Former Hot Startup Whacked Down 60%(!?) Whither the Tech Boom?

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We hear a sharp hissing sound.

Foursquare, once a mobile app that allowed users to “check in” restaurants and stores when launched with great fanfare in 2009, and “once one of New York’s hottest startups” as TechCrunch ominously calls it, apparently needs cash desperately enough that it’s willing to accept a monstrous haircut.

It already raised $162 million in prior venture financing and debt. We don’t know how much of it is left and how much it burned through. But it’s time to go back to the trough – under punishing conditions.

Perhaps it’s the sound of hot air hissing out of the startup funding bubble where billion-dollar valuations for companies with no business model and no revenues have become routine: investors are suddenly looking at them with a more critical eye.

Foursquare is “close to finalizing” a new round of funding that would give it a valuation of only $250 million, Re/code reported. When it raised $35 million in 2013, it did so at a valuation of $650 million. So this round would be a devastating 61% haircut.

At its peak in 2012, Foursquare raised funds at a valuation of $760 million. From that level, its valuation got slashed 67%.

Foursquare is also talking to potential corporate buyers, “sources say,” according to Re/code. “So it could still conceivably sell instead of finishing up the funding, which should raise at least $20 million and as much as $40 million.”

There has long been speculation that Yahoo would buy it as Yahoo has been buying just about anything in order to find something that might successfully distract investors from its own problems.

According to Re/code’s sources, “at least one new investor will participate in this round.” Among the prior investors are Andreessen Horowitz, DFJ Growth, Microsoft, Silver Lake Partners, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures.

This type of “down round” – where the current valuation is lower than the valuation at the prior round – is anathema to startup exuberance. All kinds of employee hopes, dreams, and stock options suddenly become worthless. Instant millionaire coders with plans of retirement at 30 are suddenly discovering that they’re working stiffs like everyone else, a sobering experience. Some investors lose their shirts. Founders, if they didn’t protect themselves adequately, might get trampled.

So why would a company do this? TechCrunch:

The current investment environment has led many startups to pack on the pounds to prepare for leaner days potentially ahead. At this juncture, the rewards of getting the money you need to grow outweigh the optics of a decrease in valuation.

But for people who own shares or stock options, down rounds go beyond mere “optics.” They can be devastating. But the “current investment environment,” as TechCrunch put it, is getting tough. Numerous startups have had down rounds. The IPO window has just about closed. Corporate buyers are getting somewhat more reluctant. Investors and employees see fewer possibilities to exchange their startup equity into real money.

Then there are company specific issues. TechCrunch:

Down rounds tend to show both a more conservative interest in the company’s core business, and potentially slowing growth for the startup. Foursquare, essentially, has to find a new way to impress investors with strong growth — which requires some rejiggering.

Have you heard people rave about how they “checked in” at a taco truck in recent years? Me neither. So the company tried to reinvent itself. In May 2014, it separated its check-in and location-sharing app Swarm from its local search and recommendation app Foursquare. In August 2014, it launched a new version of Foursquare that abandoned the check-in and location-sharing functions altogether to focus on local search. Other social networks with similar services have chipped away at its user base. And this split, according to TechCrunch, didn’t do much for its traffic.

Foursquare does have something of value: enormous amounts of user data. Yup, users just thought it was free. And it has some business and advertising services that leverage this data for predictive and other purposes. TechCrunch:

There’s a good reason why the Microsoft part of the story makes sense: It already has a relationship with Foursquare, for one, and as part of that deal it gained access to the company’s significant store of data.

In its last financing round, the deal will had Foursquare’s data contributing to the Bing platform’s location and context layers on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

And Microsoft figured out where the future moolah is: in user data. Hence, it tries to shove its flagship product, Windows 10, down your throat “for free” by spamming your Windows 7 or 8 desktop with unstoppable obnoxious popups several times a day, every day, apparently until you cry uncle, because Windows 10 gives it access to your data on your computer. And that is worth a lot more than the one-time sale of the operating system would have been. Your computer just keeps on giving. So investing in Foursquare data and data collection capabilities fits that strategy.

But since everyone is doing it, and since your data which you thought was yours is being commoditized, the value of it has been shrinking. And this coincides with what TechCrunch called the “current investment environment,” where some aspects of reality are beginning to reassert themselves.

