In every episode of “Silicon Valley,” the terrific HBO comedy series created by Mike Judge, there is always a moment, rendered utterly deadpan, that both mocks and explains the current, are-we-in-a-bubble-yet state of play in, well, Silico
本文摘要:In every episode of “Silicon Valley,” the terrific HBO comedy series created by Mike Judge, there is always a moment, rendered utterly deadpan, that both mocks and explains the current, are-we-in-a-bubble-yet state of play in, well, Silico


In every episode of “Silicon Valley,” the terrific HBO comedy series created by Mike Judge, there is always a moment, rendered utterly deadpan, that both mocks and explains the current, are-we-in-a-bubble-yet state of play in, well, Silicon Valley.在迈克尔·贾奇(Mike Judge)为HBO创作的出众喜剧《硅谷》(Silicon Valley)中,每一集都会有那么一个时刻,用一本正经的口吻,在演绎硅谷那种“说不定已是泡沫”的现状同时,又对它展开了讽刺。In one episode this season, for instance, the show’s hero, Richard Hendricks, the nerdy founder of Pied Piper, mentions the plans he has “once we have a subscription-revenue model.” His backer, an obnoxious billionaire, leaps out of his seat. “No, no, no!” he exclaims. “Why would you go after revenue?”比方说,本季有一集里,片中主角、发售了“花衣吹笛人”(Pied Piper)应用于的技术宅理查德·亨德里克斯(Richard Hendricks)提及,“一旦我们有了一个基于登记用户的收益模式”,他就计划如何行事。听闻此言,资助亨德里克斯的那名招人斥的大富豪立刻从椅子上青蛙了一起。“别、别、别!”他大叫。

“你要收益干什么?”“To make money?” Richard answers meekly. “If you have no revenue, you can say you are prerevenue,” explains the billionaire. “You’re a potential pure play. It’s not about how much you earn; it’s about what you’re worth. And who’s worth the most? Companies that lose money!”“为了赚啊?”理查德偷偷地问。“如果没收益,你就可以说道自己正处于将要有收益的阶段,”富豪说明道。“那么你就是纯粹的潜力股。你花钱多少显然无所谓,关键是你的估值。

那谁的估值最低?当然是亏损的公司啊!”In other episodes this season, we’ve been introduced to an app called “Bro” — its only function is to allow someone to send the word “bro”’ to someone else — and the coming of “datageddon,” thanks to all the “selfies and useless files people refuse to delete.”这一季的另一集里,我们听闻了一款叫作“兄弟”(Bro)的应用于,唯一的功能就是让用户发送到“兄弟”二字来给别人打个招呼。我们还听闻,因为“人们不愿移除自拍照和多余资料”,“数据末日”恐将到来。And, of course, there is the way all the young, scruffy entrepreneurs on “Silicon Valley” profess to be in business to “make the world a better place” rather than get rich. “We’re making the world a better place through Paxos algorithms for consensus protocols,” says one company founder at a TechCrunch Disrupt conference.当然了,更加别提《硅谷》里头那些邋里邋遢的创业年轻人都在刨心窝,之所以做到这些事,不是为了一夜暴富,而是“要让世界显得更加幸福呀”。

某公司的创始人在TechCrunch Disrupt大会上回应,“通过一致性协议的Paxos算法,我们正在让世界显得更加幸福。”“And we’re making the world a better place through software-defying data centers for cloud computing,” says another.“通过面向云计算的软件定义的数据中心,我们正在让世界显得更加幸福,”另一个人说。

Which perhaps explains why I immediately thought of Judge’s parody of life in techland as I read the real-life news last week that the social app Secret was shutting down after only 16 months. Like many of the fake companies on “Silicon Valley,” Secret was based on a truly ridiculous idea: that an app that allowed people to send anonymous messages would not only be a hit, but would “reduce the barrier to communication” and make it possible to convey the “raw truth” without that annoying filter of identity. Anonymity was going to be the next big thing in “social,” according to its founders, David Byttow, 33, and Chrys Bader-Wechseler, 31.这也许能说明,当上周读书到社交应用于Secret在发售仅有16个月后将要关门大吉的现实消息后,我立刻想起了贾奇对技术圈生活的诙谐重现。跟《硅谷》里头许许多多的虚构公司一样,Secret创建在一个可笑透顶的理念之上:能放电子邮件讯息的应用于不仅不会大冷,还能“增加交流障碍”,使得跨过身份容许,传达“赤裸真凶”沦为有可能。创立这家公司的33岁的戴维·拜陶(David Byttow)和31岁的克里斯·巴德-维切斯纳(Chrys Bader-Wechseler)回应,电子邮件将是“社交”领域的下一个引爆点。“It helps you become a better person if you want to be a better person,” Byttow told the audience at — where else? — a TechCrunch Disrupt conference.“如果你想要沦为一个更加出众的人,它就能老大你沦为一个更加出众的人,”拜陶告诉他听众。

