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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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik