He cuts a mercurial shape across the tech landscape, but the famously former Facebook #30 Noah Kagan has finally put the record straight and moved on.
Kagan’s notorious ejection from Facebook Towers in 2006 has passed into tech folklore as a lesson in how not to help the world’s most promising startup develop, but a recent post on the AppSumo CEO’s blog okdork.com has given us a glimpse into his world and how he really felt about leaving Facebook and missing out on a life-changing sum of money when the company floated earlier this year.
In His Own Words
Kagan’s brutally honest post shows a philosophical side to the guy that was labelled a ‘liability’ and clearly demonstrates how he has matured since the Facebook showdown. He now agrees that at the time, the right decision was made for the company.
He said: “After running AppSumo for over two years I’ve finally understood that Facebook made the right decision to let me go…
“I was a show-er at Facebook. I dealt with chaos of a 30 person company extremely well. Most decisions were me walking over to Mark’s desk for approval, but at 150 people it was a group meeting of 30 people or me having to schedule time via Mark’s secretary… I was a bit annoyed with the situation even though our memories always deceive us.”
Despite the enormous setback, Kagan had surrounded himself with good people and benefited from their advice and experience. Venture capitalist Andrew Chen recently revealed how he encouraged his friend to learn from the experience and turn it unto a positive.
He told Kagan: “You’re fundamentally unemployable, but that’s a good thing. Now go start a company.”
AF: After Facebook
Noah Kagan was fired just eight months after joining Facebook as product manager. He later admitted that at the time, this wasn’t one of his strengths and he should perhaps have concentrated on execution and marketing. Following his exit, he joined Mint as employee number four — Director of Marketing, developing the strategy to launch a site that now has over seven million users.
After Mint came Kagan’s first CEO position, as founder and head of KickFlip – a payment company for social games. Somewhat ironically, this neat bit of kit quickly became the #1 Facebook app of its time, morphed into Gambit and eventually served 40 million users.
In 2010 Kagan founded his current company AppSumo, a daily deals website for digital products which he developed after identifying a gap in the market for a daily deal or product bundle sites for the growing app market. The site was built in one weekend by an outsourced team in Pakistan for $60. The site now has over 700,000 subscribers.
Despite being on the receiving end of a rather public sacking, it appears Kagan has the tenacity and wherewithal to dust himself off, learn from the experience and move on.
“I wanted attention, I put myself before Facebook,” he said. “I hosted events at the office, published things on this blog to get attention and used the brand more than I added to it.
“Lesson learned: The BEST way to get famous is make amazing stuff. That’s it.”
So that’s what he did.