My conversation with ex-Facebook CTO and Quora co-founder Adam D’Angelo

18 thoughts on “My conversation with ex-Facebook CTO and Quora co-founder Adam D’Angelo”

  1. that answers are censored, bugs me. that answers are grayed out unless you sign in, bugs me.

    i stopped using it, seems like an exercise in confirmation bias and lowest common denominator thinking

  2. Reblogged this on Simon Hamer and commented:
    Quora is another site that quietly does the job needed by its users very well. LinkedIn used to have an excellent Q&A section, but since LinkedIn decided to put Q&A under “More” the majority of users do not use it. I checked the other day to see that only 137 questions from LinkedIn’s 200 million members were asked in a 24 hour period. There is also too much gaming and abuse by some of those answering which has lead to many of those better qualified to answer leaving the section, and in some cases the site alone for good.

    Well done Quora for creating a great lace to find answers.

  3. This interview is another example that the current internet bubble is ripe. A guy who made a lot of money from a gigantic bubble named Facebook (let’s not forget that Facebook is barely profitable, if profitable at all) got tens of millions of dollars from investors for his fancy Q&A site. The only positive aspect from a business standpoint is that D’Angelo will lose all of the $20M that he invested into Quora.

    “The real use of Quora is determined by users and the content and the topics — those are the metrics we look at. There are not that many ideas for internet products that will be really good.”

    D’Angelo lives in his own world where making money doesn’t matter because that’s what his whole professional life (Facebook) has been about. It worked out very well for him at Facebook, but Quora will run out of money sooner or later (because the user base of a high-quality Q&A site like Quora is limited by the number of smart English-speaking people with internet access around the world and Quora’s user numbers are certainly not stellar after 3,5 years) and 10 years from now people will be scratching their heads at the idea how someone could get tens of millions in funding for a site that could never be profitable.

    1. It would be great if you can come up with the exact details like FB’s profit, Quora’s user base etc. I am also wondering what is exactly their business model.

      1. I don’t know how many users Quora has and it’s impossible to find it out. It’s safe to say it’s not in the tens of millions. Facebook had a profit of $1B in 2011.

        “For the third quarter of 2012, on a GAAP basis (the accounting standard for U.S. corporations), Facebook lost 2 cents a share versus making 10 cents a share the prior year. It lost money in the second quarter, too. In other words, Facebook lost money every quarter since its IPO on a GAAP accounting basis. Its margins were squeezed as decelerating revenues didn’t keep up with growing costs—“user growth” isn’t always a good thing—and it lost important gaming revenues.”

        “In February 2012, Facebook took out a five-year revolving credit facility to borrow up to $5 billion (undrawn as of September 30, 2012). It also took out a bridge credit facility with JPMorgan to borrow up to $3 billion to pay for the stock buybacks, which it has to pay back one-year from being drawn or by June 30, 2014 at the latest.”

        http://www.tavakolistructuredfinance.com/FB11262012.pdf

  4. Despite being a very active Quora user in the past, I’ve rarely seen Adam or Charlie lay out their vision for its future. It sounds like they have several options they are considering and I hope it works out for them, their team and investors. ; )

  5. I’m impressed with Adam’s and Quora’s long-term strategy, especially in a sea of short-term startup plays.

    I’m not sure I agree with the text-based-only approach though. While presenting information visually without making it seem cluttered is a real challenge, I think text-only is a dangerous long term proposition, especially with the coming rise of gestural interfaces.

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