I am overwhelmed with jealousy & disgust when I see media hyping bullshit products & fake founders full of hot air. I know I should support fellow founders – and I know my lack of media savvy is my own fault – but it still pisses me off every time.


  • What constitutes a fake founder?

    Bullshit products I understand but that’s the nature of the tech press. They’re in bed with the investors and will cover whatever crap they fund.

    • I know the answer to this one.

      Neither our CTO “founder” nor our CEO “founder” were around when the company formed.

      The company was founded by the CEO’s father in the 1990s. The CTO joined in the 2000s. Around 2010, the company re-branded, changed its focus and the actual founder retired. We became a “startup”, moved a lot of employees to the “startup” department, sold off other branches of the company and rolled out some “minimal viable product” offerings. Outside of sales, there were demotions of other team leaders who threatened the new guard. One team quit entirely over the course of six weeks.

      The winners of the power struggle are “founders” now in our promotional materials and whenever you read about the company or a quote from them in the press.

      You can still learn most of this from the unmaintained web pages we’ve forgotten to take down and a few local newspaper (lol) articles.

      That’s what a fake founder is.

    • OP here – “fake founder” wasn’t the most articulate way to put things, I admit. I was venting on specific coverage of a founder who always has something incredibly hot in the works but never launches anything other than footage in demo videos.

      Outside of this particular instance, I use “fake founder” to refer to people who’ve only ever founded consultancies, events, or service providers for other founders. You know the type – writes a book and launches a paid conference on how to succeed in tech or ends up on every judging and speaking panel despite never having actually started anything resembling a tech startup.

      These types seem particularly good at getting on TV and getting articles written about them, and their constant stream of bullshit not only makes the rest of us look bad but sucks up all the air time from people who are building real products with real customers and who’s opinions I would actually like to read/hear.

    • Doubt it’s the same person, but thanks for reminding me that the even the “fake founders” are probably struggling (so I should restrict my bitching to just about the journalists – ha!). I should put on my big girl panties and pitch the journalists myself now. 🙂

  • The world is full of stuff that gets more attention/love/money than it objectively merits. And, also stuff which gets less.

    That’s how it is, so don’t get too bothered – just get on with your own stuff.

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