Nucleus is Tanking. Will Gavin Belson Go Down with the Ship?

For months, Hooli CEO Gavin Belson has proclaimed that Nucleus is going to the change the world. First reviews of the platform indicate Nucleus won’t change anything besides our perception of the CEO himself. After much anticipation, the company slipped the unreleased platform to press this week—and it quickly became apparent why Hooli has been holding off on a launch: The product is a failure.

 

The compression platform—with a paltry Weissman score of 2.89—feels clunky and freezes frequently. That is, when it’s not crashing completely or taking upwards of 10 minutes to compress a single gigabyte. There’s nothing good to say about the product, which is perhaps why Belson has yet to comment on the negative reviews circling the web. What defense could the waning CEO have?

Belson announced Nucleus during last year’s TechCrunch Disrupt keynote, and while the flashy presentation was briefly overshadowed by Pied Piper’s 5.2 Weissman score (also announced at the event), it seemed longtime innovator Hooli could still release a product just as ubiquitous as the others the public has embraced. (Who doesn’t love their HooliPhone, and what we did we even do before Hooli-Mail?) If a small-time startup could engineer a 5.2, surely Hooli—with its unlimited resources—could too.

But the company took months to release anything with the Nucleus name on it. The first tangible manifestation of Hooli’s compression platform was their UFC live stream—an event so disastrous, one could say the athlete rushed to the hospital after the fight sustained less professional damage. The beta made available to press indicates the live stream wasn’t an anomaly. It was a foreshadowing.

What has Belson been doing at Hooli? Sitting around in toe shoes making holograms of himself? His time wasn’t spent on the Nucleus project, that’s for sure. And he’ll certainly need to move beyond his hubris and ignorance to recover. It’ll take more than a keynote for him to pull through this one. That is, if he even can.

 

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