May be harsh, but I think it's pretty accurate.
That said, I find it morally repugnant that 001sky seems to want to quash the right of either to engage in public speech, simply because said speech calls some entrepreneur's credentials into question. It's fine for any person (be they a research-oriented journalist or a bloviating pundit) to raise these sorts of questions, even if I think their position is weak and a tad ridiculous.
If you, as an entrepreneur, are too weak to handle public scrutiny (including scrutiny from people who are quite unlike yourself), then you should find another line of work.
Specific to this case, I consider Dan Primack to be an informed technology/finance writer whose opinions are well-researched and who is highly plugged-in to the tech sector (which is a sign that others trust his judgment).
I think the author's point is a good one. If CEO is really so obtuse he should go. If he is being coached to act this way then his coach should be fired.
Pretty straight forward business journalism. It's not like the business journalist went on a long diatribe about API security. That would be out of place.
Unless your argument is that in order to criticize a business leader's actions you must outline each of the myriad possible corrective steps between "Do Nothing" and "Terminate".
But I cannot understand the low-grade media backlash here. That was my point. It seems like writing an article with the thesis that "whoever is planning crisis management at Snapchat is horrible an needs to go" isn't wildly beyond the pale.
A pundit's merit is judged by their page views; not by their correctness. Their salary is based off their readership. If their readership wants to be fed convenient lies that reenforce their world view that's their perogative.
The best way to know would be to ask Google if they'd still offer $4 billion. I suspect they'd make a lower offer right now, but it's hard to tell.
So not knowing the pageview count might actually help in the case of PandoDaily.
Why should media punditry be bound to any requirement as to what they express, external to their boss / editor?
They don't get off anywhere in fact, they don't require your permission, as fortunately we still have a mostly intact free press and freedom of speech.
it was a massive and anticipated security flaw. the CEO's reaction was not to fix it, not to apologize, but to arrogantly lie about the severity of the threat.
less than a week after the CEO deemed the attack theoretical, it happened. the CEO's reaction was not to fix it, not to apologize, but to offer an opt-out after the damage had been done.
not sure why snapchat is getting a free pass on this, but it's horrifying.
Seems to me like a massive breach of trust which defies the entire claim of the app.
Thus, they really don't care if the photos are saved anywhere because they're not concerned with the privacy of their photos--at worst the snaps they share are unflattering. Their main concern is that they don't want to maintain any photos later, they just want to tell each other 'hi, here's what I'm doing' and forget about it.
In other words, to them SnapChat isn't a platform to share photos secretly, it's a platform to share photos momentarily. SnapChat even sells it as this:
>The images might be a little grainy, and you may not look your best, but that's the point. It's about the moment, a connection between friends in the present, and not just a pretty picture.
I get it now. I still don't like SnapChat at all (the UI is ugly, the UX is par, and I don't like the attitude of the company), but I see the user appeal and I see why the users SnapChat wants most will continue to use the app even though one of their friends may be keeping that picture they took of their thanksgiving turkey permanently.
It's the same "high court, low court" inequality dynamics we see in the rest of the society, but this time in disguise of meritocracy.
It seems to me that the entire premise of Snapchat is that their users care about privacy (even if they are rather naive or uninformed about how privacy works).
I'm not sure I got the extend of the issue, but: there is now an accessible database of phone numbers to SnapChat handles, right? I get how large scale hackers might use it (but presumably already have); or how a large marketing operation could use that to associate phones numbers that they have with handles, that are presumably unusable for the moment, unless SnapChat users would accept an friend invitation from a branded account.
However, the kind of spying that worries most SnapChat users should be from close relatives (parents, teachers, exes, cf. danah boyd’s research), people who already have your phone number, and already have seen your handle appear when they installed SnapChat, and were already denied access. That breach doesn’t change that. The social discovery feature functioning as it is was the issue, and that was already widely accepted.
It takes a certain type of person to use Snapchat. A person that believes in unicorns. That is, someone that believes you can erase things you send over the internet. I suppose if you believe in that absurdity, then you may also believe in whatever nonsense the CEO might tell you about their enhanced security that will prevent this type of breach from ever occurring again.
Or you could just stop using the damn thing. Vote with your wallet, er, eyeballs.
Imagine building something and losing your influence over it to the rest of the world.
Happens a lot more often than you'd think.
People are very quick to punish others, this shouldn't be surprising.
When is the last time a company owned up to their mistakes and fixed them like that?
Data breaches can have very serious consequences for individuals.
I highly doubt they think the same way.
I'd also caution against employing such a cavalier attitude toward your users if you're building something that isn't 100% for the tech crowd.
If I were a Snapchat user, I'd primarily be interested in what they're doing to prevent anything of the sort from happening in the future.
Maybe I don't quite get Snapchat, but color me unimpressed.
Facebook... it's just a way to create a profile of yourself and share pictures and messages. Color me unimpressed!
Tumblr... it's just a basic blogging platform... nothing new? Color me unimpressed!
Twitter... it's a 140 character status updates? Color me unimpressed!
Assuming that a startup's early state is little indication of what it eventually turns into, why would somebody invest in any one over another? I cannot imagine a whole lot of people saying "well, this Snapchat thing looks really stupid now, but hey, who knows, it may be big one day!"
They definitely do.
>they just seem sort of lackluster to me for much the reasoning that you've mocked above.
Not everyone is capable of being Elon Musk and creating SpaceX and Tesla. These types of products are low-hanging fruit for people with 0 initial capital.
>Assuming that a startup's early state is little indication of what it eventually turns into, why would somebody invest in any one over another?
Engagement and growth.
That makes me sad :(
What I dont understand is how they make money beside getting people to invest in them.
This is what makes me despair about ever possibly being some sort of inventor/entrepreneur. While I was under the impression that cool new things are what people are after, what they're really interested in, apparently it's just... things like this.
Maybe I should just go make this game - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is12anYx2Qs
He gave a plausible and coherent explanation of Snapchat's strategy (spoiler: Tencent of the West). I think that Tencent's valuation is stretched and I think Snapchat is unlikely to succeed even if that is actually their goal... but it was interesting, anyway.
edit: hey, w1ntermute, thank you for that interesting response. Cognitively I think my brain wants a tidy explanation for them turning down the $3B, otherwise I can't make any sense of it whatsoever.
No, he doesn't. All he did was demonstrate his utter lack of understanding of East Asia.
East Asian cultures are high-context, meaning that when Tencent released non-messenger services (that could actually turn a profit), users were much more likely to use them because they were already familiar with the company and its existing messaging service. But this strategy does not work well in the low-context cultures of the West, where people are more comfortable with giving new companies and products a chance. Snapchat cannot expand into other verticals with the ease that Tencent did.
The primary reason why free-to-play games became popular in the West is because the $0.99 floor that Apple set for the App Store drove consumer psychology regarding app purchases, which made it difficult to turn a profit in any other way. Just take a look at Steam to see how much money is being made from non-freemium games.
The important aspect is that the "project" has millions of dollars in investment and employees. Thus, they are accountable to investors and employees who may care about what the public thinks.
snapchat is the pogs of 2013. its already 2014. clock is ticking.