"At the end of the day it's best to have everyone in the company (post-deal) feeling like they got a good deal. Kinda like a partner/wife - you never want to feel like you're the one that's trading down in the relationship."
By definition someone is trading down. If the valuation is low, the company and its people lose out on potential money. The FB approach (extreme valuation), while discouraging most people, at least maximized value for those that liquidated at the IPO.
I hypothesise user engagement would suffer in the face of down time. This, plus the added scrutiny this technical failure would place on their stock, means now is not a time when they can be careless about reliability.
I disagree. There is so many social websites out there that you need your users to think you are the only option, If your service is down, people will have a look at others', and might them interesting.
65.5% of the web browsing, any-other-demographic-and-psychographic-modifying-aspect-of-Google-Survey population. That makes it harder to say how boggling of a statistic it is. Far greater than 65.5% of my household accesses Facebook and/or Twitter.
I would wager that a certain percentage of people in the US have no Internet service at all. Your guess on that percentage is as good as mine. I can think of several older people I know that do not have Internet service or cell phones. Nor do they care to.
I don't know how the things work on the Fire, but in the ad supported e-ink kindles the ads are fairly unobtrusive. They appear on the rotating "screensaver" images (so you see them when you first pick up and start to use the device) and also as a banner on the home screen. They don't appear when you're reading books or otherwise using your Kindle. The ads I've seen were pretty tasteful too. No "one weird trick" belly fat ads or stuff like that.
I only had a Kindle Touch for a brief time but I seem to remember that there were some ads that I thought were not so great for kids. The kindle would just lie around in the flat, so kids would get their hands on it, too.
Not so great in that they featured some mildly erotic or violent images (I don't remember exactly unfortunately - it certainly wasn't that big a concern, but it is worrying since you can not control what images will appear).
It's adverse selection: the type of people who would use this service are probably not the people you want working for your startup. The really successful people would be picked off in other ways (not actively recruiting) so you are left with the B and C players (which ironically are a dime a dozen)
Not entirely true. Really good engineers may not be good at getting what they are worth and be willing to see what they can get. Finding a job for a higher salary is a lot of work, finding the maximum salary (not that that should be your goal) is very difficult, negotiating is a huge challenge while auctions usually increase prices more easily.
Sure, an excellent engineer employed at $200K with a vast network is unlikely to send his resume to Craigslist ads, but they may use a simple way to find out whether they could get $300K and a $500K signing bonus.
They have a hard problem. Looking for a job makes you less attractive, and there are a lot of people on the market who aren't qualified at all (non-Fizzbuzzers). They want to have only desirable applicants, which means they need to control quality (otherwise they'll get spammed) and the intention behind the exclusivity is rate-limiting, which makes a lot of sense, but I think they douched it up by focusing on the wrong things (school and company affiliation). That's especially bad now with all the MBA carpetbaggers in tech. Focusing on degrees and prestigious companies makes you (at least seem like) the wrong kind of people.
I would have made it Silicon Valley only: either you live there, or you'll move there. (I'm in New York, so it might seem unusual that I'm suggesting excluding my city, but you need to limit inflow and that's the best way to do it, because job markets are pretty local. You add cities once you have traction and are looking to scale.)
Then I would have partnered with a company like Kaggle in order to get access to people who can actually code. I've met a lot of mediocrities with prestigious resumes. One of the biggest problems with hiring is the number of people who have established a great connections <-> great jobs loop but don't know anything.