Hashable Is Worthless

cowboy hashton1 Hashable Is WorthlessIf there’s one thing I hate more than burning my potatoes when I’m trying to create an awesome breakfast moment with a lady I met the night before, it’s Hashable, the application that lets users flaunt their social connections by broadcasting updates on their every encounter.

For example: If I were to lurk outside the Union Square Ventures office waiting to spot Fred Wilson and then I dove into a cab and yelled at the driver to “FOLLOW FRED WILSON’S CAR!”–and then raced after him down the NJTP and chatted Fred up in the bathroom at the Vince Lombardi Service Area, and we clicked, then what I would do with Hashable (besides tell Fred it’s a dumb idea and he shouldn’t have invested in it) is I would type “Just #stoodnextto @FredWilson at a #urinal at a rest stop off the Jersey Turnpike :).”

And I would do this because Hashable keeps track of all the times I talk to some guy in the bathroom or someplace else. Plus, I get a “hash cred,” which is like those corny “badges” Foursquare generously doles out (because they are imaginary) and my Hashable ranking goes up. Look out, Gary Vaynerchuck (#85)! I’m coming for you. Just kidding, I’m not. Hashable is stupid.

It is designed for one purpose: to exploit the social anxieties of insecure weaklings.

It does this by turning human interaction into a quantifiable game with winners and losers. The problem is, to be a “winner” at this dumb game, you have to be the type of chucklehead who’d ever want to play it in the first place.

Turns out  there are plenty of insecure people with smartphones. Something like 400 of them attended Hashable’s VIP party down in Austin at “South By.” At this “invite-only” event, they set up a VIP section within the VIP party! Apparently, in Hashable founder Michael Yavonditte’s fevered mind the whole world is a series of concentric VIP sections one must navigate, only to encounter Mikey Yavo himself standing guard over the last velvet rope informing anyone who makes it that far, “Sorry bro, you’re not Hashable enough.”

Because face it, you’re never going to have as much hash cred as him. Wait, stop crying. I know it hurts, but you’ll feel better once you accept that your social skills are subpar. Then you can finally stop trivializing real-world encounters by exploiting them for dubious prestige awarded by a company whose mascot is a smiling octothorpe that dresses up like a cowboy.

Believe it or not, Hashable started out as an even lamer idea–some kind of finance-oriented app called Trackt. Then the company pivoted (“pivot” is start-up talk for “try to make something that’s at least a little less stupid than what you originally made”). Here’s an idea, Hashable. How about next time you just pivot yourself right off a cliff and spare us your childish, syrupy social-networking nonsense.

Grow up, you babies.


Now Check Out: The Kings And Queens Of Dot-Com NY – Where Are They Now >>

Previously: Abolish South by Southwest!



  1. Michael Davies says:

    You probably think Zynga is worthless too

    1. Anonymous says:

      Zynga is so much worse than worthless. It is digital pollution.

  2. Nick Rovisa says:

    That was bold and awesome. With that being said, I will say that I use Hashable for one thing and one thing only–to easily grab people’s usernames so I can follow up with them later on Twitter (because it is so much easier to do this on Hashable than on Twitter). I don’t care for the Hashcred or the gaming piece, but the ease of connecting with someone (and the address book) are worthwhile when out at a meetup.

    1. This is true – I think Hashable would do well to focus on the ease of making connections without passing around business cards, something that would make it actually useful to people in industries that don’t use Twitter as a networking tool. I don’t care about the gaming elements, nor do I want to make my social connections public; I’m a journalist and am wary of outing current or future sources by publicizing that I “know” or “have met” someone. And journalism is most certainly not the only industry in which confidentiality is key to business.

  3. Ed Borden says:

    wow. you writing this drivel and my enjoyment while reading it proves there’s a sadist in us all..

  4. Jeff Sepp says:

    Noticing a different sort of content with the new Tech section in the Observer

  5. Taylor – love your sense of sarcasm – but you might consider that entrepreneurship is about those pivots – very rarely are people with the best idea at the beginning. Guys at PayPal originated with a security platform for smart phones, then was doing stored credit on smart phones, then traded money between the phones via IR, then onto Palm Pilots with a backup feature of email confirmations – and then suddenly eBay payments from the grassroots. And they exited with a $1.5B exit.

