[NYTimes] BigDataFr recommends: How Facebook’s Oracular Algorithm Determines the Fates of Start-Ups

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BigDataFr recommends: How Facebook’s Oracular Algorithm Determines the Fates of Start-Ups

[…] No one would mistake Ben Cogan and Jesse Horwitz for “brogrammers,” the jockish male coders swaggering across the tech landscape. Nor are they hustlers, the relentlessly outgoing types who quit their jobs to gamble on audacious ventures. They are two bookish friends, ages 27 and 29, who until recently lived across the street from each other on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Horwitz worked for Columbia University’s endowment fund; Cogan had a job analyzing consumer behavior. Their hobbies are quiet. Cogan dreams of earning a Ph.D. in philosophy someday — “after all this is said and done,” he says. Horwitz enjoys tracking various aspects of his life in Excel spreadsheets: restaurants visited, books read, jogs taken. Scrolling through those files, he says, fills him with a sort of data-based nostalgia. For years, the two men met for dinner every week or so, where talk often turned to business ideas. Spit-balling plans for start-ups became their equivalent of fantasy football. […]

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By Burt Helm
Source: nytimes.com

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