Posting secrets anonymously is an old idea on the internet, but Secret is special for one reason: so far it's completely taken over by gossiping techies, early adopters with lots of bile to unload. It's part therapy, part confession, part defamation, and it's a lot of fun to eavesdrop.
The app itself is very basic: you share a text, and only people in your contact list—and their friends—can see it. It's like Whisper, but with a little more intimacy. It also lends itself well to all of the catty, gossipy, faceless maligning we love so much. It's amazing what startup folk will say when you give them a contrived way to speak their mind—the following is just a sample of what I've found so far:
This sounds very believable!
As does this. Dave Morin is a regular target on the app:
As is his silly startup:
Morale complaints are common.
And of course, there's good old fashioned rumormongering, too:
There's no way to verify any of it, and that's the point—but all the postings of the I hate it here variety seem too generic to be fabrications. And really, who can blame them? Silicon Valley demands uniform positivity, against all evidence for positivity, and punishes cynicism or mere criticism as witchcraft. Even the bad ideas and people deserve praise—and who wouldn't go nuts living like that? Maybe Secret will break into the mainstream, but for now, it might be one of the few things keeping these downtrodden techies from a nervous breakdown.