You may have heard that Pope Benedict XVI has announced his resignation amid concerns about his health. The last Pope to resign was Gregory XII, who did so in 1415, so web users prone to a good conspiracy theory are looking for a reason Benedict XVI would do such a thing. There’s no sex scandal or money laundering cover up. In fact, it turns out the reason is simple: The Pope’s resignation is a fulfillment of the “Gangnam Style” prophecy.
Psy’s “Gangnam Style” is a cultural phenomenon. Having already nabbed the most viewed spot on YouTube, today the video hit 1 billion views [insert your cliched Mayan apocalypse joke here].
Teach Me How to Startup
We thought for sure First Round would go with “Gangnam Style,” Silicon Valley favorite. But apparently, the spray-and-pray strategy favored by investors also applies to parodying viral hits. Hence the cost of doing business with First Round also means aping Bieber protégés. Gotta say, that production quality doesn’t look very “run super lean eat the ramen,” as the founder getting his head bopped on by someone else’s crotch croons.
If you’re wondering why some people say, “the past five years or so of startup mania has been insufferable and obnoxious and annoying,” here is one example.
It’s a gloomy, rainy Friday in New York, but we’re about to serve you a piping hot bowl of gossip. Bon appetit!
Map-maker, Map-maker, Build Me a Map! If Tim Cook‘s mea culpa wasn’t enough to demonstrate how hard Apple is scrambling to fix its iOS 6 mapocalypse, then how about its last ditch recruiting techniques to find Ruby developers? Mojo Talantikite, a cluster engineer at Engine Yard in New York City, said he (and a number of his technically talented friends) have been hit up by Apple recruiters recently.
“I don’t think it’s too out of the ordinary for a company to scramble to soak up talent once they figure out their product is deficient,” he told Betabeat by email. “But considering that the beta of Apple Maps was terrible three months ago, you’d think they would have started the aggressive recruitment phase then,” he said, adding, “It’s pretty easy to realize they are in put out the fire mode.”
If you can set aside the bajillions of dollars you have and the fact that you’re treated like royalty wherever you go, being a Google chairman is just plain tough. The worst part of the gig isn’t grappling with privacy issues or patent suits, but instead having to play along with dumb and embarrassing publicity stunts.
Eric Schmidt came face-to-face with this horrifying reality on a recent trip to Google Korea. There, he was greeted by “Gangnam Style” singer Psy, who somehow convinced the Google chairman to do the horse-like dance, in front of a large audience, while being recorded.
YouTube Killed the Video Star
Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” that raucous electro synth party pop anthem even your grandmother knows by now, took America by storm with its beat and style. It was one of the first Korean pop singles to successfully cross over into the American media consciousness, and garnered so much interest that Psy is now signed with Scooter Braun, the man who plucked Justin Bieber out of YouTube obscurity and molded him into a star.
As of this writing, the “Gangnam Style” music video has garnered over 274 million views and close to 3 million likes. Metrics like that should land “Gangnam Style” squarely in the list of YouTube’s most watched and most liked videos. And yet, it’s mysteriously absent from that list, causing some Psy fans to cry conspiracy.