Monday, June 29, 2009

Abrams invented Friendster and failed

Now he started another web site called Socializr , but this time he has a different view.

"...The idea is to grow slowly, have fun--and, above all, avoid hot-shot venture capitalists. "I'm hoping it'll be like 2002 and 2003, when I didn't have a lot of money and I got a lot done,"

if he's not building a traditional VC-backed start-up, what is he building? Is it a hobby project or an IPO in the making? Here Abrams is less clear. Abrams has put none of his own money into Socializr. He is cagey on his timetables and plans for growth. When I ask him what Socializr might look like in three years, he laughs: "That's a long time for me." Coming as it does from the guy who invented social networking, the statement seems curiously unambitious. And then there's the question of why an active Internet entrepreneur would start a nightclub in the first place. Abrams says that Slide is neither a distraction nor a major financial risk. "As you can tell"--he gestures at the posh lighting, the attractive waitress, the abstract art--"I'm doing fine."

Abrams is alluding to his personal wealth, but his almost perky tone suggests his mental state, a hard-fought detachment that has allowed him to recover from failure. Abrams may be a cynic, but it's easy to forgive his cynicism--even if you blame him for the biggest tech flop since the bubble burst. After all, it's not often you encounter a visionary who has decided it's okay not to be one.

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