So last week a blog called Gigaom closed. I follow too many people in the greater San Francisco area and they won't shut up about it. Even the people whose integrity and intelligence I actually have a modicum of respect for manage to utter the kind of quality insight I might expect from a toddler with downs syndrome on the subject. Most of it is along the lines of how the bank that shut the blog down is this big bad grinch that stole Christmas, like so:
Now I hate banks just as much as the next guy, which is why I've made most of my living swindling them out of their money through engineered market events. What's amazing about this bit indignancy is that Gigaom just got away with a hilarious bit of swindling. A quick look at CrunchBase reveals that it got 25 million dollars in capital for its equity alone. Add a few million of debt and it's probably safe to assume Gigaom took at least 30 million dollars and did the equivalent of lighting it on fire and jerking off around it.
Tech blogging is an extremely crowded market. To even have a hope of survival in market that crowded, you either have to be the market leader or have something extremely different about your product. You could perhaps be a CIA-funded experiment to sabotage political dissenters in the tech industry like Pando, or you could be some guy on YouTube that autistic people can pretend is their personal friend who unboxes gadgets with them. Personally I can't really differentiate the ideology perspective of Gigaom from say, TechCrunch which drives a metric fuckton of traffic or VentureBeat which at least manages to operate way leaner than Om did. On paper, the idea that Gigaom could have ever been a financial success is sort of laughable. So what made a bunch of what (I hope) are reasonably educated investors double down over and over again into a series F round on a company that had very little hope of ever paying a return on its investment?
The answer, of course, is you. All you people whining about how Gigaom has been done wrong by the evil bankers are the reason why those people opened their checkbooks in the first place. Because you people constantly portrayed Gigaom as a worthwhile product whose success was assured. Buzz and goodwill can defer the failure of an insolvent company for a long time. You got Gigaom almost a decade of operation. It's no pets.com tier swindle, but it is still in the 8 figures. Good job, pat yourselves on the back, and stop pretending that their closure is unjustified.