A few months back, when the AOL/HuffPo assimilation of TechCrunch went pear-shaped, we were treated to a baker’s dozen or so of “Why I’m leaving TechCrunch” essays from just about everyone from the top guys down. The meme had run out of steam when we got to the valet parker’s piece in Vanity Fair entitled “I ain’t parking no more cars at TechCrunch no more, chulo.”
This morning’s “Why I am Leaving Goldman Sachs” op-ed in the New York Times has ratcheted things up a notch – a Jerry Maguire-esque screed about how the culture has changed and it’s all about making money and screwing the clients now.
Let me help the employees of both companies out so that we can (hopefully) avoid the need for such op-eds in the future:
1. The “culture” of TechCrunch was, is and always will be about traffic for the sake of traffic. That’s it. There is no culture and AOL is simply driving it all toward its logical conclusion – free-for-all click-whoring. Slideshows, payola to mention products, advertorials, sponsored links and on and on. THAT is your media company’s culture, dawg.
2. The “culture” of Goldman Sachs was, is and always will be about making money, often at the expense of a client. Do you even know where the term “wirehouse” originally came from? Let me help you out with that. In the 1920’s, there was no CNBC or internet – there was only news delivered by wire and cable, stock market news and prices included. The “wirehouse” firms like Goldman would transmit stock and bond prices to their far-flung offices around the country from Wall Street where the action was taking place. it is a peculiar and yet telling fact of history that during the Crash of 1929, not a single major Wall Street brokerage firm went under. Wanna know why? Because when the sell-off began, they dumped all their holdings prior to wiring the news out to the rest of the investing public and their clientele across the country. Sound familiar, motherfucker? THAT is your firm’s culture, going back a hundred and fifty years.