24 Hour Laundry: Yeah, They Are Nice People
So I'm here to wade in on the topic of 24 Hour Laundy, the stealth startup founded by none other than Marc Andreesen himself right down the street from me over in Palo Alto. Why? Because I actually know a couple of the guys working over there. They're nice people and I feel like they're getting a bad rap from these morons, and Om, and Mark Fletcher, and god knows who else.
Let me first say I have no idea about what they're working on - they really are a stealth startup. I mean, our kids play together, but I don't know jack about what they're doing. I can't even guess. And you know what? That's fine. They have the right to not let potential competitors know about their product/service, and they have the right to work on their system until they feel it's ready for prime time. Think about it, with Marc's name on it, they're going to get Slashdotted or worse on day one - because everyone and their mother is going to want to see what the wunderkind who helped create the Web as we know it is going to do next. That's just the way it is. Imagine if your startup had to deal with that level of expectation? Assuming their project isn't another web news page with a bad UI or a BAD RAD Agile Ruby web daytimer, it might take some actual work for them to get ready, no? I think so.
Let me make sure everyone who reads this knows this: these are some really smart people working over there. And I've been promised that they're working on something cool and innovative. I trust them on that. I have a common expression that most of this stuff isn't brain surgery or rocket science, but you know sometimes it *is* complex, or at least it's just hard work. These guys are cranking around the clock to get ready for launch. If they're working that hard, I for one am giving them the benefit of the doubt.
The thing that annoys me most about the comments on 24H Laundry is this ass-backwards sentiment about how there are no unique ideas left out there. Are you fucking kidding me? You know that misquote from the patent office in 1899 that always gets thrown around? "Everything that can be invented has already been invented." Well, that's what is sounds like several people are saying now, and a lot of others baaahing in unison. That's moronic - seriously, time to go do something else with that sort of thinking.
I think people are confused about what Web 2.0 is and is not. The Web 2.0 has to do with platforms - Amazon, eBay, Yahoo - but not necessarily with transparency. Yes there have been some startups out there that have flipped their companies quick before they even got out of beta, and other companies that just never seem to take anything out of beta. But that doesn't mean that an essential part of Web 2.0 is just to launch shit prematurely and see what sticks. Do you realize how much cool stuff is on deck at Yahoo? Tons. But it'd be fucking stupid to just go off and start talking about it all before it was ready. Same thing for any startup out there with a cool idea.
And there are cool ideas. Lots of them. Unique, innovative, make a few billion bucks sort of ideas. Remember the last one? I'll give credit where it's due: it's called PageRank and it changed the web and the industry almost overnight. Just when the last round of morons were claiming it had all been invented. The next big idea is also out there, don't you think otherwise. Lots of cool little ideas as well.
So, in summation. Back off and let them finish baking whatever it is they're cooking over there and save your criticisms for when the product is launched. I think that's fair.
Update: Diego has come out of the Stealth closet and has a few things to say about this as well. :-)