Turns out, the party is over in startup land: What is now called “pent-up supply” of IPOs meets a world with no demand. Read… IPOs Collapse, “Worst Year Since 2009,” Worst Dec. since 2008

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  34 comments for “Former Hot Startup Whacked Down 60%(!?) Whither the Tech Boom?

  1. Spencer
    December 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Where is Santa when you need him?

  2. guido
    December 23, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    I am very suspicious of these ideas of generate revenue through data mining user data.

    For one, people get bored easily and are constantly evolving. If you want to anonymize them and do any kind of recommendations, you need to be able to cluster them, which means they need to hang on to their habits for a while. Most statistical methods produce spurious patterns because some of the basic assumptions are not met.

    Then there is the Go-ogle/Erich Schmidt story of building a profile on each and every person. They claim to use what is known as Bayesian statistics. Clearly, this does not work either. We know this because Go-ogle ads are not raved by the reporters who can be wined and dined to write just about any claim (such as the ones HuffingtonPost made about Chipotle’s special burritos for years now). The fact that reporters will write about Go-ogle’s self-driving cars and Netflix’s recommendation engine but not about Go-ogle’s recommendation engine, tells us that their story is bogus too. Since Go-ogle makes money from ads, a recommendation engine that tailors to people’s specific needs will be very valuable for the company.

    So, I doubt these claims.

    I am also of the opinion that one who uses Microsoft Windows is a low net worth individual who does not think her data is worth anything. If they thought it was worth something, they would have invested in a more secure OS where the OS seller is not stealing your data. So what Microsoft has is probably junk — the kind you already find on most Facebook posts.

    • Petunia
      December 23, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      You are right that Microsoft missed the boat on data mining. I am a low net worth user and I don’t have anything of any value on my computer. It is actually costing them money to spy on me.

      As far as google is concern they data mine the queries users make on their browser, as well as, their email to tailor ads to them. They match keywords from users to keywords from advertisers.

  3. unit472
    December 23, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    I just wonder how much real use these ‘apps’ are. Do I need an ‘app’ to find a Longhorn or Outback Steakhouse? Let’s face it most restaurants most people go to are not trendy, one off affairs in San Francisco or Manhattan, but chain affairs that do not require reservations. Any search engine will locate the closest one!

    Why download an app or use a site that requires registration and or another password?

    • BradK
      December 23, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      Why download an app or use a site that requires registration and or another password?

      Because all the cool kids are doing it…until they aren’t. Then your valuation approaches zero. Trendware is not a sustainable business model.

  4. ERG
    December 23, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    Sniff, sniff.

    Smells like the bubble.

    Same s&#t, different bottle.

  5. polecat
    December 23, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Because Progress !!!

  6. December 23, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Come on guys, calling foursquare a hot startup damages your credibility.

    • December 23, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      Read a little further than just the title to get the story. You’ll see a whole discussion about the “once” hot startup. The first paragraph alone would have given you a clue.

  7. OutLookingIn
    December 23, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Drop in. Drop out.

    Drop in the toilet your cell phone.
    Drop out of the “E” life.

    Use old tech. Computer is almost 10 years old. Works fine. As does my old telephone which is connected to the wall by a wire. Works great.

    Drop out. Tune out. Turn off. Unplug. That’s why I’m ‘Outside Looking In’

  8. Michael
    December 23, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Hence, it tries to shove its flagship product, Windows 10, down your throat “for free” by spamming your Windows 7 or 8 desktop with unstoppable obnoxious popups several times a day, every day, apparently until you cry uncle, because Windows 10 gives it access to your data on your computer.

    That’s a conspiracy theory ;)

    Interesting I heard about Foursquare once.

    What you see now is what one our profs at university told us, when we talked about founding IT companies. Once it is obvious how much computing power (rule of thumb) can be achieved on silicon the big investors will take over almost everything. They can simply calculate the business. From their perspective it does matter if you have to build one or 10 data centers or none.

    Those using the technology are the testers aka. app users. These apps can somehow make you better off or provide the illusion, but using those apps does neither reflect a demand nor is there a price that can be found. The basic problem of valuing information is simply that in a market economy you can just value the very fist occurrence of information presented in data and then cut the information into pieces of data sent. (big piece of soap cut into pieces).

    Information is the capital tied to the very first occurrence of a signal but not interest retrieved from data. Anything else is about trying to run a ponzi scheme. There would be no need for licensing if you would try something else. The idea that everyone is paying for receiving data transmitted and perceived as new is an illusion. You simply need the click on the ad in order to get an idea if the receiver of the signal did interpret this occurrence of data as information (new).

