Leading Social Media Site HarvardConnection Now Valued At $400 Billion

Top Headlines


Best Buy Employee Wearing Different Colored Shirt For Some Reason

‘His Shirt Is Black,’ Confused Customers Say

FAIRFAX, VA—Eyeing the staff member with wariness and confusion, customers at the Fair City Mall Best Buy location confirmed Wednesday that one of the store’s employees was, for some reason, wearing a black shirt rather than a blue one like the rest of his coworkers.

Uber Vs. Taxis

The rise of on-demand car service Uber has been the subject of much scrutiny for its effects on existing local taxi services, with cities unsure how to regulate it and consumers debating which one to use. Here is a side-by-side comparison of these two modes of transportation

Taco Bell To Offer Discreet Purchasing Charged Under ‘TBfoodsLLC’

IRVINE, CA—Aiming to provide customers with an effective and easy way to consume their products free from judgment, Taco Bell officials announced Thursday that patrons at any of the fast food chain’s 5,600 locations will now be given the option to have their purchases appear inconspicuously on credit card and bank statements under the name “TBfoodsLLC.”

Netflix To Temporarily Remove Every Movie Except ‘Hard Eight’

‘Everyone Should See It At Least Once,’ Company Says

LOS GATOS, CA—Saying that everyone, including all 65 million of its subscribers, really ought to see the film at least once, Netflix announced Tuesday that it will suspend all streaming content except Hard Eight for a full month.

Twitter Announces There No Trending Topics Today

‘Maybe Something Will Catch On Tomorrow,’ Social Network Says

SAN FRANCISCO—Noting the lack of any social causes, amusing hashtag games, or major news stories currently stimulating public conversations on their site, Twitter officials announced Monday that there are no trending topics today, but suggested that perhaps something might catch on tomorrow.

CEO Has Big Ideas To Grow Company’s Problems

NEW YORK—Laying out several new initiatives and detailed plans for implementing them in the upcoming weeks and months, Janneson Media CEO Adam Hamlin revealed to his staffers Thursday that he has some really big ideas for growing the company’s problems, sources reported.

45-Minute Phone Call To Credit Card Company Goes Great

FORT WAYNE, IN—Grinning with contentment as he reminisced about the call he placed earlier in the day, 31-year-old accountant Greg Schulhoff told reporters Thursday that his 45-minute phone call with MasterCard regarding late payment fees went “really great.”

Goodwill Executives Arrested After Years Of Skimming Donated Goods Off Top

ROCKVILLE, MD—In what authorities are calling one of the most wide-reaching and deplorable cases of embezzlement in recent history, seven executives at Goodwill Industries International were arrested Thursday for allegedly skimming used clothing, old furniture, small appliances, and thousands of other donated items from the charitable group.

Q-Tips Introduces New Multi-Speed Electric Ear Swab

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ—Saying the product will allow for more efficient and thorough cleaning, representatives from the Unilever corporation announced Tuesday the addition of a multi-function electric ear swab to its longstanding Q-tips line.

New Pre-Sauced Napkins Can Be Thrown Away Straight From Package

CINCINNATI—Describing it as a major time-saver over traditional napkins, Procter & Gamble announced Thursday the release of its new Bounty pre-sauced napkins, which have been expressly designed to be removed from the package and immediately thrown into the trash.

Timeline Of Google’s History

Google recently announced the formation of Alphabet, an umbrella corporation that will separate the company’s internet search business from its forays into robotics, biotechnology, and other areas of innovation. Here are some of the most notable milestones in Google’s 17-year history:

Tips For Cheaper Airfare

Whether the busy travel season, fuel prices, or airline collusion is to blame, airfare is currently very pricey, making traveling more difficult. The Onion walks you through some ways to reduce the cost of flying

Online University Allows Students To Amass Crippling Debt At Own Pace

SAN DIEGO—Touting its wide range of financially ruinous academic programs that can be tailored to meet anyone’s scheduling needs, officials at Enterprise College announced Monday that the online institution is committed to letting students amass a crippling amount of debt at their own individual pace.

Invasive Restaurant Franchise Spreads To Third State

WASHINGTON—Noting that it had already disrupted several natural communities in Kansas and Iowa, officials from the Bureau of Consumer Protection revealed Tuesday that Bonito’s, a highly invasive strain of casual dining restaurant, had recently been spotted in parts of eastern Nebraska.