    I see Hashable as a platform for managing my Personal CRM – as in Contact Relationship Management. Better to know where and when I connected with someone – the challenge is that the default setting on the app is to tweet everything – which I would rather have my own default on the app so I did not have to tweet it (or 4sq it). But I assume those features will come in time. For now, I just had fun with the app in Austin – just another way to have fun connecting with people and finding surreptitious connections when they happen.

    Oh – and I am not a Hashable evangelist or anything of the sort. Just a NY Tech Enthusiast and there to support the team.

  6. Wow! And I thought I was hard on Hashable. Here’s my post from Silicon Alley Insider: “Smackdown! Hashable vs. Business Cards.” Business cards win, but the score is 17-13… not bad for David vs. Business Card Goliath. The bout features six rounds: ease, security, beauty, shareability, charting progress, and “the ask: http://www.businessinsider.com/smackdown-hashable-vs-business-cards-2011-3

  7. Anna Sandler says:

    before i agree and call this a dumb idea for “insecure people” i need to remind myself that i also thought the same thing about facebook, and just look at it now…

    1. Watertower says:

      no, you were right about facebook the first time

  8. When the shift change from Interactive to Music happens at SXSW, the vibe changes entirely from entitled dicks to fun music party people. Asked wait staff and they said consistently, “music people tip better, more relaxed, not so pretentious.” This post highlights interactive’s own sense of self important from the author’s point of view and Hashables. Geek Dicks.

    1. EJ says:

      As an Austinite, I have the exact opposite sense of the switch from Interactive to Music. I don’t get the sense music people care about the city or its inhabitants at all. The amount of litter goes up significantly, music attendees have a disregard for normal codes of behavior, and driving around abnormally tall bikes is hazardous.

  9. At least Hashable isn’t as bad as Betabeat.

  10. john says:

    lol…i don’t even know what hashable is but after reading your screed, i hate it too! :)

    good one

  11. andrewwatson says:

    I don’t even know what Hashable is or what it does. Thanks for writing this post so I can be one of the first people to be cool because I’m not using it. :)

  12. andrewwatson says:

    I don’t even know what Hashable is or what it does. Thanks for writing this post so I can be one of the first people to be cool because I’m not using it. :)

  13. It’s pretty jarring when someone you’ve just met asks for your Twitter handle so that they can tell everyone they’ve just met you.

  14. Alex Neth says:

    I think you got it wrong. Hashable is a tool for remembering who you met when, and I find it pretty useful in that. It also has the OPTION of broadcasting this information, which is a convenience to those who would do so anyway. As far as the hashable point system, it’s just a game – like foursquare points – to make things fun (although I ignore them) and has nothing to do with the utility of the app.

    I agree in some part, in that using hashable for each encounter is stupid, and I have not seen anyone use it that way.

    P.S. I was at the VIP VIP section of that party – I think it was mostly a way to reward certain folks with a nice table and some wine.

  15. Devnull says:

    Have you ever heard of LinkedIn? If you have, you’d know that hashable is a clone.

  16. Disclosures: I’m a user, a fan and I’m on Hashable’s Leaderboard. I am so insecure and weak that I admit here that I enjoy Hashable and use it every day. And I would happily debate publicly with the author the merits (and value) of Hashable, and will go on record with my reasons as to why it’s valuable.

    I make a lot of introductions. And I often do so at times when it won’t occur to me to take a note or otherwise set a reminder to see how the introduction went. I see Hashable as ‘CRM for Intros,’ and their new iPhone app also tells me when folks whom I know have met — this is awesome no matter how insecure-like-me you may be — it’s just plain cool to see when folks whom you know meet one another.

    The author makes no mention of the fact that you can take full advantage of the *utility* of Hashable exclusively via email. In other words, you can make intros via email — posting nothing socially — and log for yourself when that intro happened. It’s one of the most accessible, useful and (heehee) confidence-building tools on the web to help me bolster my self-esteem — I am so grateful :)