On Tuesday night the Fellows got to visit the new offices of Buzzfeed and hear from their founder and CEO Jonah Peretti.

buzzfeed

buzzfeed

Jonah has a long history of experimental virology, developing, propagating, and studying why things go viral. What’s amazing is that Jonah has managed to take a fascination for understanding people’s psychology, particularly the way they interact online, and turn it into a business plan.


Jonah talked to us about Buzzfeed, a startup company with technology for launching, tracking, and accelerating viral distribution of content on the web. Jonah talked not only about psychology but even mathematical and statistical modeling employed by Buzzfeed.

earlier work by JP

earlier work by JP

viral math

viral math

Afterwards, we talked quite a bit about the venture model, with valuable insights from Jon Steinberg, formerly of google and Polaris and now president of Buzzfeed. It was clear that Jonah’s appreciation for the way people’s wiring influences their decisions extends to startup financing. Jonah discussed some of the rational and irrational mechanisms that drive VC decisions and gave advice to hackNY members on how to get their ideas funded.

jon s

jon s

Jon Steinberg also had encouragement for the hackNY Fellows, saying that now was a fantastic time to have their skill set.

You all are at the perfect place. Being a hacker now is like being a hedge fund manager in the late 1990s.
Your kids will tell you that they wished they had the opportunities that you do right now.

nolan's not really that trashy

nolan's not really that trashy

Afterwards we all had a chance to chat informally with each other and with Jonah.

chatting about math+mullets

chatting about math+mullets

happy fellows

happy fellows

what are they talking about?

what are they talking about?

Thanks again to Jonah and Jon for making time to talk to the hackNY Fellows!