E254: News Panel with Niel Robertson and Jon Ferrara on This Week in Startups



about this episode

Click here to stream the audio version of this episode.

Join our mailing list and be the first to learn about upcoming guests!

On This Week in Startups, Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson, Kevin Rose and Zynga were among the hot topics in front of our panel of expert analysts–Niel Robertson, CEO of Trada, and Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble.

1:05 – 2:04  It’s This Week in Startups, it’s Friday and we’ve got a lot to discuss. The first thing we’re going to discuss is the Yahoo CEO.  Jon Ferrara, CEO of Nimble I am an investor, thank you for letting me in the round.
2:04 – 3:35 Do you do SEM stuff? At some point you’re going to want to turn on the paid funnel?
3:35 – 4:32 What does an SEM cost in major cities? At what point would Nimble say, it’s great to have a service like Trada but we need to bring SEM in house?
4:32-6:14 What’s the most successful client to date? Who are the most successful people in SEM and what are they selling?
6:17 – 7:18 Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson falsely claimed a computer science degree on his resume.
7:18 – 8:15 How big of a deal is this? Should he lose his job?
8:15 – 8:26 Jon: Someone should just take Yahoo in the back and shoot them in the head
8:48 – 9:58 People who lie and cheat in a system that is already rigged are idiots. It’s sociopathic in a way. In our industry there is absolutely no reason to lie. Going to college is considered a liability in the industry.
9:58 – 12:18 If you lie about this what else are you lying about? This is a fundamental trust issue. What do you think Niel?
12:18- 12:58  Niel: Supposedly I heard that he lobbied for the job. He begged for the job. Remember they hired him really fast? People who previously worked at PayPal hate that guy. I think this guy’s a bit of a disaster
12:58 – 14:00  Lon: Then how did he get this job?
14:00 – 15:15  Niel –  I think there’s somewhat of a trend. 10 years ago the best way to be a VC was to go to college with one and be their roommate.
15:15 – 15:42 Could you imagine going to the Winklevosses? They thought the cloud was going to be big in 2012, wow, great insight.
15:42 – 16:50 Discovery purchased Revision3. It was known for DiggNation. What is the advantage of taking on Rev3?
16:50 – 19:48 It’s not an epic sale, but it’s a single or a double and Discovery got a hell of a deal. If Digg Nation was still going it probably would’ve been a $50M sale.
19:48 – 21:31 If young people are starting on the web with free content, they’ll need to figure this out because niche content will work better than broad content. Discovery is a moneymaking machine.
21:31 – 23:18 One thing if you’re building these companies and you want to be protected, you need to have a good lawyer. eMinutes is a great company and helping entrepreneurs avoid making legal mistakes. eMinutes thank you for sponsoring the program. Everyone thank eMinutes.
23:18 – 24:01 Lon: Washington Post has purchased Digg. How long does Digg have? Will they continue to be a company after this? How does a buyout like this work?
24:01 – 24:48 When Kevin Rose finally writes his book it’s going to be amazing. In 60 days he sold Milk to Google, Revision3 to Discovery and Digg to washington post. It kind of feels like a Gowalla sale.
24:48 – 27:28 There’s something fishy going on here and I think there was a falling out. Greylock got their hands on both of these deals. What are your thoughts?
27:28 – 28:04 Let’s say the portfolio is either short or it’s long, that is going to factor into their decision making. What do you think Jon?
28:04 – 28:28 Jon: It really is sad and I was pretty sure Kevin wanted to sell so if the founders wanted to sell, then who didn’t want to sell?
28:28 – 29:04 How many uniques does Digg still have?
29:04 – 30:52 Where Digg tried to become more professional, Reddit just said screw it. They have jailbait. There’s some really offensive stuff on there.
30:52 – 33:21 Tumblr has an incredible array of porn and you know what I think, Instagram was built off of car models and strippers.
33:21 – 35:31 Lon: We’ll talk about the Kindle Fire. They’ve slipped from no. 2 to no. 3 in terms of market share. Why do you think this happened and what can they do to revitalize interest in the Kindle Fire?
35:31 – 36:00 The Android store really needs to get their billing right. The whole thing is a bit of a disaster. When it becomes $99 i think it’ll  do well
36:00 – 37:28 You guys have Kindle or iPad?
37:28 – 40:44 Lon: Zynga stock declined, leading many to speculate that OMGPop may be bringing the stock down. What do you think about this deal now? Did they overpay?
40:44 – 44:37 Zynga has also bought mid tier stuff too, and now they understand how this ecosystem works. Pincus can easily make his money back on every game but then the question is, is it a game that will last the test of time?
44:37 I have to ask Mark five times to be on the program. Why won’t you come on the program, Mark? Mark and I have an issue with our friendship now because he won’t be on the show
46:44 – 48:20 Tyler: So are you or aren’t you friends with Mark Pincus?
48:20 – 49:37 If you have one person who’s bringing it every day and then there are people who are showing up and not pulling their weight, then they should let them go, right?
49:37 – 55:07 Lon: LinkedIn plans to purchase SlideShare for $119M. Any thoughts on this deal? What kind of value is LinkedIn going to get?
55:07 – 56:31 You know one of the top things now will be the SlideShare of the day? The next step would be to have LinkedIn degrees.
56:31 They also, like Nimble are CRMish. Do you fear that they’re going to go full blown CRM?
57:55 – 59:43 Thanks to Lon for reading the news. Tyler, zero insights but you did have some good fact checking.
59:43 Thank you eMinutes!