    Boom – Bust. I call it the principle of the collapsing marginal utility. You already get more users but loose customers on the other hand and no one know. Usually the decline is 100% – 80% – 50% – side movement as a happy mummy – kiss and goodbye.

    This free stuff simply does value the customers work. You get nothing and for free. No one can value other people’s work. People value the provision of the good on the market place.

    An app user is working for the company. No one is paid for working. A credit is granted in order to access the goods in the pool, otherwise not. That’s something different. People get the money in order to participate in the pricing process in order to cover their demands (sounds strange today :))

    You cannot value other people’s work with money :). The price in the market economy is the valuation of the quantity of the good (output) provided with respect to the accuracy to fit. And that’s all.

    Think of the Scrum (somehow ‘agile methodology’ development methodology). The basic problem is, think of developers as artists on a self contained farm. The artists sit in front of a computer and try to provide the most amazing picture of themselves. How can you value this? Doesn’t work. So businesses decided to let them sit in front of their computers on their farm but ask them for the price (the programmers are aware of this) for the part of the product they programmer provide – valuation process. The scrum master is not part of the team :). The developers (suppliers) are turned into customers for the period of valuation at least – that’s why the own the product because they bought it :)

    Imo free is here to find a price, where there exists no good. And that’s bad.

    You could use such apps in order to try to avoid that people receive goods in cities into their homes. From my perspective receiving a good into one’s home is similar to expecting exactly those berries needed to grow out of thin air. The household is in the end what is left what was a self-contained farm before people decided to move to a slab of rock and provide more goods … blah blah … better off. A pizza shipped into your home is a violation of your privacy, but you allow it.

    I don’t know what those companies really do, to me it’s a riddle. Maybe treating companies as good order to cover transaction or whatever. But providing value from an economic perspective in order to provide an optimum (ideal) quantity of a product – no way. That’s a communist delivery model. I also don’t know what investors expect except from profits based on what? ‘Money’ can picture consumption and nothing else at the moment, that’s pretty well defined.

    It’s hard to figure out if there is a strategy behind all this insanity. How to finance communism… using money in a system setup to find the optimum quantity provided over time. San Francisco or New York. Sounds reasonable.

    So what optimum can be found with information provided in big data? From an economic perspective forget it.

    • December 23, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      Microsoft didn’t make a secret out of mining the data on your Windows 10 computer. It’s well known. It’s only a “conspiracy theory” for people who have not read up on it.

      Here is an article in Slate that not only mentions some of the things Windows 10 does but also shows you how to tweak the privacy settings when you install Windows 10. It’s not obvious. Microsoft set it up so that 99.9% of the people won’t bother or can’t figure it out.

      And as the article says, it only allows you to limit some of the data mining on your machine, not all.

      So here it is:

      • Petunia
        December 24, 2015 at 10:16 am

        Wolf, I give you a lot of credit for even attempting to answer that rant. But in the spirit of Xmas I will attempt to answer the last part of his question.

        What’s so great about big data? Well, like it or not we live in an information society. When google mines your queries, for the free information they provide, they do it to make money showing you ads based on what they perceive to be your interest. It is not free, you pay by giving up your privacy. Same thing goes on with the free email.

        I don’t know anything about Foursquare, never even heard of it. But if they are giving you information on dining they should/could be making money selling restaurant ads, restaurant discounts, and even recommendations bases on reviews. You get a free service and/or discount, they make money. This is what the service for information model is about.

        All of this service and information can be priced by the revenue generated/users.

  9. lg
    December 23, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    The millenial’s will do anything but get a real job! Lets create an App and be millionaires! Right! And when daddy and mommy will run out of their 401k things gonna get really interesting!

    • Toddy
      December 26, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Many of them are desperate to get a real job. They have debt up the wazoo. Read all about it on this very blog.

      But some of them, especially in the Bay Area are genuine little sh””ts. Entitled to a degree that’s even beyond the Baby Boomers.

      Forbes or WSJ or one of those ran an article couple years back where parents if Millenials would routinely call hiring mangers complaining that they didn’t make an offer to their child. The sheer arrogance in that attitude baffled me. Then I recently witnessed something similar myself first hand. I showed a property in SF to one of 35 people in an open house. A mother of a grad student demanded that they be allowed to remodel the bathroom, because she thought the tile was ugly.

