A while back, Donna Bogatin wrote a snarky blog post... oh.. .sorry... let me be more specific as to which one. I'm talking about the one she wrote about Path 101 when we wanted to reach out to LinkedIn.
Now, I'm all for a good snarkfest now and then, but reckless bashing of people who've worked their whole 20+ year careers helping to build up the startup community--incredibly well-liked and well-meaning people like Fred Wilson? Seriously? Fred doesn't even need to defend himself and knowing him, he'll probably ignore it. I've got a little more Brooklyn in me than to not poke the bear on this one.
Ah... Isn't this your medicine? Let me give you a dose...
I had the pleasure of meeting Donna last night at David Rose's awesome nextNY Angel Financing 101. I don't read her blog, but someone pointed it out to me during the session and so I read her anti-Fred post on my phone while I was there.
Here are some highlights:
"Wilson also now puts the fate of delicious traction solely at Yahoo’s doorstop, apparently market unaware of the flood of social media services flooding the Web “market” competing against the not so proprietary delicious asset."
"After years of doing his darndest to sell such non-proprietary Web services to deep-pocketed firms, Wilson has suddenly seen the error of his financial ways: “big companies buy little companies and the innovation stops,“ he announced in February."
"Wilson... oblivious to hundreds of thousands of bootstrapped entrepreneurs for whom a successful “end game” has been, and always will be, the building out of long-term, stand alone, self-sustaining businesses, for their own full accounts."
Characterizing Fred as "unaware" and "oblivious"... Pot. Kettle. Black.
When she introduced herself to me, I shook her hand and smiled and said, "Wow... angry post today, huh?" It was a good natured jibe meant to start a conversation. She said, "Oh, no... YOU'RE the one with the angry posts..." turned her back, and walked away.
Yeah, literally turned her back and walked away....Wow.
And kind of hilarious.
The people I was standing next to were kind of stunned, too. Last time I checked, that's not the way mature adults act in professional settings.
But that wasn't all. I didn't realize it was her that asked the question, but during the event, she asked David Rose how he feels about YCombinator trying to build companies in order to quick flip them instead of building long-term sustainable businesses. Shoulder chips anyone? David obviously responded that wasn't the case.
What she failed to disclose in her question was that she had started up her own community advisory effort to help startups called StartupAlpha, which is part group blog, part offline community. She lists herself as the CEO, so clearly, she's looking to somehow profit.
The offline community part sounds like a neat idea:
"[It] broadens the tech entrepreneurship conversation by inviting all players in the startup ecosystem to network together offline, in the heart of the business capital of the world: Manhattan!"
Sounds like last night's meeting was the first nextNY event she's been to. I guess she's missed the NY Tech Meetups, the Founder's Clubs, the Web2NY's ,the Web 2.0 Meetups, the BarCampNYCs, etc., etc. as well.
The best part was the irony of trying to start a community of her own and walking away from me at an event that ran under the banner of nextNY--the 1500+ member community that I helped to found, accidental as it's success may be. She seems to have the same kind of approach to conversation on her blog, as many of her controversial posts have few or comments on them--because she, um... "moderates" them.
Well, the one thing I suppose she has going for her is that, since October, she has grown her LinkedIn network by 29% She now has 18 contacts!!
So here's my question... How does Donna intend to help promote the startup community in NYC if she rips on SA 100's #3 most influential person in NYC tech who works for the the city's most prominent early stage VC firm, walks away from conversations with people much more tapped into the entrepreneurial community than she is, and poo-poo's Paul Graham's YCombinator?
I have one capitalized word for that and it begins with F and rhymes with pail.