These Two "GIF Porn Scrapers" Are Living the American Dream

Not every programmer who comes out West panning for digital gold hits it rich. But the bottom rung of Startupland can be a fun if you find the right benefactor, reports Re/Code.

Eschewing the mainstream coworking spots, Re/Code's Nellie Bowles stopped by the Founder's Dojo where cryptocurrency miner Dave Grossblatt has very generously "stopped charging rent and started letting the young inventors use his desks for free."

What happens when you're sitting "elbow to elbow" on the fringes—far from the watchful eyes on the corporate campus or venture capitalists? Things get dirty, which could not make these porn scraping cofounders happier.

Raj Shah, 29

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Occupation: GIF porn scraper

Founded: The Worst Drug (NSFW)

"The site was just a one-afternoon side project. All we did was build something that pulls together the most shared GIFs in the world. Literally — that's all our algorithm does. And 99% of it happens to be porn. But we're really proud of our product. I love our site. I love our users. We have about 25,000 a day. What I'm most proud of is being part of this Dojo. Dave's project has something to do with tech, something to do with fairness. We could all go work at Facebook or Google and he gives us the freedom not to. We whistle together every day. It's the most annoying thing in the world, but it builds a sort of camaraderie. I have no experience as a soldier, but this is the closest I have to that I can imagine. Like, we're all on this life-or-death march together. On the worst days, Dave will be like, 'this is what winning feels like, bro.' It's about freedom."

Chris Di Santo, 29

Hometown: Foster City, California

Occupation: GIF porn scraper

Founded: The Worst Drug

"There was an instance when I was on the ramen diet. Dave knew about it. I'd been eating ramen for a year, living on $1000 a month. Dave left me a couple hundred dollars on my desk and said, 'Get some food or get out of my dojo.' The one thing he requires is that you follow your dream. You go to any other office space and say, 'Hey, can I run my porn company out of your office and not pay rent?' And they'd laugh."

God bless America.

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[Image via The Worst Drug (NSFW)]