The guy who raised $35 million for his failed startup and took millions off the table just sold his prized Ferrari

Secret founder David ByttowDavid Byttow is one of the founders of Secret, the anonymous social networking app for sharing gossip that raised $35 million and just announced it was shutting down for good.

In its heyday, Secret was the buzz of Silicon Valley, and after raising a final, $25 million round of funding in July, Byttow was allowed to pocket $3 million by exchanging some of his stock in the company, which he then used to purchase a Ferrari — a car he has since had to sell.

Mr. Byttow’s once-prized red Ferrari is also gone,” a new report from The New York Times said, citing “a person with knowledge of the matter.”

While Byttow has promised to return Secret’s remaining money to investors, it’s been unclear if either he or Secret co-founder Chrys Bader, who also took $3 million off the table, would return that money as well.

Byttow has been a longtime fan of Ferraris, posting pictures of the car on Pinterest and mentioning that he was happy with his purchase, saying the car had “served me well.”

david byttow secret ferrari

david byttow secret ferrari

With Secret shutting down, it looks like Byttow can no longer afford to hold onto a sports car that costs over $200,000, though some would argue the first mistake was taking so much money off the table early on.

Although Mr. Byttow and Mr. Bader reassured workers at the meeting that they were dedicated to the company, it was a turning point,” The New York Times writes. “It shook the confidence of some workers, they said: If the founders had taken money off the table, it could mean they were protecting themselves against Secret’s failing.”

You can read the full report on Secret’s shutdown over at The New York Times.

SEE ALSO: Google may be thinking about killing off the spacebar

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No one is watching Grace Helbig’s show on E! – what that means for the future of massive YouTube stars

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It seems like everywhere you turn lately, there’s a promo for Grace Helbig’s E! talk show, which airs at 10:30pm on Thursdays.

But Helbig, touted as a massive YouTube star, might not be the Chelsea Handler type E! fans expected.

Her millions of loyal YouTube followers don’t seem to be following her to the television screen. 227,000 tuned in for the show’s first episode on E! and the second episode brought in 262,000 viewers. While things might have been looking up, the third episode on garnered a low 182,000 viewers, according to Headline Planet.

These numbers puts the show’s rating at 0.09, which does not bode well for the future of the series, or the idea that YouTube stars can seamlessly transition from being laptop famous to flatscreen famous.

“The Royals,” another E! show that’s in its first few weeks of existence, brought in nearly 2 million viewers on its premiere night and is currently ranked as Sunday night’s most popular scripted show among 18-to-34-year-old women, according to Zap2it. Of course, it benefits from airing right after “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” the number-one ad-supported cable show on TV right now, but even still, “Royals” is bringing in roughly 10 times more viewers than Helbig.

grace helbig show

But the fight isn’t over — YouTube is promoting her with a series of billboards, while E! is sprinkling TV promos on its network.

To someone who’s paying attention, Helbig is everywhere — but if you’re not the kind of person who spends a big chunk of time cruising through YouTube, it’s likely you’ve never heard of her. 

Helbig got her start on YouTube, where her channel was picked up by “My Damn Channel,” a network with a massive following that allows certain vloggers to publish on their platform. The deal lasted for a few years, and Helbig amassed fans posting videos that portrayed her to be the Zooey Deschanel of YouTube.

She delivered quirky blips and ramblings about nothing such as, “Why don’t they make a ham lipgloss?” It seemed her followers were loyal.

But would they be loyal enough to follow her to the big screen?

Based on the ads posted all over subway stations, Helbig comes off as relatable and wacky, a derivative of the “romcom girl,” an actress whose beauty and style is offset by her acknowledgment of charming flaws.

Grace Helbig Billboard

In 2014, she published “Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending You’re a Grown Up.” She says that despite her 2.2 million subscribers on YouTube, becoming internet famous was “a slow process.”

“It’s very rare to have what they call a viral sensation happen and to have overnight success,” Helbig said on The Today Show. “It takes dedication and it takes brand building. For me, it wasn’t one moment. It was kind of a gradual growth.”

When the deal with “My Damn Channel” ended, she created a new channel on her own called “It’sGrace,” and her fans met her there. Below, her first video on the new channel:

Her twee and self-deprecating persona permeates everything she does. At other times, she reveals a dark side to her comedy that’s more Maria Bamford than Zooey Deschanel.

In a video about getting ready for prom, she gives “five different last-minute prom looks for five different personality types.” When the “basic” prom look model runs into a girl who’s wearing the same thing as she is, Helbig says:

“When you see someone else that thinks they’re special like you’re special, it ruins your special. You’re special. The magazines and the television shows told you that you’re special. You’re not special. What happens when you’re not special? You’re nothing.”

Helbig fans shouldn’t lose hope yet, as some YouTubers have found success on TV.

