A pseudo-founder developed a new product ready for release soon. Thorough in-house testing and initial pilots shows that it’s actually offers steep negative value for customers. I hope our customers learn this and it sinks this guy’s career.


  • OP here. He didn’t actually found the company–we went through a few shuffles and his department ended up coming out on top during a convoluted rebranding.

    Anyway, this isn’t a case of “failure” in the startup sense of the word. This is a case of the damn product (it’s B2B) being so misleading that by our own count anyone who uses it exposes their company to losses with no (as in, actually zero) potential upside. We’ve actually made sure that our clientele can’t run pilots without our supervision.

    That’s not “failure”. I can’t judge it outright unethical, but it’s negligent at best. I don’t dislike this guy at a personal level, and wanted to like him–but he’s a terrible manager, and our actual founder is absentee and semi-retired, and it’s a shame seeing bad decision after bad decision pile up when everyone is grinding away and hustling. This is one of the more offensive.

    AFAICT the only reason we’ve pursued it has been to file for a patent.

    • In other words your company sells snake oil?

      I worked at a big data ad optimization company. Founder is super slick tells everyone how much data we process. In actual fact, we do process that data, we have a huge fucking data warehouse, but the intelligence is shit. The customers aren’t actually getting any benefit whatsoever but they don’t know any better. Shit like this goes on a lot in the valley. Lots of Emperors’ tailors over here.

      • Good to know that we’re not the only Frauds of Big Data.

        It does make me wonder though–so much real work goes into the whole ETL and data warehousing process, then some two-bit self-appointed “Data Scientist” dreams up some half-assed thing to do with the info, which is, of course, cleanly normalized off in some private silo somewhere.

        I guess the exit plan is just to sell it the raw, loaded data at a cut rate to vulture capital that shows up for the fire sale.

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