Hadi Partovi

Following the news that MySpace had shuttered iLike, GeekWire reached out to Hadi Partovi, one of the co-founders of iLike who ran the music service with his twin brother, Ali Partovi.

Hadi Partovi minced no words in his response, pointing out that iLike at one point had more than 60 million users — more than some of the hottest online services of today. Partovi cited iLike’s decline at MySpace the latest in a string of a technology assets mismanaged by Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp sold MySpace to Specific Media Inc. and pop star Justin Timberlake last year.

Here’s what Partovi had to say on the subject of MySpace closing down iLike …

Online music is certainly a difficult space. Today’s decision by MySpace’s new owners was probably an easy one, and one can easily argue that it was the right decision, given the state iLike was in by the time they acquired MySpace.

It’s sad to see a social music site that once boasted 60 million users (more than Spotify, or Pinterest), reduced to nothing. Rupert Murdoch squandered a lot of tech assets under his management, the fall of iLike is just scratching the surface. Given how much money Rupert makes off spreading the evil cancer of Fox “News,” I think he deserves the bad rap he gets for this mismanagement.

But much of iLike’s demise is also due to radical changes in the Facebook platform. If you look at the top Facebook apps of 2007 — iLike, Flixster, Slide, RockYou, SGN, Zynga, only one of them evolved enough to survive these changes, the rest died like guinea pigs.

Fortunately for newer apps, the current Facebook platform is much more mature and stable than it was in 2007 – it’s harder to build a viral app today, but that is a reasonable tradeoff for platform stability and a reduction in app spam.

On the positive side, the iLike team is all thriving at new startups. Some are at Facebook Seattle, some are at local Seattle startups that all your readers should check out: ThinkFuse, Familiar, and PaperKarma.

Previously on GeekWire: Paul McCartney jets from streaming music services; Rhapsody calls it a ‘shock’

Comments

  • Guest

    Dear Hadi,

    If you hate Rupert Murdoch so much, why did you accept so much money from him and cede your creation to his care? My friend Mark famously turned down hundreds of millions of dollars for his social network, which I shan’t name out of concern for his privacy, and he’s about to take it public for hundreds of BILLIONS. That he didn’t sell to the owner of Fox ‘News’ is to his credit.

    Best of luck in your future entrepreneurialism.

  • Guest

    Dear Hadi,

    If you hate Rupert Murdoch so much, why did you accept so much money from him and cede your creation to his care? My friend Mark famously turned down hundreds of millions of dollars for his social network, which I shan’t name out of concern for his privacy, and he’s about to take it public for hundreds of BILLIONS. That he didn’t sell to the owner of Fox ‘News’ is to his credit.

    Best of luck in your future entrepreneurialism.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Aydinghajar Aydin Ghajar

    Btw, if you’re an engineer and want to work for a company that’s HIGHLY UNLIKELY to sell to Newscorp… drop me a line. :) aydin@thinkfuse.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/hadi Hadi Partovi

    Dear anonymous Guest – the reason we sold iLike to MySpace is because they made the offer that provided the greatest return to the investors, not for self-enrichment. There were other opportunities that would have resulted in a *significantly* better $ outcome for me personally. The MySpace acquisition was the most equitable for our overall team of employees + investors, despite being worse for me personally.

    Also, I don’t hate Rupert – but I think every billionaire has a moral responsibility to help make the world a better place, and Rupert’s businesses seem to be working in the other direction. Whether it’s Fox falsely advertising it’s product as “News”, or the phone-hacking scandal in the UK, a guy with the wealth and talent of Murdoch can do better. By comparison, Bill Gates did lots of “evil” things when competing with other tech companies, but was always guided by a compass of making the world a better place.

    • Guest

      Don’t impose your morals onto others, Hadi. Rupert sleeps pretty well at night despite others putting scare quotes around a word in his product’s name. He has no responsibility to you, to me, nor to anyone else.

      Stop blaming others for the demise of iLike and build a new product that can sustain growth in a changing ecosystem. This farewell letter of yours is indigestably bitter and should have been relegated to a diary instead of published to the Internet.

      • Anonymous

        What an asshat you are – A double asshat hiding behind a generic “guest” handle = Chickenshit too

        • Guest

          That might be true, pxlated, but at least I don’t blame Facebook, Fox News, and my own investors for my missteps.

          I for one am glad that Hadi has put his name to so many shameful sentences. The next person to google his name will find these reasons not to entrust their livelihood to a man incapable of accepting responsibility.

          • http://www.facebook.com/hadi Hadi Partovi

            Mr. anonymous, you’re certainly the first person to suggest I should be ashamed of what I wrote. By contrast, dozens of people have privately congratulated me for having the courage to point out what others already think. 

            You’re also the first person to ever suggest I am “incapable of accepting responsibility”. Sure we made lots of mistakes when running iLike. We also built a product that attracted millions of users, and we managed a good return for many investors, who would gladly invest in me again.Obviously you have a personal axe to grind – I’d be happy to have a private and non-anonymous dialogue if you have the courage to message me directly. (p.s. are your initials D.S. by any chance? :-) )

          • Kevin

            Hi Hadi,

            I’d love to work with you regarding a wonderful opportunity. I’ve added you on LinkedIn. Lets discuss more at your earliest convenience. :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/cellartracker Eric LeVine

        It’s despicable to post this sort of garbage anonymously. Show some gumption and say it publicly with your name. If you won’t do that then please go crawl back into a hole.

  • http://www.twitter.com/algard algard

    Thanks Hadi for sharing. Based on some of the (unprintable) horror stories I heard about Fox/MySpace, I actually thought you were pretty mild!

  • Monica Harrington

    Wow, the comments of “Guest” below make me think that Todd and John should have a policy whereby if you comment anonymously and you’re clearly someone with a bad attitude and nothing to contribute, you get outed so no one hires you by accident.

    Guest, please check in again AFTER you’ve built a successful startup.

  • Another Guest

    I have to admit, I’m a little more on Guest’s side than the others here.  And for fear of becoming unemployable for my humble opinion (thanks for the heads up Monica), I’ll remain a Guest as well. 

    Why sell your company to a guy you obviously dislike and disagree with on a philosophical level?  Rupert’s Fox News antics are nothing new, so falling back on that in a personal attack just seems wrong.  It’s also funny to think an 80 year old neo-conservative billionaire really had that much personal involvement in squandering iLike’s assets — other than looking at the bottom line, in red, and thinking, hmm, we can do without that.

  • smortaz

    Hadi – thanks for the epilogue on iLike and also thanks for the early blogs that provided interesting & educational insight.  I remember especially the post where your Nuclear Physicist dad lent a helping hand with his math skills.  I’ve known you to be one of most self-less people who’s always willing to give time, advice and share experiences for the benefit of others – successes or otherwise.  Keep it up.

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