Do You Smell Peanut Butter?

november 24, 2006

The peanut butter thing keeps on going... I was flipping through my Yahoo! Mail and was about to delete this gem of an email because it looked like spam. It came from a "Tyler". Looking at his Yahoo! Profile, it turns out that he just registered the account that he sent the email from. Who is this Tyler? Is it Tyler Durden? Probably not, Tyler Durden wouldn't email something like this. But, anyways. This is a gem of an email and it gave me a good chuckle when I read it. It is in response to two articles that TheStreet.com ran. The first I covered in this posting. The second, you can find here.

Subject: EDITORIAL INTEGRITY: The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week To: [email protected] CC: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] I've never been more embarassed to be a reader of thestreet.com. Where is the effort to maintain any editorial integrity? While I have my own views of what's right and what's wrong with Yahoo's peanut butter memo, your decision to cast Brad in a negative light by outlining the company's Brad has worked for and how they have performed is - in my opinion - reasonable grounds for him to file a lawsuit against thestreet.com. Did TheStreet.com reporters that have covered this story do ANY diligence to assess when Brad worked for those companies and when he left? This journalism 101 diligence would tell your readers a very different and in ths case much more accurate story. I knew Brad at @Home (before it was [email protected]) and he left in the spring of 1999 at about the perfect time based upon the measure your writer chooses as it was also pretty much the market cap peak for @Home. He told me on his way out that he didn't buy the strategy of merging with Excite. I should have listened to him. I follwed Brad's career from a distance from that point. He left CMGI to join Dialpad in late spring 2000 (this took me about 20 seconds to find the press release). Interestingly, this is also very close to the market cap peak for CMGI. And while I don't know the details of what happeend at Dialpad - based upon the lack of editorial integrity from the first two - I'm guessing you lack those same details and thus would bet that the real facts would yield a different conclusion. I don't have the same colorful writing style that Brad used to tell his story - and I don't have the bullhorn that thestreet.com has. But your writers are paid to know and report accurately - not to blister Brad based upon results that he wasn't there to affect. Given the real story above, the more accurate conclusion is that we should learn / watch when Brad leaves a company and know that it is likely the early warning indicator that his efforts to effect change have failed - and sell!
Mr. Tyler: I am in agreement with Garlinghouse on a lot of his points. There are some that I don't agree with at all -- like the whole 15-20% cuts thing. So, Tyler, take some of your own advice. Read my two postings (you can find the links above). My posting that linked to TheStreet article was to show a different side of the argument. As for Garlinghouse, he's an executive at a public company. His previous efforts/deeds are public also. If people question the facts that TheStreet put out, they can (like you have) look them up. Oh, and next time you decide to write in, try using a real name. First, it would give your email more credibility -- unlike now where you look like a coward hiding anonymously behind a pseudonym created on November 23, 2006. Second, it would make your email look less like a piece of spam. The way one can look at Garlinghouse leaving a company can be cast in two different lights. You see it as "his efforts to effect change have failed". Others would probably see it as if he had failed his job completely and his efforts were misaligned with what would have actually helped the company. There are always two sides to seeing a situation. You just chose to see them differently than TheStreet's article. The other thing is that you make a point to mention when he left the company and what shape the company was in when he left.  But, you did not bother to mention when did he join these companies and how they were doing prior to him joining.  Was the company doing well until he joined? Did he leave right after his efforts started to tank the company? Strange how you are hypocritical in your arguments. You complain that TheStreet points out only the negative, while you only point out the positives. Other than that, thanks for the chuckle. I still wonder who you are and if you read this, please comment and let me know.