Listerine Introduces New Mouth Styling Gel

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Announcing that consumers no longer need to settle for plain, drab dental features, Johnson & Johnson unveiled its new line of Listerine mouth styling gels Wednesday.

Executive On Hot Streak With 2 Straight Logical Decisions

CHICAGO—Saying the impressive display of business sense came entirely out of nowhere, employees of public relations agency Davidson Communications confirmed Wednesday that CEO Donald Marshall was on an absolute hot streak after making two straight logical decisions.

McDonald’s Turns 75

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the McDonald’s restaurant chain, which was founded in 1940 as a Southern California barbecue joint and has since expanded to more than 35,000 locations across the globe. Here are some highlights from the company’s history

Corporate Wellness Programs

Following in the footsteps of Google’s new employee meditation program, companies across the country are introducing more wellness initiatives aimed at keeping health care costs down and boosting worker productivity.

The Pros And Cons Of Open-Plan Offices

More companies are remodeling offices to incorporate open-plan layouts in an effort to save money and encourage collaboration, though many employees complain that the setup eliminates privacy and makes it hard to concentrate.

Walmart Vows To Defend Whichever Gays Buy Their Cheap Shit

BENTONVILLE, AR—Despite Governor Asa Hutchinson’s refusal to sign a controversial religious freedom bill that seemed to permit businesses to discriminate against homosexuals, officials from Arkansas-based retailer Walmart announced Wednesday t...

How Cable Companies Plan To Fight Cord Cutting

More consumers than ever are “cord cutting,” or getting rid of their cable service in favor of watching shows online, challenging the cable industry to launch new initiatives in order to keep customers.

Fast Food Customers Less Appealing Than In Commercial

GREENVILLE, SC—Expressing his disappointment shortly after sitting down for lunch at a local franchise location Wednesday, area man Peter Strauss told reporters that the customers at Burger King were actually far less appealing in real life than the...

Pfizer Mercifully Puts Down Another Batch Of Trial Patients

NEW YORK—Following unforeseen complications during a trial of the company’s new cholesterol medication Lipodrin, researchers at pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer said they were forced to put down another batch of test patients out of mercy Fr...

Benadryl Introduces New Non-Drowsy Allergy Dart

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Promising consumers rapid relief from seasonal allergies without any drowsiness, Johnson & Johnson announced the release Friday of Benadryl Pierce, a new blowgun-administered antihistamine dart that will soon be available in dr...

Timeline: The Collapse Of RadioShack

Electronics retailer RadioShack filed for bankruptcy after 94 years in business, ultimately unable to keep up with consumers’ shift to the wireless and digital technologies of the internet age.

Company To Experiment With Valuing Employees

SAN DIEGO—Cautioning that the initiative was being instituted on a trial basis only, Forrest Logistics CEO Wayne Gartner announced Thursday that the company had recently begun experimenting with valuing its employees.

Most Controversial Super Bowl Commercials

The commercials airing during the Super Bowl each year have become incredibly popular in their own right, and nearly every broadcast seems to include at least one ad met with criticism from audiences, media critics, and others.

The Pros And Cons Of Fracking

Gas prices are plummeting across America thanks in part to the country doubling its daily oil exports, which is made possible by chemical fracturing technology that scientists have said wreaks havoc on the environment.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage


College Freshman Decides To Be Lanyard-Wearing Kind

ANN ARBOR, MI—Emphasizing that this was not a choice he had made lightly, University of Michigan student Kevin Peterson told reporters Thursday that he had officially decided to become one of the lanyard-wearing kind of freshmen.


  • ‘Our Town’ Cast Party Going Off The Rails

    PEEKSKILL, NY—Describing a wild scene in which performers and stagehands were loudly conversing, laughing, and occasionally breaking back into their characters from the play, sources confirmed Sunday night that the cast party for the local production of Our Town is currently going off the rails.

Leading Social Media Site HarvardConnection Now Valued At $400 Billion

The Winklevoss twins, who have turned HarvardConnection into the largest and most lucrative social media site on the planet.
The Winklevoss twins, who have turned HarvardConnection into the largest and most lucrative social media site on the planet.

