politics and culture — March 24, 2014 at 11:49 am

Meet Vooza, The Hilarious Mobile App Startup

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Vooza Is Funny

Vooza is a fictional startup that’s developed “a mobile web app that steals data from your phone and sells it to Eastern European spammers.”

Such a premise leads to hilarious videos that expose the vacuous nonsense pervading the world of high-tech startups if not corporate life overall.

The videos feature Vooza employees bloviating about everything from the company’s mission to its funding strategy and design philosophy. They’re well-crafted and feature deadpan performances that at times are nothing short of  brilliant.

Above I’ve featured one that really nails the empty jargon that characterizes contemporary marketing-speak. And there’s more at Vooza.com.

Vooza Is Serious

Clearly Vooza is onto something. It’s a hit on the web and has been by the likes of Forbes, The New York Times and Wired.

But Vooza’s popularity comes from more than being funny. The videos are also touching upon something serious.

As has been frequently reported, Silicon Valley is experiencing a backlash. In San Francisco, longtime residents are protesting, and even attacking, private buses that shuttle recently-arrived Google workers between the city and Mountain View.

This political response to high-tech’s growing wealth and power is joined by a cultural backlash as well. There’s a growing lack of faith in the high-tech project overall, especially its social media manifestations. We are not only increasingly disenchanted with companies like the fictional Vooza, we don’t trust them. Many of their products seem trivial at best. At worst they’re nothing but spying machines—as Vooza so proudly explains—designed to steal our data and sell it at a profit.

Vooza Is Smart Business

Interestingly, roasting the inanity (if not the venality) of the high-tech world may be a great business strategy. On its homepage Vooza lets you know that it’s available to make videos for your company. And to appear at tech conferences.

A few weeks back I turned you on to a similar pitch from the comedy team of  Tripp & Tyler who also create funny videos lambasting corporate life in order to generate business from corporate clients.

As the bloom falls off the rose of the digital revolution, maybe the best way to get work from high-tech companies is to mock them. There could be a goldmine in biting the hand that feeds you, as long as you’re biting with a smile.

 

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5 Comments

  1. Paul Jervis

    I enjoyed your critique – well done.

  2. This sounds like every BS video I’ve ever seen- promoting another dumb app. I wonder if it sells by playing into a corporate/tech-startup employee mindset that they are not just another drone and can laugh at themselves, ergo they are “cool” and not owned by The Man.

  3. Ivan Nelson

    What a fascinating content business model. I wonder how long this startup will last after the initial buzz wears off? It will probably depend on how creative they are and how long they can keep coming up with new ideas. Thanks for sharing David!

  4. Ivan–if you check out Vooza.com, you’ll see they’ve made quite a few videos about the fictional startup. No way to tell how much business they’ve generated for themselves as video makers.

  5. Thanks for the kind words, David. Swell summary here. Btw, we’ve got an email list in case anyone wants to stay up to date on Vooza: http://eepurl.com/keGTj

    Catherine: We’re not owned by THE MAN. But we’d like to talk with THE MAN and see if he wants to make an offer. Do you have THE MAN’s email address?

    Ivan: 70+ videos in and I don’t think we’re close to running out of ridic things in the tech world that deserve mocking.

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