Editor’s Note: Editor’s Note: Mahbod Moghadam is a co-founder of Genius (formerly Rap Genius). The opinions expressed in this piece are solely his own.
In the early days of Everipedia, the first page that started getting a lot of random traffic was Ajit Nazre’s. Weird right? Ajit Nazre, in case you don’t remember, is the Kleiner Perkins partner who was hitting skins with Ellen Pao and made her feel super uncomfortable, leading to her lawsuit against the shady-ass VC firm.
Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal wrote this hit piece on Theranos, basically saying that Theranos is a hoax. The main accusations, mainly coming from former Theranos employees, it seems, are that Theranos uses a lot of other companies’ testing machines and that Theranos’s own proprietary testing technologies are inaccurate.
First off, interviewing a bunch of laid-off employees about a relatively new company is not good reporting. Of course they are going to talk shit. They got laid off! I am guessing Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes did not give them enough hush money, or maybe they used a poorly-drafted severance agreement — but honestly, is that the way we ought to be judging a company? By how well it can control its bad hiring decisions after they are out of the door?
I actually think Mucker Lab in L.A. is much better than Y Combinator — especially since it is located on Main Street in Santa Monica in the middle of the baller area next to all the cool bars. Also, the Mucker partners give you 24-hour access to the VC, so you can, like, throw crazy parties there and stuff, whereas YC is in the middle of Mountain View, which is the most depressing place in the world — although I still have fond memories of YC.
I remember when Rap Genius was doing YC and I was living there with my former co-founders, Tom Lehman and Ilan Zechory. We called our time in YC “The Masturbation Olympics” for obvious reasons. We also worked a lot. The only fun thing we did was sneak into the Stanford gym every day.
I beef with my co-founders now, but I have to admit — they taught me some valuable things. Ilan Zechory was the first person who ever told me that the internet was going to blow up. This was in 2005. For those of you who don’t remember those times, let me explain to you: Facebook did not exist. Can you imagine? My Everipedia co-founders do not remember such a time.
When Ilan was living in L.A. writing for “Deadwood,” I would sometimes go to his Venice apartment where he was cooped up playing Party Poker online, and he would bemoan: “Ah! I have the whole internet right here at my fingertips and I don’t know what to do with it! So frustrating!”
Editor’s Note: Mahbod Moghadam is a co-founder of Genius (formerly Rap Genius). The opinions expressed in this piece are solely his own.