The Sudden, Mysterious Exit Of A Quora Cofounder Has Silicon Valley Baffled - SFGate
Ottway Ducard stashed this in startups
I like Quora. I'm sad that folks can't leave this issue out of the limelight (I understand I am propagating it by posting this.) I hope someone has some insight into the future of Quora.
Also what's their head count for $50m investment?
I count 45 people on team Quora.
It got too hard to keep track of them all in a Quora answer.
I do wonder what happened to Charlie Cheever.
And I also wonder if this is true:
In May, we raised an extra a 50M round. It was led by Adam. Led is a little bit of an understatement because he put in 80% of the money. This is because no matter how great our technology was, no matter how top notch our team, the site was not growing. We still have ridiculously high engagement rate for 8% of our users, but that number hasn't gone up and nothing else we've done has managed to move the needle to get further users hooked. As you can imagine, this made it hard for us to raise more money externally so Adam stepped in and footed most of the B round himself.
I believe that it's possible that Adam D rolled his Instagram capital gains directly into Quora, which could explain why he put so much in.
This also sounds plausible:
So this is where the trouble started. Adam wanted to get aggressive. He wanted to introduce features that would drive the stagnant growth. You've seen some of these. Facebook integration. "Views", which let me tell you, was the biggest fight I've seen. And there are more of these in the pipeline. Charlie wasn't in favor of any of this, to him the user came first and growth features would sacrifice that.
I don't know if it is true, but it's believable.
I myself am not engaged with Quora as much as I used to be.
Not sure why, but it could have correlation with whatever drove Charlie out of Quora.
I did look at the Quora "team' page yesterday and noticed that Charlie's picture isn't there, and also that Adam is listed as a "founder," not as a co-founder.
I noticed both those things too, Semil.
I think the reason people keep revisiting this issue is that it's logical that Charlie left because of some fundamental disagreement with Adam about the future direction of Quora.
As a Quora user that's very relevant to whether we want to contribute more.
So they're burning $5-7m/year? Seems like they should last for a while.
I find myself more engaged, but perhaps because I wasn't previously an active user. I find nice breadth and depth to topics I follow in everything from history to gaming to dating and relationships.
Adam invested in Instagram?
They have close to 40 engineers, and will likely double that within 12 months. That said, in order to execute on their business model, they won't turn into a huge company by comparison.
Adam saved Instagram. Will find you the link.
Hacker News notes that Charlie has gone completely silent since September 11.
Mr. D’Angelo, a 2006 graduate of the California Institute of Technology, helped him find engineers, set up databases and flesh out features. Soon after Instagram came out of the box, he put his money into it...
Wow. It really is a small world. Kevin sells to Adam's other protege ...
Is the entirety of Silicon Valley actually "baffled?"
This makes me want to watch Star Wars again, haha.
Me too. I don't believe those are Obi-Wan's actual words. :)
Why does one cofounder ever "leave mysteriously"? From personal experience, when there's one trying to turn the team right and the other trying to turn the team left, you go nowhere really fast, or you slew about wildly until one person cedes the reins to the other. But that one usually leaves as s/he is generally convinced that the direction the other one is heading is straight off a cliff or into a wall.
It's essentially getting off the cart before it gets to ramming speed.
But we all tell either the 'politely agreed upon cover story' or everyone says nothing. Either way, curiosity knows no such limitations as to keep us from wanting to know the "real story" behind any kind of breakup.
Back to animated gif staring for me.
They had a fundamental disagreement about the future of Quora.
So what's the vision of the person who stayed? Unclear.
Well, to be honest Adam, their vision(s) of it have kind of been confusing for awhile. Then again, I got lost when they tried to go Pinterest-y awhile back.
Hasn't Quora pulled back from the Pinterest chasing and now more closely resembles its old self?