Support This Week in Startups and independent media by joining the TWiST Producer Program at TwistList.co!

Multilingual? Translate this episode of TWiST into another language and email the transcript to translate@thisweekin.com

Keep up with the latest from our sister company, LAUNCH:

Jason: @jason
Tyler: @steepdecline
Lon: @lons
Niel: @nielr1
Jon: @jon_ferrara
Trada: @trada
eMinutes: @eminutes

Special thanks to the members of the TWiST Backchannel Program!

Executive Producers


Associate Producers

  • Brad Pineau
  • Kat Ganesan
  • Nicholas Christian
  • Mau Frontier
  • Kyle Braatz
  • Serena Ehrlich
  • JD
  • Alex Lotoczko
  • James Kennedy
  • Benoit Curdy
  • Asher Nevins
  • Mike Kaltschnee
  • William Doom
  • David Lee
  • Jake Kerber
  • Sarp Coskun
  • Giuseppe Taibi
  • Tyrone Rubin
  • Keno Vigil
  • Paul Peters
  • Jamal Waring
  • Nick Ostroff
  • Alex Binkley
  • John MP Knox
  • Bryan McCormick
  • Marcos Trinidad
  • Allen Cordrey
  • Daniel Mich
  • Joshua Rosen
  • Grant Carlile
  • James Smith
  • Christopher Rill
  • Elliot Myhre
  • Nihon Giga
  • Nathan Gielis
  • Greg Meadows
  • Rick Cartwright
  • Jacques Struwig
  • Robert Ward
  • Adam Gering


  • Ryan Hoover
  • Michael Cranston
  • Josiah Thomas
  • João Fernandes
  • Petrus Theron
  • Michael Wild
  • Dale Emmons
  • Tim de Jardine
  • Alejandro Vasquez
  • Milan Babuskov
  • Chris Rowe
  • Nelson Melo
  • James Dawson
  • Toddy Mladenov
  • Daniel Torres
  • Chris Macke
  • Piotr Zuralski
  • Armand Konan
  • Brian Vogel
  • Paul D
  • Jennifer Sun
  • David Kolb
  • Sue Marrone
  • Eugene Granovksy
  • Will Blackton
  • Ryan Dodds
  • Brett Arp
  • Jason Cresswell
  • Edwin Orange
  • Daniel Bradley
  • Shawn Daniel
  • Priidu Kull
  • Patrick Desroches
  • Alex Lam
  • Paul Secor
  • Ryan Urabe
  • Madhu R.
  • Paul Ardeleanu
  • Ian Thomas
  • Manny Alarcon
  • Charlie Osmond
  • Christopher Smitley
  • Roshan H.
  • Barcy Cordrey
  • Matt Beaubien
  • Matthew Smith
  • Oscar Bueno
  • Tim Hoyt
  • Ian Gerstel
  • Taphon Maddison
  • John Bradley
  • Luigi Armogida
  • Dave Ferrara
  • Janus Lindau
  • Chris Mancil
  • TR Ludwig
  • Giles Thomas
  • Jason Cartwright
  • Michael Del Borrello
  • Joshua Rosen
  • David Karlberg
  • Marcus Schappi
  • Justin Furniss
  • Mike Hauck
  • Jess Bachman
  • Isaac Hill
  • Robert Haydock
  • Dan Sfera
  • Flaviu Simihaian
  • Kiko Cherman
  • Chandra Siva
  • Kasper Andkjaer
  • Zach Woodward
  • Chris Galasso
  • Chad Olsen
  • Michael Grabham
  • John Shiple
  • Gregory Hoffman
  • Chris Rickard
  • Eskil Steenberg


more episodes