Evan Williams founded Blogger, Twitter and Medium, and he's perfected the aw-shucks role of a nice, pleasant choir boy CEO. Nevertheless, last week Williams told angelic role model and hero mom Sarah Lacy to "Fuck off," and now he's Bad Bad Leroy Brown, Baddest Man in the Whole Damn Town. In San Francisco, this is what passes for entertainment.
At first I thought this must be a week for hoaxes. First was Troy Hitch, the guy who claims he's going to wear Oculus goggles non-stop for a year, which has to be a prank, especially since he's the guy who makes those "You Suck at Photoshop" videos. Nevertheless, hit the link and see the video, because it's pretty funny. That's him in the photo above.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick just responded to privacy and ethics concerns about Emil Michael, after the top executive publicly suggested paying $1 million to smear journalists who have criticized the multi-billion corporation. Kalanick's medium of choice was Twitter and his method was a "tweetstorm," a series of thoughts that give the illusion of substance and circumspection because they are presented in a numerical order.
Uber's competitors, regulators, and drivers can take a breath. The company, which believes it is worth $25 billion, has a new nemesis: reporters who don't follow the puff piece protocol. A top Uber executive suggested hiring opposition researchers "specifically to spread details of the personal life of a female journalist who has criticized the company," reports Buzzfeed.
Over the weekend, Pando fired two of its hardest-hitting editorial staffers, David Sirota and Ted Rall, both nationally syndicated veteran journalists. Sirota recently broke a big story about Chris Christie's administration awarding pension contracts to hedge funds, private equity groups, and venture capital firms whose employees donated to the governor's reelection.
The crookedest little bloghouse in Silicon Valley just hit a new low, it appears: A negative story about Birchbox, a beauty-product site with which Pando shares investors, was deleted shortly after being published. Unfortunately for Pando and the backers it loves so dearly, this is the internet, and nothing ever disappears.
Hamish McKenszie, who provided the occasional sign of life in an otherwise algae-clogged editorial pro-corporate dead zone, has left PandoDaily for a PR gig at Tesla Motors, multiple sources tell me (and his LinkedIn confirms). Leaving Pando to join an actual startup—Sarah Lacy must be weeping with pride.
The best publicist in Silicon Valley has been quiet lately, and it's not because she's busy writing conflict disclosures. Rather, PandoDaily editor Sarah Lacy's taken time to come out on the wrong side of history and pen a self-described "rant" against "the mob" saying Twitter should have one single woman on its board.
Former BusinessWeek reporter, TechCrunch columnist, and current tech PR star Sarah Lacy has made a name for herself: her website, PandoDaily, is one of the industry's most loyal allies. But if you do something she doesn't like, she and her goons will try to destroy you. Look at their rabid emails and see.
Last week, in San Francisco, the lowly proles who work for Bay Area Rapid Transit went on strike. Tech columnist Sarah Lacy, who runs the incestuous startup publicity site PandoDaily, wants you to know how disgusted she is about this. How dare the transit workers have made life inconvenient for the only people who really matter, the ones who are changing the world with their startups?