Recent years have brought a storm of tech folks from Silicon Valley and beyond pouring down on LA’s fair hills and the beach cities below. And 2016 shows no signs of this particular trend abating, kiddies.
This March (2016) an opaque entity with a San Francisco address slammed down $4,200,000 on a very contemporary crib near the tippy-top of famous (or infamous?) Sunset Plaza Drive, a place known just as well for its long and treacherously narrow and winding roadway as the powerful, sweeping views many of the street’s homes enjoy.
Well, Yolanda just happens to know for a fact that the mystery entity is a front for a Silicon Valley veteran named Wayne Chang.
Our Mr. Chang, a bit of a child prodigy, reportedly wrote his first software program when he was just a young tyke of 7 years of age. That’s an age when Yolanda was still trying to fit shapes from her Tupperware Shape O Ball into her mouth. By the way, if any of y’all have young kids, that’s still the best toy. Very highly recommended. But your gurl digresses.
By the time he reached high school, Mr. Chang was involved with all sorts of ventures including the original Napster. Then, while attending college in Massachusetts, Mr. Chang founded i2hub, perhaps his most notable venture to date.
Novel peer-to-peer file-sharing system i2hub was much-loved for its lightning-fast download speeds by the high school and college students for whom it was principally created, but unsurprisingly much-loathed by organizations such as the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), who eventually succeeded having the wildly-popular site shut down permanently.
But the shutdown did not occur before Mr. Chang’s system had attracted the attention of the Facebook founding crew (Mark Zuckerberg, Sean Parker, Andrew McCollum, and Adam D’Angelo) who quickly launched a competing service called Wirehog. Unfortunately for the F-Book pack, Mr. Chang already had a near-monopoly on the market (or maybe lightning really only strikes once?) because while i2hub flourished, Wirehog floundered, struggling to gain popularity and was ultimately nixed by the founders. That’s right, y’all, Mr. Zuckerberg got his ass kicked by Mr. Chang, at least on that front.
i2hub also attracted the attention of those infamous Winklevoss twins, who took the opposite approach as Mr. Zuckerberg and decided to partner with Mr. Chang — creating the Winklevoss Chang Group.
At some point, Mr. Chang and the Winklevii were sued by Facebook in regards to the twins’ ConnectU social media website. If y’all saw The Social Network, y’all should know that the lawsuit was eventually resolved by Facebook acquiring ConnectU in a cash-and-stock deal.
Unfortunately, the Chang-Winklevoss partnership soon dissolved with, apparently, a great deal of bitterness and shite. In 2009, Mr. Chang sued the Winklevoss twins for 50% of their Facebook settlement money. Though a Massachusetts judge finally reached a decision in favor of the Winklevii just last year (2015), the case continues on appeal. As far as Yolanda can tell.
In the meantime, Mr. Chang hasn’t been weeping over his lack of Facebook moolah. In 2011, he founded Crashlytics, which seems to be some sort of thing for app developers (Sorry, y’all. In case you can’t tell, Yolanda ain’t too tech-savvy in her advanced years.) Mr. Chang sold the company just two years after founding it — in 2013 — to Twitter for somewhere around $38 million.
Yes, y’all, Mr. Chang created $38 million bucks for basically nowhere in the span of 2 years. How you like them apples? He may not have received as much Facebook cash as he originally wanted, but Mr. Chang is a rich 32-year-old man.
Anyway, fascinating as Mr. Chang’s career history may be, we’re here to discuss his brand-new LA crash pad today.
The uber-contemporary home is perched hard up on the street on a tight-tight-tight and steeply-sloped that listing information shows is less than one-fifth of an acre. The listing also reveals the structure was “Custom built by a renowned L.A. developer as his personal residence”. Property records show the “renowned LA developer” is a guy named Matthew Greene, a fella Yolanda — bless her heart — ain’t never heard of before. Sorry! Maybe we’re just out of the loop with who’s who in coke palace builder business.
Oopsies. Was that rude? Let’s just come out and say it, then. Yolanda personally finds the house hideous. All that tacky-ass chrome and/or stainless steel littered inside and out would make us feel like we’re living in one of 50 Cent’s Range Rover rims.
That’s not to say the view isn’t snazzy, however. Almost every room has beautiful skyline sights. The main living area encompasses a large Poggenpohl kitchen with two center islands, both of which are a bit undersized, in Yolanda’s opinion. The glossy cherry-red cabinetry seems very turn-of-the-millennium to your gurl. A bit dated, you know?
The flooring switches from shiny white tile to shiny black wood in the family/living room and the bedrooms. There’s also a party-sized bar area with a flatscreen and stool seating. Somewhere there’s a beige-carpeted media room/theater with a 120-inch projecter screen, per the listing. There’s also — somewhat unusually — a hidden “security camera monitoring room”.
Speaking of bedrooms (and bathrooms), the listing seems somewhat confused by how many there actually are. Though official stats say there are 4 beds and 4 baths, the main listing copy paragraph explicitly calls out 3 beds and 5 baths. We’re not sure why the discrepancy.
Though the house has no grassy yard, it does sport a surprisingly-commodious outdoor terrace that the developer seller adorned sparely with a small table and chairs.
Sadly for Mr. Chang (and other folks living near the top of Sunset Plaza), it’s going to be a real chore getting to and from their houses in the coming months. Anyone living in the area is aware that a significant portion of the street is currently closed to car traffic, which means Mr. Chang and other folks living above that section must take a 10-minute-plus detour just to reach Sunset Boulevard.
Lastly, one of Mr. Chang’s new neighbors is YouTube star Jordan Maron aka CaptainSparklez (he paid $4,500,000 last year for a house just three doors away). Just around the corner is a concrete-poured mansion known as “The Fortress” that was recently leased by Rihanna and once owned by billionaire Russ Weiner, who sold it to DJ Val Kilmer, who sold it in 2012 to Jed Leiber, a son of the late songwriting legend Jerry Leiber. The most expensive house ever sold on Sunset Plaza is this showstopping mega-mansion near the mouth of the street, which went for an unprecedented $24,000,000 in 2014 to allegedly corrupt Indonesian politician/businessman Aburizal Bakrie. Yolanda hears that house is currently leased out.