      Just ponder this for a moment :)

  10. SaveUs
    December 23, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you Wolf and your commenters. You have one of the best blogs. Your blog is filled with truth which is deeply lacking in the main stream media.

    As far as this high tech stuff goes; I am with OutLookingIn. Sure money is important. We all need some of it. The question is how much do we need.

    Do we really need every high tech gadget that is pushed into our faces? Some of this technology has made us lazy in my opinion. We have test cases of cars driving themselves. We have cars that park themselves now.

    Do we really want all of our personal data exposed to the world?

  11. VegasBob
    December 23, 2015 at 6:44 pm

    It’s always fun watching the unemployed geeks in Marin County having ‘business lunches’ with each other at McDonald’s as they try to dream up the next ‘hot’ app or tech startup (AKA con job) that will make them into instant millionaires. They’re always broke so they always order from the cheap value menu.

    Nearly all of these poor schmoes are unemployed and most have no real career prospects.

    What’s sad is that the ideas they come up with usually have a long term value of zero. Zip. Nada.

    • Toddy
      December 26, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      Been in Los Angeles this past century? Beautiful boys and girls dreaming of being the next George Clooney or J. J. Abrams.

      Until they get so desperate they become the next… um… Porn starlet.

      Same in the Gold Rush era, same as it ever was. Why does Europe have such a huge problem with Asylum seekers? Because word got out that in Germany you can just show up, and get free food, shelter, and an allowance. Sign me up!!

      When even the slimmest chance of success is possible, people endeavor to take it up and give it a shot.

      There is nothing wrong with being opportunistic. But it’s wrong to assume you deserve success just because you exist. That really gets to me when I see that.

  12. Tone
    December 23, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    What was once revolutionary is now mainstream, as was the car and the tv…is there anything new and revolutionary that the 1 percent have that can one day be mainstream…off the top of my head, I cannot think of anything. If there is, follow it and you follow the money.

    Cheers and Merry Christmas

    • Jonathan
      December 25, 2015 at 4:57 am

      Pool the top 1000 wealthiest people together and they still don’t have the means and the will to:

      -Can’t go to the Moon, much less anywhere else
      -Cure cancer / HIV
      -Prolong their lives significantly, much less immortality
      -Stop global warming
      -Develop clean energy to replace oil

      Still think their wealth any impressive at all? Or how having the #10 Lear Jet, #100 Ferrari or prime real estate is any impressive in grand scheme of humanity? In fact I find them absolutely pathetic.

  13. merlin
    December 23, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    so one or several of you explain – what “data” are they trying to mine?

    • Toddy
      December 26, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      Usage data. What pages you visit, the content of your email. Which bank you do business with.

      This gets aggregated and then analyses and matched with advertising data that determines what banner ad you see.

      This is the most simple monetization principle. Google AdSense(TM) is the industry standard in this. And as you know, Google is making oodles of cash with it.

      Facebook rolled their own version. It took them a while to get it right, but now it’s working just fine. Analyze what people “like” and talk about and post and then display ad banners that are related. It does work.

      There is other data mining. NSA analyzes insane amounts of communications data, SMS and chat, phone calls etc. they’re terrible at it but do on occasion find people who are looking to do bad things before they happen. So it’s not a wasted effort.

      The problem a lot of companies have is they can’t even store the data in a way that is useful and they have horrible informatics schemes and lousy analytics algorithms because good scientists are very hard to come by and the mediocre ones really don’t provide much value. Look at health care startups. This industry segment is begging for a serious disruption in clinical data analytics and so far nobody really has managed to deliver something meaningful.

      Hope that helps clarify. By the way, are you the same “Merlin” who is into Currency Trading?

  14. December 23, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    I’ve used Foursquare in the past – in 2014. We would post our views of restaurants in Seoul, South Korea.

    Seems to be sort of like Yelp. But own the stock? I don’t think so. I just don’t see a lot of upside here.

  15. michael
    December 23, 2015 at 10:22 pm


    Our individual interests and behaviors such as what we buy is information that some firms could use to present us with new products and services. Mining refers to capturing this information and then selling it to interested parties. Its more direct marketing than television.


  16. B.S.
    December 23, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Along the same vein this company also sold out at 40% of its high valuation:

    “Good Technology CEO Christy Wyatt sold her company to competitor BlackBerry for $425 million, took home about $6 million for herself, and protected her investors’ investment, The New York Times reports.

    That sounds like a good thing, but it wasn’t really a happy ending for a company with a long history of dramatic turnarounds.

    That $425 million sale was less than half of the company’s year-earlier $1.1 billion private valuation. Employees’ common stock became worth a mere $0.44 a share, down from $4.32 a year earlier, The Times reported, and some employees were hit with astronomical tax bills on the high value of their stocks at their peak, using life savings or borrowing money to cover those bills….”

  17. Cae
    December 23, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    Four square and seven years ago…..

  18. December 24, 2015 at 12:20 am

    Maybe Foursquare can tweak their app to show users where they can find a job.

  19. ML
    December 24, 2015 at 1:56 am

    Most personal data is fixed. Tel numbers, addresses, names, emails, etc. So why keep it on a computer at all? Or if you must then use an app that is not system wide, such as a database. Surely the only info to have on a computer is what one uses regularly, for example emails. Also most people know why someone else’s details are a contact. It isn’t necessary to enter tons of extraneous info as well In my contacts address book, for example, I rarely fill in the organisation/company against a person’s name or their address or why I have the contact at all. The really important data is in a database that I have designed to my own requirements. I am assuming the OS cannot get at it.

    And also avoid signing in to anything using your Google account. And when commenting, avoid intermediaries such as discus that require prior logins, etc. One thing I like about Wolf’s site is the freedom to comment without having to do so via an intermediary app.

  20. Jeff
    December 24, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Is it just me or do others think that advertising by in large is a complete joke and borderline insulting at times. I can’t remember the last time I made a purchase because I was successfully targeted by advertising. To me it is just background noise, fog, clutter, laughable distractions. For example on this site, I have some beautiful Ukrainian and Russian singles just begging me to click on them. Who the hell falls for this crap? I never click on any advertising ads…. ever. If want to buy something, I search where I can go buy it in person, or I just order it. I seek them out, they don’t seek me out, and the successful ones make themselves easy to be found and have a easy to navigate website once they are found. Pretty damn simple really. Nothing new I guess, before Al Gore invented the Internet, we were (and still are) bombarded with stupid commercials on TV and in Magazines / News papers. I guess quite a few people are falling for the advertising gimmick, or it would have died a long time ago. I don’t care if you have my data legally or IL-legally, no amount of advertising is going to convince me to spend my hard earned fiat on some worthless product I didn’t even know I wanted… even the hot Ukrainian and Russian beauty’s above! Nice try :)

    In my opinion, the insane valuations of start ups like Four square are a direct correlation to the gullibility of the Western consumer. This is the point that our society is at, we crave the latest app, the latest electronic gizmo and gadget. And with the pace that everything is evolving and improving, it is all to common place to be labeled “that is so 2014!” and soon to be 2015. All these startup are chasing a moving target, one that is moving faster and faster. I look at my iPhone 4s and think, “you poor bastard!, your so small!” haha. BUT! I’m going to use it until it dies, it has been a good little phone.

    I think this lyric from Gwen Stafani sums it up pretty good. The shit is BANANAS! B A N A N A S.

  21. Nick Kelly
    December 25, 2015 at 12:02 am

    In the twentieth century innovators solved problems. People had a need for cheap transport- Model T.
    People wanted to communicate at long distance- radio.
    Jet engines, radar, TV, etc, etc.
    Today innovators often seem to act as though our ‘need’ was for more advertising.
    But actually more of us are interested in innovation that will shield us from advertising.
    When we look back on the past we are amazed at what people put up with in the way of physical basics- no indoor toilets etc.
    In the future people will be amazed that we put up with so much noxious advertising – TV’s being the worst.
    Who would have imagined that tele-vision- seeing at a distance, would end up as a huckster selling snake oil from a covered wagon.
    One thing puzzles me- It is supposed to be illegal to advertise prescription medicine in Canada. But the US ads aren’t removed, even though the cable outfits are adept at doing so.

    So we have to listen as though we were doctors being ‘detailed’ by a drug rep: Do not take Zymbutt if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, may cause suicidal thoughts, may cause heart palpitations, may cause an urge to gamble- in that case stop taking Zymbutt and have a shot of whiskey…

  22. Jonathan
    December 25, 2015 at 4:38 am

    The tech sector is a funny lot. Worthless startups peddling the equivalent of hot air are instantly worth billions before the ink is dry are hyped to the stratosphere yet something like Apple with by far the strongest financial fundamentals is always branded under the perpetual doom and gloom category by market analyst hackjobs.

