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Dan Lyons
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Dan Lyons

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Forty years ago, in 1971 and 1972, we had 4 successful moon landings. Today we get the retina display. WTF happened to us?
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There must have been some kind of disruption in reality. People who have been around tech already in the 90s are so different from people who had their relevant years in the 2000 - maybe after the bubble burst?

I have always been teaching people on how to use stuff efficiently, and while there are some advancements, as a whole I'd say people have become way less educated on the basics and while they can click apps, there is so much other stuff gone missing - it is scary. I am so thankful I had my growing up with that in the 80s so I could use the 90s to build up the knowledge.

Similar to you other posting about the buhu entrepreneurs - those are the same kids. They should go into corporate for 1-2 years to learn the ropes but they don'T anymore. I am flabberghasted at the stuff here in Berlin where people 'play' 'head of' 'lead' etc in areas where their knowledge is so low, it hurts. but they pray to the hipster "i am a startup so I am cool!" - that hurts even more to see actually smart people be so dumb.

Once you challenge them on basics (I am much into workflows / processes) and ask them to act professional according to their job description, it is amazing how close to throwing tantrums they get.
This is a lost generation. :(
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Earlier today I reported that Robert Scoble has been trying to raise an angel fund. Robert says he told me that this wasn't the case. It appears we got our wires crossed. In the interest of transparency, here is the entire email exchange I had with Robert today about this.

Me: Hey Robert, I was talking to a VC last week who said he was recently offered the chance to invest in an angel fund that you would manage. Were you trying to raise a fund? Are you still?

Robert: Hah. There is some bar talk about this but nothing official yet. I am interested but not anywhere close and certainly I wouldn't be managing it. Who was it?

Me: Can't say, it was off the record. If you wouldn't manage it, what would be your role? Have you got commitments from some VCs yet? Is this similar to what Mike Arrington is doing with CrunchFund? What would you call it? ScobleFund?

Robert: I have no idea. It never got to that point. I doubt I would be more than a pretty face on any such fund.

That's our exchange. I took this as an acknowledgement from Robert that the VC with whom I spoke was telling the truth. I still don't see Robert's response as a denial.
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The famous Piano Bar here. No smoke. Only famous CEOs singing. Including Google's Eric Schmidt, Randi Zuckerberg, Drew Houston, CEO of DropBox. Like I said, you aren't worth replying to. THis is my first year at the Piano Bar so obviously you have some history there I am not aware of.
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+Robert Scoble
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Michael Arrington and MG Siegler are scolding those sleazy, unethical journalists at places like the New York Times who make a living chasing page views & posting lazy, stupid, false information and who are so corrupt that they don't even take money from the companies they write about! Possible responses to this sanctimonious bullshit: throw up in your mouth; burst out laughing; sob about what's happened to Silicon Valley.
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Excellent post. Just came across it. Thanks for writing... this has bothered me ever since the founding of CrunchFund.
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Dan Lyons

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Incoming! HTC flagship Android phones held up at Customs due to Apple legal victory. HTC severely bummed. Apple won't comment but must be loving this.
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Great to see you posting here, +Dan Lyons, please continue to do so!
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I've been responding to comments on a post about my article on the Daily Beast today about Robert Scoble looking to get involved with an angel fund. This has set off a bit of a debate about online journalism and whether we're all a bunch of click whores.

First off: The news today is simply that Scoble has been trying to raise an angel fund. I heard about it from a VC, checked with Scoble, who says he's interested but hasn't got too far along yet -- and then reported that.

Someone points out that the Daily Beast, where I work, also tries to drive clicks. That's true. The Daily Beast does lots of things to boost traffic, including linking to stories here on G+ hoping to attract readers. Most online news organizations do things to drive traffic. We all try to craft our stories in a way that makes people want to read them and find them interesting.

But -- and this is a significant difference -- reporters at places like the Beast or NY Times or other outlets are not allowed to take money from VCs and start an angel fund and invest in companies that we write about. Try to imagine Pogue or Mossberg or Nick Bilton or Harry McCracken starting an angel fund and keeping their day job.

This is not to say one group is better than the other. Bloggers can do this, but mainstream reporters play by a different set of rules than bloggers. Having been both a blogger and a mainstream media guy, I see value on both sides. I definitely know which side was more fun. If bloggers can find ways to get rich off their blogs, more power to them.

Another way to look at this is that really it's not journalism but rather is a new form of public relations (and a threat to the established PR industry). As I say in my Beast article:

"In a way, what these bloggers are really doing is creating a new kind of PR firm, one where the promoters get paid not in billable hours but in early-stage equity. If you’re a startup, this makes a lot of sense. Why pay a PR agency millions of dollars and hope they can get you some favorable coverage when you can just bring on an investor who will write the articles for you—and reach a bigger, more targeted audience than mainstream media outlets like the New York Times could ever do?"
The traditional way that companies go about getting press coverage is expensive and inefficient. They hire a PR agency, and/or a bunch of in-house PR people, and pay lots of money to those people hoping they can go out and schmooze the press and get some good stories placed. Why go through all that when now, in the Internet age, you can build (or buy) your own media coverage? Tumblr is doing this and just hired away one of my colleagues at Newsweek to lead a new site devoted to covering Tumblr and its world of bloggers.

What I really wonder is why more companies are not yet doing this. I suspect we'll see more doing it in the future.
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The part about +Robert Scoble not saying in the email that he's not trying to raise a fund is hilarious. It's like the classic "there's no prove that god exists, but there's no prove that he doesn't exist either!" Sheesh.
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Google drops the "Don't be evil" pretense and puts on its war face. Whether it will work remains to be seen.
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+Dan Lyons A subtle move perhaps, but I don't believe for one minute that these engineers were not acting at the behest of FB execs. Not one minute.
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Editor in chief at ReadWrite
  • ReadWrite
    Editor in chief, 2012 - present
  • Newsweek Daily Beast
    Technology editor, 2008 - 2012
  • Forbes
    Tech writer, 1998 - 2008
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Winchester MA
Ann Arbor, MI - San Francisco CA
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Editor in Chief at ReadWrite
I'm the editor in chief at ReadWrite, a tech news site in San Francisco. Before this I worked at Newsweek, and before that at Forbes. I also created Fake Steve Jobs and his blog, The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs. I miss him. 
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Doting dad to 7-year-old twins
  • University of Michigan
    MFA, 1990 - 1992
  • Bradford College
    BA, 1985
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