至于他讲出这番话的场合?还能是哪里,当然是在TechCrunch Disrupt大会上。Internet anonymity can make you a better person? Since when? Hadn’t we learned long ago that cyberbullying, gossip of the rankest sort, and the spreading of false rumors were the usual results of web anonymity, crowding out other, more ennobling responses.电子邮件网际网路能让你更加出众?这是打哪儿来的众说纷纭?我们不是杨家早已听闻,电子邮件网际网路一般来说不会造成网络霸凌不道德、尤为恶毒的八卦,以及谣言的散播,从而排斥更为理性的其他声音吗?But Byttow — who only wears black in public, to judge by his various YouTube appearances — and Bader-Wechseler were convinced that making it easy for people to post anonymous messages — to their friends, no less — would, indeed, make the world a better place. Or at least they convinced enough gullible venture capitalists of this that they were able to raise some $35 million during their company’s short life, giving it a valuation at one point of $100 million.从YouTube网站上展出的拜陶的多次活动来看,他在公共场合只穿着黑衣。他和巴德-维切斯纳深信,让用户可以发送到电子邮件讯息——而且还是发给友人噢——知道可以让世界显得更加幸福。或者最少是,他们让充足人数的天知道风险投资人信了这一套,使得Secret在这短短的存活期里筹到了3500万美元(约合2.2亿元人民币)的资金,公司估值一度超过1亿美元。

As for revenue, it pretty much followed the “Silicon Valley” model. Any interviewer who asked how a completely anonymous “community” could serve as the foundation for a money-making business was told, quite matter of factly, that it was far too early to contemplate such mundane matters. Searching for a revenue model “would be a distraction at this point,” Byttow explained to the technology journalist Kara Swisher, who occasionally plays her sardonic, all-knowing self on “Silicon Valley.” “You have to build liquidity in your users,” added Bader-Wechseler.至于收益嘛,基本就是《硅谷》里刻画的那套模式。要是有人问,一个几乎电子邮件的“社区”怎么能为赚打下基础?此人不会获得一个非常实诚的答案:思维这样的俗气问题,觉得还为时尚早。

找寻收益模式“在目前这个阶段将使我们迟疑,”拜陶曾向报导技术领域的记者卡拉·斯威舍(Kara Swisher)这样说明。“你得再行在用户当中生产流动性,”巴德-维切斯纳补足道。

斯威舍本人不会有时候在《硅谷》里出镜,扮演着冷嘲热讽、无所不知的自己。So what happened to Secret? Cyberbullying was a problem from the start, which seemed to surprise the founders, who were in a constant struggle to keep control of the posts. Security and privacy were also issues. (“We have learned a lot!” Bader-Wechseler told an interviewer five months in.) Brazil ordered it shut down. Marc Andreessen criticized it. As the app’s novelty wore off, people stopped using it. Byttow and Bader-Wechseler responded by redesigning the site so that it more closely resembled Yik Yak, a more successful competitor.那么,Secret身上经历了些什么呢?网络霸凌的问题打一开始就不存在,而这一点或许还在两名创始人的意料之外。他们总是在掌控发帖的事情上遭遇困难。此外,还不存在安全性与隐私的问题。


(发售应用于5个月后,巴德-维切斯纳告诉他记者,“我们习了很多东西!”)巴西勒令它重开;马克·福德雷森(Marc Andreessen)对它展开了抨击。随着这款应用于的新鲜感渐渐消失,人们之后仍然用于。

拜陶和巴德-维切斯纳的应付办法是,新的设计网站,让它更加相似顺利一些的竞争对手Yik Yak。Employees started leaving, including Bader-Wechseler in January. Meanwhile, as The Times reported, the founders had each taken $3 million off the table in the second round of financing, and Byttow had bought himself a red Ferrari (which, it’s been reported, he has since gotten rid of). Most new tech companies that realize their business model is doomed spend the rest of their money “pivoting” to something more promising. Byttow instead decided to return the leftover money to his investors. A classy touch.员工开始辞职,就连巴德-维切斯纳也于今年1月脱身而去。与此同时,《纽约时报》撰文认为,两名创始人在第二轮融资的时候各偷走了300万美元,而拜为陶给自己买了辆红色法拉利(据报导,他后来把这辆车处置丢弃了)。在意识到自己的商业模式终将告终的新科技公司中,多数不会把剩下的钱花上在“改向”更加有前途的东西上。

拜陶倒是要求把余下的资金归还给投资者。挺有品。In the blog post in which he announced that he was shutting down the Secret app, Byttow promised that he would “publish postmortems so that others can learn from the unique mistakes and challenges we faced and the wisdom gained from such an incredible 16 months.”在宣告将要重开Secret应用于的博客文章中,拜陶允诺,他将“把事后反省写出出来,让其他人可以从我们独有的错误和面对过的挑战中吸取教训,从我们这难以置信的16个月经历中吸取智慧。

”No doubt Mike Judge will be taking notes for future episodes.毫无疑问,迈克尔·贾奇不会为《硅谷》未来的剧集来萃取启发。