Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Chatroulette Dude: I Don’t Want to Sell. But I’d Like Google to Pay.

The New York Times gives us one more reason to peek into Chatroulette: An awesome interview with Russian teenager Andrey Ternovskiy, who built the voyeur/chat site everyone loves to talk about.

Ternovskiy is visiting the U.S. and flirting with investors, and you can see why they’d want to talk to him. The 17-year-old spent three days in his bedroom building the site, named after a key scene in “The Deer Hunter,” and it attracts more than 30 million visitors a month.

He’s also savvy enough to tell everyone that he’s perfectly happy to go it alone. Though it would be easier for him to do that if Google (GOOG) would send him a check. He says the search giant won’t pay him his AdWords money because he’s too young.

Q: Do you want investors?

A: ?I’m not sure. There are a lot of business people that are interested. I am afraid to take the offers as I don’t have a business plan. If I take the money I’m responsible for delivering on that. Right now I can survive without investors. The site uses peer-to-peer technology and my Web site is not the kind of site that needs a lot of money to run.

Q: So if someone came along to you today and said I’ll give you $5 million for the Web site would you sell it to them?

A: ?I’m not sure to be honest. The thing is, I could take the money, but what if it won’t work well in the future, I would blame myself. I don’t want to disappoint people.

You should read the whole thing, which doubles as a very nice metaphor for the Web 2.0 era.

Which turns out not to have disappeared, after all. You can now launch a Web service that attracts millions of users without having to leave your parents’ house.

But if words aren’t your thing, here’s that excellent Jon Stewart clip about Chatroulette again.

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google