/// Caterina Fake: Fast Growth for a New Social App Is a Very Bad Thing

February 24, 2012  |  All Things Digital


Social Web entrepreneurs with successful careers just can’t seem to find their way to a happy and boring retirement. Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake just announced Pinwheel , joining Ev Williams and Biz Stone of Twitter and now Obvious , Joshua Schachter of Delicious and now Jig , Chad Hurley and Steve Chen of YouTube and now Delicious , Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning of Napster and now Airtime , among others, back at the drawing board. Sure, the new start-ups from these people have a long way to go before achieving the impact of their predecessors, and fresh new innovators like Pinterest and Voxer are popping up all the time. But the good thing is that the repeat entrepreneurs keep evolving their ideas about how people interact, share and express themselves online. Photo courtesy of Robert Scoble If you get her started, as I did yesterday, in a conversation at Pinwheel’s office in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, Caterina Fake sounds almost like a professor of social networking philosophy. One particularly interesting theory of Fake’s is about how an online community should grow in its early days. She thinks the answer is very clear: Slowly. That’s why Pinwheel, a tiny service that helps users create and find geotagged notes, already raised $9.5 million in funding from investors including Redpoint Ventures, True Ventures, Betaworks and others. The funding is a way for Fake to beat back elevated expectations of how fast Pinwheel should grow, given her prior success, she said. “My perspective is it takes a while to grow this stuff,” she said. “It takes time for the culture to grow. You need time to develop antibodies to spammers and trolls.” The worst thing a social network can do is force growth, she said, pointing to Google’s work on Google+

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Caterina Fake: Fast Growth for a New Social App Is a Very Bad Thing



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