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The Anorexic Startup: A Tale of Sex, Drugs, and C++ (theanorexicstartup.com)
170 points by edwinnathaniel on Mar 13, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 52 comments

It's a story, you silly fools. It's called fiction. It's pretty good, though I feel like a lot of the length was kind of redundant; it would have been better shorter. Or, as George Carlin put it:

>I’ve also grown weary of reading about clouds in a book. Doesn’t this piss you off? You’re reading a nice story, and suddenly the writer has to stop and describe the clouds. Who cares?.......I’m not interested. Skip the clouds and get to the fucking. The only story I know of where clouds are important was Noah’s Ark!

I was wondering why I hadn't heard anything about it :P

I found the whole writing style very fast-paced. You just get a snapshot of what the character is going through as he finds himself whisked into... Fame? Fortune?

I for one was entertained.

It's definitely geared towards someone who likes an exciting story but has to get to work sometime today. Very appropriate for this audience.

Who was saying it wasn't?

Read through the thread. Nobody.

Mine was the third comment on the story; the other two comments at the time both seemed to be reacting as though it were real.

Obviously nobody who posted after me is going to assume it's real...

They were saying "it's not realistic". It's a story. It doesn't have to be realistic, just artsy or entertaining.

I'm probably the wrong audience for this story, just like I'm sure doctors are the wrong audience for Grey's Anatomy. Just like a doctor would think, "this show makes it seem like doctors have sex constantly in storage closets," I'm thinking, "what VC makes and closes an offer with over the course of one meal?"

Still, entertaining read, thought it was clever the way email and tweet graphics were used throughout.

I think in this case it is more accurate to label it as a parody. It sets up an exaggerated scenario that is clearly ridiculous, but it is only far enough from the current tulip mania to strip away some of the artifice. It's more akin to the I.T. Crowd (but with more verisimilitude), in which case we are exactly the right audience for it.

I do know of term sheet offers within 30 minutes. However, not for such a high valuation though. But it isn't outside the bounds of reality, especially during particularly 'frothy' times - like mid-last year.

Did anyone else find this to be skeevy/pervy typical male nerd fantasy bullshit?

Too often Sci-Fi books go down this path as well, taking what could be an otherwise compelling story and turning it into ... this. (Daemon by Daniel Suarez is the first thing that comes to mind)

I should make it a point that frank discussions of sex and human sexuality don't bother me in the least, but drugged-up-sex-power-struggle-bullshit? Mer.

That part of it seems more lazily stereotypical than anything else, but yeah.

>Did anyone else find this to be skeevy/pervy typical male nerd fantasy bullshit?

To some degree, yeah, but I think your self-loathing is showing.

I think your point has merit, but as his sexual behaviour formed part of the plot, it was necessary.

I think the point is that he was changed by his success, and then slapped in the face...

Fans of startup literature, if they haven't already, should also read Microserfs: http://www.amazon.com/review/R357AO45OH8U5S

...but not on the Kindle due to some creative typography.

Much better than Microserfs, check out "Press Send" http://www.amazon.com/Press-Send-John-McLaren/dp/0671015702, very hard to find in the US, but worth every penny.

This startup literature reminds me of the best stuff that came out of the last boom... everyone seems to have forgotten about it or been too young to remember.

Two of my favorites:

Starving to death on 200 Million (The Industry Standard)

August (A film based on Globe.com)

Highly entertaining. I'll admit, I wasn't positive it was satire until the Anonymous bit. Still, a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Also, SoreGoggles actually sounds like a fun idea for an app.

I got sucked in at the beginning also. I admit that I haven't read other fiction stories in the startup genre so it also took me a while to figure it out, except that I did all seem a bit too good to be true.

The fake tweets about vomiting all over the stage were definitely entertaining.

For a happier ending, try "Sex, Drugs, and Unix":


Shouldn't it be "A Tale of Sex, Drugs, and Objective-C"?

Well, you can use C++ as the core although there's still need for Objective-C for the UI and event handling part.

Unless you used the raw Objective-C runtime API, which is pure C, to call into the Cocoa Touch libraries. But that would be insane.

I felt like the ending was cut short and the Anonymous bit was a bit sudden. Still a good read.

Spoil it for the rest of us, whydontcha'

That is a surprisingly fun little read. I normally don't like that sort of thing. It worked.

I really liked that. I read it without realizing it was story. So I was shocked when I got to the end and saw the writer credit! I thought it very believable, even if some of you didn't buy the VC making an immediate offer.

Pretty incredible that within a few months on being fired someone can write an app that makes them million of dollars, while other people struggle to get their businesses up and running even after years.

"It's Hollywood, write something, write anything: laser beams, earth explodes, dog flies to the north pole".

I was left wondering what could be the motivation behind the character to launch his startup.

It didn't seem to be the money nor the vision, ¿what do you think?

Escaping from the typical IT world I believe...

i found sex and drugs but no c++ :)

I found this very entertaining :) Anyone recommend any startup books? Fiction or non-fiction?

How do people living outside the US buy/get this book?

It is really annoying and frustrating.

its a PDF download, shouldn't be a problem

I wanted the Kindle version. I probably have to stick with the PDF then.

Does anyone have a mirror of the PDF? Their servers appear to be on fire.

Loved it. Very entertaining, and a great twist at the end. I LOLed.

Double-spaced Word documents... can't stand those

why is this a PDF?

Because writers don't speak epub yet? I realize your question was hypothetical but there are a zillion things that generate PDF out there and only a few that generate EPUB or other mobile friendly format.

I find it funny that the author suggests people read it on their Kindle when PDFs render so unreadable there.

Honestly, I got as far as hovering the link, saw it was a .pdf by the status bar, and was instantly alienated.

What decade was this fictional start-up created in? 1870?

Because there are iPads and other tablets today that can do them.

Is there something particularly strange or unique about this story's formatting that it couldn't have been rendered in HTML?

No. But PDFs are really seeing a resurgence thanks to tablets, especially the iPad. It's the one kind of formatting that's pushbutton and done. Anyone who uses Word can create one. [typo edit]

Because it offers superior typography than epub/mobi.

Because you can use it on your desktop/laptop/tablet AND phone (even on your Kindle I hear).

Because it's also an open standard.

Why not?

Romance novels for developers? Hmm.

Sad that it isn't clear from the get-go that this is fictional. Points deducted.

The very first words on the page say it's a FABLE, right there in the title.

When it said it was a "short story" that generally means it is fiction....

on page two: 'peak' should be 'peek'

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