  23. randombypasser
    December 25, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    I might be way wrong, but…
    The app user’s behavioral data is actually a old thing and it’s starting to get old thing in new environment, the digital one. Pretty likely the “big” money with digital user information is already done in ways it can be done with conventional thinking.
    Actually the prove for previous is that the MS is jumping in the wagon with all of it’s might, the UI. MS has usually been late in the game with almost any game.

    Another one is the thing called big data which most folks, even in the business, understand totally wrong. The idea with big data is not to gain data information based on old models, which digital merchandising also is and the data we have already had for decades, but to gain unexpected information from seemingly miscellaneous and even incoherent material. That’s the probable value of the big data, not the even deeper summarising of the already known information.

    I assume, and believe, that the value of getting user data to sell/advertise is already growing older than almost anyone can imagine and that’s dead business as itself by 2016. MS is digging it’s own grave with that, as well as many others who rely on user that business segment as their main income. Google has known this for years and they will sell anything they get paid for, so they will not get beaten with this one.

  24. Sum1else
    December 25, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    There is nothing wrong with making aps, there is nothing wrong with asking people to invest in your idea, and there is no need to ridicule unemployed coders for trying to come up with something.

    Passive investors trying to get rich by throwing money at bubble riding hedge funds appear a more worthy object of scorn.

  25. Gordo
    December 28, 2015 at 2:53 am

    “In my opinion, the insane valuations of start ups like Four square are a direct correlation to the gullibility of the Western consumer”

    I think I can unfortunately say after reading many of the opinions posted, that the whole point of our market-based economy thrives principally upon the gullibility of the consumer. Lack of education (both formal and practical) is its best friend; the investment in dumbing down the public since the 1960’s is proof enough of it; look how easy it was to get the first man with an anus at both ends of his digestive system elected to our U.S. Presidency, and all of his supporting cast, not once, but TWICE in a row.

    Before there were targeting algorithms and data-mining, there was the tried-and-true method of advertising; come as close as you possibly can to outright lying about your product and what it can do for you, and it will sell. It’s the unfortunate dark-side of capitalism, but if people could be convinced to be smarter about the marketplace………….

    I think I remember that from something I learned in economics many years ago with respect to generating an economy; in order to separate people from their hard-earned money, you have to convince them that it is a liability, and that acquisition of the product being advertised is the solution, or a stepping stone on the way to prosperity.

    Our “friends” that run ***gle and all other data mining technocracies are only putting a new spin on an old game, only instead of using a pitch-man, a complex network gathers the trends of a targeted individual and focuses a blitz of hard-to-ignore banner ads & such, provided said individual is incapable of independent thinking and thus won’t ignore it completely, thus nullifying the billion-dollar effort at generating a sale; Hmm, let’s offer up some more bonds to recoup the loss.

    I can tell that the overall intelligence from everyone posting replies on this blog are above-average , exceptionally intelligent people, as based on the rational, emotionally-controlled responses to Wolfe’s postings are refreshing and informative to read, hence my hat-tip to Jeff’s response. I only wish the same can be said for those who live & die for the next “app”. The lion’s share of them are basically, fad, ephemeral at best, garbage, and not worth what it cost to develop, but again, they miraculously make money on some level, and again, only because people have been successfully separated from their money somewhere along the way because, well, they were too stupid to realize it.

    The reason basically useless apps are spawning in ever-increasing numbers is because the dupes that pay for & market them fall for the same advertising methodology being used by the people who develop them; they embellish via convoluted business-speak about how easy it will make finding a restaurant (or whatever the purpose) and rating it, etc… and there you have the next overnight millionaire who with any luck, will quickly over-leverage his/her newfound wealth into the next bonehead venture and find him/herself living off of SNAP & EBT only a few short months later, not having learned that slow & steady does it. Now granted, this is largely over-simplification, but it does hit squarely the point.

    Too many of today’s entrepreneurs are aspiring to get-rich-quick scheming and not producing worthwhile products/gadgets that are truly useful and enduring. I believe this pathology comprises most, if not all of the trillions in debt over the last several decades; convince the public at large that the only way out of a recession is bailouts to prop up businesses with unsound underpinnings, bloated unions, etc…

    It explains the vote-buying from Washington in the last seven years, it explains the impending debt bomb about to go off; the bill for irresponsibility is coming due……but payable by whom & how? And will the truly accountable be held to account?

    Sorry if this is a little off-topic and ranting, but I didn’t know where else to put it!!! Thanks for reading (Please, no suggestions!!!

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