Random stuff that comes out of my mouth when I’m drunk

[I don’t realize how over-the-top I am until I sober up. Here is a random snippet of conversation.]

Me: “You know how I am. I went to that g—d—n school. I think they’re all idiots who are divorced from reality. I said that to you when they bought out Overture.”

K—: “They’re eggheads. That’s true anywhere, not just Caltech. It’s not Burbank anymore, the new people in Sunnyvale are like that too. You talk to them and think they’re smart, but all the do is draw boxes.”

Me: “Boxes? You mean like UML?”

K—: “No, that would imply code being written. I mean boxes.”

[More random stuff after the jump]

Me: “Whatever. The truth is that search is just not that hard a problem. They just make it hard. Most of the stuff they do is a 5% thing and if you want to compete with Google, you need 1000% things. It’s just not there. You’re playing to Google’s strength—that’s crazy. There are a zillion engineers just as smart as you at Google.”

K—: “I heard the craziest thing this year about […], this guy at Yahoo! said, ‘Sometimes projects get cancelled.’ I wish I could say that after costing a company billions.”

Me: “Projects get cancelled? Tell him it’s about opportunity cost. How much was lost while they were pissing away time and resources on that? What’s he do still working there? Heck, how are the people who are replacing […] any better than the ones they’re replacing?”

K—: “I told you about the Oracle people. Yahoo fired them all—they’re like cockroaches, they all came back. Besides, you were pretty neutral about […]”

Me: “Who the f—k is he? I don’t know who he is.”

K—: “I told you about him. He’s […]’s boy. He’s on Panama. He took over the project when it was behind schedule. From Burbank.”

Me: “They should fire him. Heck, if they’re south of say…Fresno, they should just fire them all. And fire that Peanut Butter f—ker while you are at it. I mean what the f—k is he still doing there? They should have just given him his Jerry Macguire moment after he wrote pile of crap.”

K—: *laughter* “Yeah I remember that. Back in November you didn’t let me finish talking before you went off on that. I just was trying to tell you that for a Harvard guy he seems to have a large difficulty grappling with basic English grammar.”

Me: “Why was anyone buying that crap?”

K—: “I don’t think the engineers at Yahoo were ever happy with that manifesto. I think it was mostly the outside world that was saying how great he is for writing it.”

Me: “Well when you told me he was responsible for Yahoo! Photos I went ballistic. I said Flickr was going to eat their lunch. I remember all the other properties he managed sounding similarly worthless. He’s complaining about the problem not knowing, he, and people like him, are the problem.”

K—: “Well, it was obviously self-serving. He said they should lay off 10% of the company. ‘Okay fine. You’re part of that 10%.’”

Me: “I remember back in 2004, I heard that Yahoo! Personals was going to use did some product component integration of something from Bangalore just because some V.P. with a lot of power wanted it and Personals is a money maker so they hitched it to that gravy train—not because they needed that product at all. I thought ‘That’s f—d up. Yahoo is f—d up broken.’ It’s not about quantity. I mean, honestly, if they’re any good what the f—k are they doing in Bangalore? It’s not like it hurts to be Indian in the Valley. The only discrimination they have here is possibly being a woman.”

[Don’t worry people, God punishes me with killer hangovers.]

8 thoughts on “Random stuff that comes out of my mouth when I’m drunk

  1. Rob,

    I could see that.

    In my defense, I was drunk and we’re in the Valley. And the Valley thinks the whole world actually cares what is going on here. In the unlikely event you actually care, here is some background:

    It’s a little about The Search space, a little about Project Panama, and a little about that peanut butter guy.

    But its really about not holding people accountable for their mistakes (even after they make the same ones again)…and a few belateddepartures, isn’t going to fix it. Not when everyone saw the train wreck over two years ago.

    Maybe out there, there is more than just programming that is about making choices?

    I think at Yahoo it’s called “the Hollywood experiment” and it’s not really over yet. There is a systemic issue that allowed the “experiment” to flourish. But all we’re really doing is blaming the “Hollywood” part.

    Basically, I’m just stating the obvious.

    …in the most offensive way possible.

  2. When I was at Plaxo, I knew a couple people who worked on Yahoo’s address book team. You think we’d be worried since Yahoo has the most users on the internet that maybe they could just build in Plaxo and crush us.

    We weren’t. The team couldn’t even get their own properties to use their product. For instance, use Yahoo 360 sometime. I use Plaxo to sync my entire address book with Yahoo and I can’t even import it into 360 to look for people who are already on 360.

    If you talk to Yahoo people about 360, it’s not clear even they know what it was supposed to be.

    How fucked up is that?

  3. I have to admit that Yahoo!’s approach to its properties leaves me gob-smacked at the incompetence. I suppose it’s possible that I just don’t see their “big picture”… unlikely though!



  4. Thanks for a good laugh Terry! As somebody who almost worked at Y!, I got a good taste of what an internal-clusterf–k (I felt peer pressure to censor that hee hee) they have going on in Sunnyvale.

    Hopefully I’ll never get you started on my current employer, at least not while you’re drunk.

  5. Ebay is a case, too. Ebay makes gobs of money. God bless them. Making money covers up all sorts of engineering and managerial problems. Internally, Google is a mess, but that does not matter. Here is an accurate hierarchy of who pecks whom in Silicon Valley.

    SBU chart.
    Engineers at X (1337) think engineers at Y are screwed/stupid/managed by n00bs.

    1337 -> n00b
    Facebook -> Google -> LinkedIn -> Plaxo -> Yahoo -> Oracle -> EA -> HP -> AOL -> Ebay

    As you can see clearly by the chart, Facebook engineers are managed by superior beings. Yahoo is in the middle of the pack, only because there are much stranger places to work. Ebay (excluding Paypal) is unfortunately the butt of all jokes. Just say “train”, and the Valley engineer will chuckle. Train you ask?

    A train contains a fixed number of seats. At some point, the eBay train will leave the station. Your train might leave at 3 am. You as an eBay engineer must stay up until 3 am to check in your working code to CVS. But the 2 am engineer already broke your libraries, so you must stay up until dawn to fix his problems. The train is so efficient that toolies must throw their body under the cogs of the Juggernaut to please the efficiency gods.


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