Facebook board member and investor Jim Breyer had his Facebook profile hacked over the weekend. According to PeHUB, Jim's account sent a message to his 2,300 or so Facebook friends over the weekend, asking them, "would you like a Facebook phone number?" The message also contained a link to "see more details and RSVP."
Facebook will announce this week that it's brought Silicon Valley wunderkind turned Web 2.0 grumpy grandpa Marc Andreessen onto its board of directors. Andresseen will fill one of the two open seats on Facebook's five-person board. Founder Mark Zuckerberg and investors Peter Thiel and Jim Breyer make up the rest.
The Valley's full of Harvard MBAs, but how much did Harvard Business School graduates learn at Cambridge? "Zero!" Accel's Jim Breyer tells BoomTown's Kara Swisher in this clip, full of similar answers from other Harvard wished-they-were-dropouts. "But," Breyers says, "I made some great friends." One of them, or one like one of them: Greylock's James Slavet, who answers the same question from Swisher with a Cambridge-learned eloquence: "Uh …"
Yahoos are still buzzing about Jeff Weiner's departure for the world of venture capital. Before he left, many of his coworkers thought he was a shoo-in for a CEO gig at Facebook. Now that he's an entrepreneur-in-residence jointly at Accel Partners and Greylock Partners — both investors in Facebook — the conspiracy theorists have changed their patter: Weiner's just in a holding pen until Accel and Greylock can boot founder Mark Zuckerberg, install Weiner as CEO, and take the company public. "Zuck is definitely out ... it's just a matter of time. It's clear as day," one tipster writes. Clear as mud, rather. It makes sense that Yahoos, bitter at Facebook's success and eager to have one of their own deliver a comeuppance to Zuckerberg, would be circulating this rumor. But here's what they don't know about Jeff Weiner and Mark Zuckerberg.
CARLSBAD, CA — Who are those cool cats in sunglasses at D6? Why, it's Jim Breyer of Accel Partners, a board member at Facebook, lunching with Wendi Murdoch, wife of the News Corp. CEO and chairwoman of MySpace China. Also at the table: Martha Stewart, seen here to the left; Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures; and Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe.
Really, I wasn't trying to be posh for the book party Arianna Huffington threw Saturday for Oxford scholar Jonathan Zittrain and his new book, The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It." I pulled up to Larry Ellison's Pacific Heights manse in a black Town Car because that's the only vehicle I was able to flag down in North Beach. Huffington, the pundit turned blog mogul, greeted me at the door and extracted a promise of my best behavior before allowing me in. (One wonders what these people think my worst behavior might be, and if they realize how tempting living down to their expectations is.)
Stanlee Gatti, the former San Francisco arts commissioner, produced the event, which drew a crowd mixed with the Valley elite, San Francisco politicos, a gaggle of YouTubers, and oddball geek pals of Zittrain. Oh, and some grubby hacks like yours truly. Melanie Ellison, the romance novelist and wife of Oracle CEO Larry, went to high school with Zittrain, it turns out. That's the kind of it's-a-small-world connection the local press corps loves to make a big deal about. But even if Zittrain didn't have this chance connection to the Valley's movers and shakers, I'd think he'd be drawing attention from its inner circle anyway.
Few people outside Silicon Valley have heard of Roelof Botha. But the former CFO of PayPal is famous here. His two claims to fame: negotiating that company's $1.5 billion sale to eBay, and later, as a partner at Sequoia Capital, investing in YouTube and quickly flipping the startup to Google for $1.65 billion. Is it a coincidence that that figure is 10 percent higher than his PayPal score? Few insiders think so. Botha gets four pages in Sarah Lacy's Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good — more than Google cofounder Sergey Brin. Other figures who appear on the second page of her Web 2.0 book's index: John Battelle, Ning CEO Gina Bianchini, Facebook board member Jim Breyer, blog blowhard Jason Calacanis, and YouTube cofounder Steve Chen, whom Botha made quite wealthy.
Netscape cofounder and propagator of porn social networks Marc Andreessen will join Facebook's board of directors, Kara Swisher reports. Andreessen will join current board members Accel Partners Jim Breyer, Clarium Capital's Peter Thiel, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Andreessen is the chairman of Ning, a company which sells tools for rolling your own social network. If your mom has an excellent visual memory, she will probably remembers him for appearing on the cover of Time magazine without shoes on. You can tell her that he dresses better now, but only slightly. Why Andreessen, and not a proxy for new investors Microsoft or Li Ka-Shing?
