Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

The Facebook Hedgehog Mascot (And Yelp Competitor) That Never Was

Even if it sounds more like a tall tale than it does the truth, a post on Quora from early Facebook employee Ezra Callahan this morning is pretty amazing.

A Quora user asked, “Does Facebook need a pet (Android robot, Twitter bird, etc.) to improve its corporate image?”

Callahan, who joined Facebook in 2004 and was the company’s first product manager, replied that early Facebook president Sean Parker had advocated the company adopt a hedgehog (literally) as its mascot.

At the time, Facebook was working on a Yelp competitor, a would-be revenue-generating product it scrapped after getting venture funding.

Callahan and Matt Cohler (now a Benchmark venture capitalist and Quora’s lead investor) had looked into sending “each participating business a little stuffed blue hedgehog,” and Parker toyed with the idea of buying an actual hedgehog in Nevada, according to Callahan, who insists this is a true story. With Callahan’s departure from the company last year, none of those three are still at Facebook.

Read the full tale here.

I felt a little silly doing it, but I’ve asked Facebook PR for comment.

Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my ethics statement.

Image courtesy Flickr user Claus Rebler.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work