Defoundering

If Silicon Valley Isn’t Like High School, Quora Certainly Is

Mr. Cheever (Photo: Quora)

Following the recent announcement that Quora cofounder Charlie Cheever will be taking a backseat role at the company, something of a revolution has begun to foment at the question and answer site so popular among the Valley’s elite. For a platform which purports to embrace openness and honesty as its core ethos, its own staff has not been particularly forthcoming about Mr. Cheever’s departure.

Social Times points out that a question about Mr. Cheever’s status at the company was answered by Quora’s other founder, Adam D’Angelo. Users immediately called Mr. D’Angelo out for his disingenuous reply, which was bathed in a thick coat of PR BS. One such indictment–posted by another startup founder–even garnered more upvotes than the original response. Read More

Summer Friday

What Does It Feel Like To Create ‘Wiener Detection Technology’?

chatroulette

Confession: lately, Betabeat has been on something of a Quora binge. In a fit of heat stroke yesterday afternoon, we found ourselves wishing we could just type “Quora” along with any question and have the answers magically appear. Quora: How many degrees will my apartment be when I get home? Quora: What’s a good age to freeze my eggs? But in our estimation, the service’s appeal isn’t the answers as much as the questions. It’s basically a window into the secret preoccupations of the human mind.

Take, for example, one anonymous user’s probing query into the development of Airtime, the video chat startup cofounded by Napster alums Sean Parker and Sean Fanning. “What does it feel like,” the user asked, “to be the engineer at Airtime who created the wiener detection technology?”  Read More