Meet the man behind the masquerade
An anonymous, wry Twitter account that served up satire and sagacity from the heart of Silicon Valley has been outed. The man behind @StartupLJackson, a persona that chronicled the follies and foibles of the entrepreneurial tech world—turned out to be a comparatively lesser known venture capitalist who works at the fundraising and recruitment firm AngelList, Bloomberg Business reports. His name is Parker Thompson.
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Thompson cleverly channeled his sardonic observations through the imaginary voice of actor Samuel L. Jackson portraying his hitman character in the Quentin Tarantino classic Pulp Fiction. He began the charade in 2011 while working at the software development firm Pivotal Labs as an experiment to see whether he could gain a following, Bloomberg reports.
Four years and nearly 80,000 followers later, Thompson has decided to retire his character. The Startup L. Jackson account went suddenly silent at the end of last year. His last tweets on Dec. 31 concerned Bitcoin, imagined quotes from “Startup Marx,” a quip comparing the careers of George Lucas, Bill Cosby, and Michael Jackson, and a criticism of Twitter’s approach to fixing its workplace homogeneity by appointing a “diversity and inclusion” officer.
“It became the thing it was critiquing,” Thompson told Bloomberg. (He also apparently participates as a co-investor in Bloomberg Beta’s “Open Scouts” program, the company’s venture capital arm.)
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Bloomberg writers Brad Stone and Ellen Huet describe the man behind the masquerade as a “37-year-old father of two who is a connoisseur of podcasts and technology journalism,” who says he “doesn’t go out of his way to be known.” His personal Twitter account, @pt had fewer than 6,000 followers at the time of the writing of this post.
Startup L. Jackson—or Thompson, rather—is scheduled to do a live chat on the product discovery site Product Hunt on March 23 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard.