maybe the reason why 24HL is getting dissed is that 1) stealth names are so 1990's, 2) building a company around web 2.0 just doesn't require a lot of nitty-gritty infrastructure development, there's a ton of COTC software that makes building the next Amazon or Yahoo a lot easier (but still not easy), and finally 3) that Andreeson is involved opens the company up for free PR but also ample critiques. Personally I think the sniping at Andreeson can be a little juvenile at times, but I don't know him so will reserve any further comments on him.
The stealth name thing really gets me though... the whole "we're so cool we're not going to tell you what we're doing and you'll want to know even more" attitude is lame. One of our early stage investments, T3Ci, was accused of being in stealth mode for a long time but anyone who wanted to know what they were doing we told 'em so it's kind of hard to say they were in super double secret stealth mode. Even the name was hardly creative, T3Ci means "The Tag Tracking Company"... there, the secret is out. Hardly as creative as "24 Hour Laundry" I will be the first to admit.
In reading Beattie's post I think he is off-base to suggest that the critics are claiming there are no new ideas... the jist of what I read is that the timeline and effort required to go from innovative idea to innovative product has shortened considerably, and in fact much of what it takes to develop a good service has little to do with some groundbreaking piece of code and more to do with refining, and more refining. It's still hard work and I really would not try to diminish it, but a lot of it comes from engaging your community early, not putting up black curtains. I don't know, maybe I'm talking out of my ass but it seems to me that there is always a hell of a lot more to be gained from being engaged than being shuttered, and if that's transparency then so be it. I can't think, off the top of my head, even one of these famous stealth companies that went on to greatness, can you?
So I'm here to wade in on the topic of 24 Hour Laundy, the stealth startup founded by none other than Marc Andreesen himself right down the street from me over in Palo Alto. Why? Because I actually know a couple of the guys working over there. They're nice people and I feel like they're getting a bad rap from these morons, and Om, and Mark Fletcher, and god knows who else.