE… AS A SERVICE?
WOULD I DO THIS ON COMPUTERS?
THIS SAGACITY IS SURELY WORTH 10% OF MY COMPANY"
"@sama IF YOU HAVE ANY INSIGHTS ON HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE THIS WOULD ALSO BE APPRECIATED"
addendum: fair enough; make that "parody | satire".
We need a list of sometimes anonymous, poignant and politically incorrect twitter feeds for other industries.
For Finance, check out https://twitter.com/ReformedBroker ("Downtown" Josh Brown) and
"gselevator" https://twitter.com/GSElevator) (author was also eventually unmasked)
"Teach the coal miners and frackers Python and Ruby."
From what I hear.
He often tweeted about diversity and inclusion and coined the term "culture debt" for startups.
update: okay I think the words pc and un un pc have become meaningless because they mean too many different things.
Which in Startup L. Jackson's case was definitely true - he called out a lot of the Valley's cultural myopia, excesses, and failures in a way that he would have been unable to do without the pseudonymity or pretense of satire.
Unfortunately the word has also been co-opted by some to mean "liberal" or "progressive", which is a shame.
Everybody always misses that part.
> Unfortunately the word has also been co-opted by some to mean "liberal" or "progressive"
Because what is tolerated by the elite and what is called "liberal" or "progressive" are two completely separate things, in particular with respect to academic elites, right.
Of course nobody in power (or who wanted to be accepted by society) would say those views were rude or ignorant. It was only after politics changed that people would look back and call the formerly dominant ideology what it was.
The question is, what beliefs does society currently enforce that are wrong? Don't answer publicly, since by definition there would be a serious social cost for you speaking what society doesn't want spoken.
Or have we maybe outdone every preceding generation and actually managed to be right about every belief we hold dear?
But that doesn't seem to be the case here, unless the story is missing a few steps.
He's for the most part inactive, but occasionally drips out something acerbically relevant.
> “But there just aren’t that many people who are in the industry who will respond to you if you have 500 followers, you know? They’re just like, ‘Who the f--- are you? Leave me alone.’ ”
That sounds very different than the meritocracy narrative. It would explain why women and most minorities are so excluded.
I know the next sentence says he succeeded, but that's just one Twitter account and doesn't represent a broader trend.