Forget trying to get a seat, or a power outlet, at Coupa Cafe. The new spot to hang out waiting to meet an investor to fund your Facebook app? Fraiche Yogurt on Emerson Street in Palo Alto. Here's the schtick: Go there and order a $2 cup of custom-brewed Blue Bottle coffee. (The frozen yogurt's okay, but hardly Pinkberry.) Spread out your traffic-stat charts and business plan, then lie in wait to ambush Accel Partners' Jim Breyer, the Facebook board member who's reportedly a frequent Fraicher. Oh, and bring your EVDO card: There's no Wi-Fi.
Fortune magazine, ever servile, provides a ready platform for the powerful with something to say. The latest on stage: Jim Breyer, the Accel Partners VC with a seat on Facebook's board. Breyer has a fair point: We may be seeing the cyclical bursting of another Silicon Valley bubble. Breyer says this happens once every seven years, roughly. But his timing is suspicious. Last October, Breyer gladly took Microsoft's bubbly $240 million for a microscopic stake in Facebook. Declaring the bursting of a bubble now may help hasten its advent, and in the process, make it harder for Facebook's rivals to raise money. But for Fortune readers' tech-stock portfolios, an early warning might have been more useful. Why didn't the magazine ring him up last fall? Fortune never mentions this. (Illustration by Sean McCabe for Fortune)
Accel partner Jim Breyer and Venrock's David Siminoff plan to take money from Hollywood talent agency William Morris and AT&T to form a new fund, according to the New York Times. It will be financed with "tens of millions of dollars" and looks to invest as little as $250,000 in digital-media startups based in Southern California.
Yesterday, Accel Partners VC Jim Breyer, who sits on Facebook's board with Peter Thiel and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, made an offhand comment about Facebook's unfinished financing round. Microsoft has already put in $240 million, and Facebook's board has authorized sleepless CFO Gideon Yu to go raise another $260 million. Here's what Breyer said to Silicon Alley Insider: "$50 million, $100 million, $200 million." He said it with a shrug, but we think his insouciance was feigned. That's because Facebook already has a firm commitment in hand for that $50 million Breyer mentioned. The board is still deciding whether to take that money.
Back in July, I speculated that Accel Partners VC Jim Breyer might use his position on the Facebook board to strongarm startups developing Facebook apps into taking its money. And sure enough, he's setting up a new fund to do exactly that. But he's cleverly cutting in Facebook itself, as well as fellow board member Peter Thiel's Founders Fund. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at TechCrunch40 that his company and its two main backers are forming fbFund, a $10 million pool of money that will invest between $25,000 and $250,000 in Facebook-app startups. As hard to resist as a solo offer from Breyer might be, a check offered by Breyer, Thiel, and Zuckerberg seems irresistible. And more than a little menacing.
Would Cambridge-founded social network Facebook have grown into its current role as tech media darling if it had stayed back east instead of seeking its fortune in California, wonders Boston.com? Answer, as supplied by Facebook investor Jim Breyer from Accel Partners: No. As in N-O. No effing way. Nada, etc. Why? Breyer elaborates: ""So many of the Facebook employees have come from top Internet companies like Yahoo, eBay, and Google that the culture that has been built at Facebook is fundamentally more consumer/Internet savvy than if it would've been built anywhere else on the planet." Sounds plausible to us! But bitterly jealous Battery Ventures partner Scott Tobin—who passed when Zuckerberg came to him for startup money— has a different take. "Folks in the Valley are incredibly ego-centric to a point of snobbery" he blithely claims. True enough. But, he goes on to say, passing on Facebook "may turn out to have been a mistake."
Facebook board members Jim Breyer and Peter Thiel seem to feel free to make up revenue figures for the social network — even though they differ by $50 million — and they just hired a CFO, Gideon Yu, who doesn't seem like he'd be averse to doing the same. So I figured, why shouldn't I join in the fun? Forthwith, Facebook's estimated 2007 revenues, by the thoroughly imaginary numbers.
Bay Partners, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, is cutting small checks to startups developing apps on Facebook's F8 platform, VentureBeat reports. Sure, Bay is opportunistically trying to ride on top of the frenzy for apps written specifically for Facebook's user base of 29 million. But Bay's initiative, called AppFactory, is small potatoes compared to what we think Facebook backer Jim Breyer, managing partner at venture capital firm Accel Partners, might be up to.