Click to viewProfessional annoyance Kara Swisher, the BoomTown blogger, went to a how-to-survive-the-downturn gabfest, and all she got was this lousy video. Captured on her Flip camera: Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis, who didn't predict the downturn; Nirav Tolia, the Epinions cofounder — an entrepreneur — who hasn't laid anyone off since the last bubble burst and is surely rusty; Google investor Ram Shriram, who has way too much money to care about such mundane affairs as a recession; and Fast Company videoblogger Robert Scoble, who is cheerfully clueless as ever. The bright side: If Scoble is saying companies need to conserve cash, perhaps we've hit a market bottom.
While other startup founders have to stay home and, you know, work, these guys have the time and the spare $3,000 to spend hanging out at a zero-agenda conference in Hawaii. (For the record, we're jealous.) Spotted in Yahoo executive Bradley Horowitz's Flickr stream: Benchmark entrepreneur-in-waiting Nirav Tolia; "stepped-up" LinkedIn chairman Reid Hoffman; FeedBurner founder Dick Costolo, who's rolling in Googlebucks; Linden Lab CEO Philip Rosedale; Evan Williams from Twitter; Mashery's Oren Michels; and
Kevin Rose (and his new haircut) from Digg with Joshua Schachter from the Yahoo-owned Del.icio.us. One question: Is this really Meebo CEO Seth Sternberg? I don't recognize him looking so unnerdly. (Photo by: bradley23)
The rehabilitation of Nirav Tolia is not just complete — it is, at long last, confirmed. The cofounder of Epinions, though tarred by old controversies, will announce tomorrow morning that he has, indeed, landed a long-rumored spot at Benchmark Capital as an entrepreneur-in-residence. (Back in March, Valleywag emeritus Nick Denton was told by several people Tolia was heading to Benchmark.) He'll be joined there by Sarah Leary, a former Epinions executive, and both hope to look at startup ideas having to do with online community and user-generated content. (We'll hold our tongue.) Tolia called Valleywag to share the news.