MENLO PARK, CA—Dawn breaks across San Francisco Bay, and on this brisk April day the only sound disturbing the morning quiet is the steady clip of a sleek two-person skiff as it glides along the inlet toward the heart of Silicon Valley. Observing this tranquil scene, one would never suspect that the two young men cutting through the water are none other than Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, twin brothers and co-founders of HarvardConnection, the ubiquitous and seemingly unstoppable social network site that, according to industry estimates, is valued at a staggering $400 billion.

Expertly negotiating the contours of the bay, the Winklevoss twins guide their watercraft to an expansive dock abutting “The Boathouse,” HarvardConnection’s sprawling Menlo Park waterfront campus, which serves as both a place of business for 20,000 dedicated employees and a powerful symbol of all the brothers have accomplished.

These luxurious environs, where hundreds of programmers are dialed in coding, encapsulate both the history and the bright future of the most prominent force in social media, a chronicle made possible by the two boatsmen currently disembarking their vessel and preparing for yet another day of changing the world—two brothers who were never afraid to row against the current.

“From the very beginning, we knew we had seized on something special, but neither one of us could have imagined the site would take off the way it did,” says Cameron Winklevoss, who with his brother has grown HarvardConnection, a universally beloved internet hub that allows web surfers to create personal profiles and virtually connect with friends and family, into a social media juggernaut that today counts more than 1 billion users worldwide. “It’s hard to believe that all this came out of what we hoped was a cool million-dollar idea.”

“Turns out a billion-dollar idea is even cooler,” Cameron added with a slight grin.

As the 31-year-old brothers explain, their groundbreaking social platform originated in 2004, when the self-styled “gentlemen of Harvard” were a pair of ambitious undergraduates with a vision that would eventually come to revolutionize how people interact online.

The site was the first of its kind: a virtual meeting place that allowed Harvard students to upload and share photos, web links, and personal messages, creating a vast social network unlike anything seen before. In its nascency, the siblings say HarvardConnection—known in its early days as The HarvardConnection—already showed great promise, even before it emerged as the definitive cultural phenomenon of the 21st century, and well before “Winklevoss” became the household name it is today.

“Within hours of the launch, HarvardConnection had taken our college by storm, and things just took off from there,” remembers Tyler Winklevoss, who this year was dubbed one half of Forbes Magazine’s “Twin Towers of Social Media,” and who, like his brother, has accumulated a personal fortune estimated at well over $20 billion. “It wasn’t long before we were opening it up to Yale, Columbia, and Stanford. We got the Boston University student newspaper to plug it and it took off at BU, too. And by then we knew: We had to go to California to round up investors and work on the site full-time.”

“Aside from a little coding work from a fellow Harvard student in the very beginning, we built it all on our own, just the two of us,” Tyler adds. “I mean, this was a once-in-a-lifetime idea, and one we knew we had to keep to ourselves. We’re not idiots.”

Nearly a decade later, the fruits of the brothers’ labor can’t be missed. As co-CEOs of HarvardConnection Inc., the two have expanded their modest dorm-room venture into an imposing Silicon Valley blue chip that dominated former competitors MySpace and Friendster and now rivals such tech industry heavyweights as Apple and Google in sheer size and influence. And this has translated to unfathomable profits for the twins and their investors.

After early issues following their initial public offering, the sibling tech pioneers are back and ready for any challenge.

Additionally, with the time they don’t devote to growing their web 2.0 empire, the Winklevoss twins have cultivated enviably lavish lifestyles that include a shared top-floor penthouse in San Francisco’s swanky North Beach neighborhood, a luxurious residence that just happens to be paddling distance from work. And it should be mentioned that even helming the world’s most successful company hasn’t distracted the brothers from their prodigious crew careers; most notably, they rowed for the U.S. in the men’s coxless pair at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, where, as usual, they left the bulk of the competition in their wake.

But in spite of their impressive accomplishments, both brothers emphasize the importance of staying humble.

“The scope of what we’ve done still astounds us,” says Cameron, claiming that the resultant fame and financial success is eclipsed by the satisfaction of creating something for which they will never be forgotten. “HarvardConnection truly changed the world. Nobody can take that away from us.”

“We can’t let it get to our heads, though,” adds Cameron, as the twins enter the Boathouse, the challenges and rewards of another exciting day lying ahead. “Technology evolves. Currents shift. And that’s why we’re still out on the water every morning. Whatever comes next, we’re planning on making a splash.”