Whitney Thore’s show, “My Big Fat Fabulous Life,” averaged 1.2 million viewers over its first season and was renewed for a second season on TLC, according to Zap2itTyler Oakley has also had crossover appeal, appearing on TV shows and nabbing an endorsement deal from Pepsi.

 

SEE ALSO: The 20 richest YouTube stars

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11 extremely wealthy tech executives who choose to live frugally

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While some tech executives are quick to splurge on yachts and mega-mansions, others aren’t so flashy with their riches.

Biz Stone, for example, says he’s too embarrassed to drive anything more flashy than a dented Volkswagen Golf, while Sergey Brin likes to buy things in bulk at Costco.

We’ve rounded up 11 tech executives who have made millions or even billions with their companies yet have chosen lives of frugality and charity.

David Cheriton, Stanford professor

Net worth: $2.9 billion

Cheriton, a professor at Stanford and cofounder of Arista Networks, became one of the first investors in Google after Larry Page and Sergey Brin did a demo of their project on his front porch in 1998. That initial $100,000 check has obviously paid off, but Cheriton dislikes the thought of being a billionaire.

“I’m actually quite offended by that sort of thing,” he told the Edmonton Journal in a 2006 interview. “These people who build houses with 13 bathrooms and so on, there’s something wrong with them.”

He drives a 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon, has lived in the same Palo Alto home for the past 30 years, cuts his own hair, and even claims to reuse his tea bags. He did, however, splurge on a Honda Odyssey for his kids back in 2012.

Charlie Ergen, founder and CEO of Dish Network

Net worth: $17.8 billion

Ergen is notorious for being a frugal leader and micromanager — up until about 10 years ago, he insisted on signing every check that came out of Dish. 

He packs a lunch of a sandwich and Gatorade before work every day, and until recently, he shared hotel rooms with colleagues during travel.

“My mom grew up in the Depression,” he told the Financial Times. “I don’t have a mahogany desk.”

Jack Ma, founder and chairman of Alibaba

Net worth: $22.8 billion

Ma is one of the wealthiest men in China, but he’s made few splurge purchases and prefers to keep his personal life out of the spotlight. Ma grew up poor in communist China, failed his college entrance exam twice, and was rejected from dozens of jobs.

Even though he has become a bit of a celebrity in China, he still enjoys quiet meditation in the mountains and playing poker with friends.

“Ma Yun’s lifestyle is very simple and modest. His hobbies are still tai chi and kung fu novels,” Chen, his friend and assistant, said to USA Today.I don’t think he has changed much, he is still that old style.”

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Salty water found in Antarctica may harbor ‘alien’ life

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An airborne survey of a presumably dry Antarctic valley revealed a stunning and unexpected interconnected subsurface briny aquifer deep beneath the frozen tundra, a finding that not only has implications for understanding extreme habitats for life on Earth, but the potential for life elsewhere in the solar system, particularly Mars.

The briny liquid — about twice as salty as seawater — was discovered about 200 miles underground in a region known as Taylor Valley. The aquifer is widespread, extending from the Ross Sea’s McMurdo Sound more than 11 miles into the eastern part of valley. A second system was found connecting Taylor Glacier with the ice-cover Lake Bonney. Read more…

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The Comcast deal failed because America needs more streaming television like Netflix

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings seems to have learned his way around Washington

On April 15, Hastings, an evangelist for Internet TV and a sworn enemy of cable companies, made a striking comment to investors during the company’s otherwise routine quarterly earnings callHastings told analysts that Netflix’s “main goal” was to squash Comcast’s proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable, which would control 50% of US residential internet homes and potentially squeeze out alternative television providers from Netflix to Sling TV — “just too much in one company,” according to the CEO of the nation’s largest streaming video provider Read more…

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How to find your real friends and other advice from Ray Bradbury

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American author Ray Bradbury says that the recipe to friendship is simple:

“You learn to live with your crazy enthusiasms, which nobody shares. Then you find a few other nuts like yourself, and they’re your friends for a lifetime.”

Though he passed away in 2012, Bradbury is back, posthumously offering writing and life advice in PBS’s latest Blank on Blank episode. In this episode, based on a lost 1972 interview by then-college journalist Lisa Potts, Bradbury reveals everything from the importance of interpretation to how to write a great story

Turns out writing a great story is a lot like knowing if you’re in love — you can’t think it, you feel it. Read more…

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Taylor Swift calls superfan battling terminal cancer

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Here’s a phone call that would be hard to shake off

Chicago’s NBC 5 reported that 12-year-old Emily Beazley got the call of her dreams when her favorite celebrity, Taylor Swift, personally called her to chat. Emily has been battling non-Hodgkin lymphoma for several years, and doctors have now stopped treatments, finding them ineffective

Emily’s mother Nadia Beazley said her daughter and Swift spoke for 10 minutes. During their conversation, Emily said the singer’s music helped her get through years of painful treatments, and that her favorite song was “Shake It Off.” Read more…

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