Hires and Fires
Popular news startup Circa has just announced they’ve hired John Maloney as their new president. Mr. Maloney was formerly president of Tumblr, cofounded UrbanBaby, and also works as an angel investor and advisor.
As Circa’s new president, Mr. Maloney will lead operations, business development and growth, a press release said.
Marco’s confident Tumblr made the right call: “This is clearly what David believes is best for his product. On such big decisions, he hasn’t been wrong yet. This time, though, I don’t have any doubts.” [Marco.org]
Dave Winer, on the other hand: “When you sell your company, no matter what promises were made, you sold it. It’s theirs now. They will do what they want to with it. Promises don’t matter.” [Scripting News]
Sounds like former Tumblr president John Maloney is just irked he’s being left out of the story. [Twitter]
Fab is reportedly raising a round somewhere in the ballpark of $250 million to $300 million, pushing the company’s valuation north of a billion dollars. [Wall Street Journal]
The Senate, meanwhile, says Apple dodged, oh, about $44 billion in taxes. [Politico]
the startup rundown
Local blogging platform Tumblr has raised a staggering $125 million in venture capital. Tumblr is now hosting more than 53 million blogs with images, video and a complex system of duplication via reblogs, all for free, so the company needs the cash. “In about six months, the word ‘Tumblr’ will eclipse ‘blog’ in Google popularity,” wrote the web comic artist and statistician Randall Munroe of XKCD.
Welcome to the big leagues. And at its size, Tumblr’s investors are keeping a closer eye on the goings-on at the wildly unprofitable startup. After years of leaving Tumblr’s magical fairyland largely to its own devices, two recent major changes suggest the company may be feeling pressure from investors (and its burn rate).
John Maloney previously ran the forum for Upper East Side moms UrbanBaby, where he employed David Karp. Four years ago, Mr. Karp then hired Mr. Maloney to serve as president and resident adult of Tumblr. Last week—late on a Friday, naturally—Mr. Maloney announced he is stepping down from the company.
ALL YOUR MEME BELONG TO US
SHUTTER. Luminance is not your average photography conference. Instead of focusing on the latest gear, this two-day program will bring together experts at the forefront of the technology we use to create, manipulate and share our images. Among the speakers are Behance founder Scott Belsky, Hipstamatic cofounder Lucas Allen Buick, Google’s Chris Chabot, Pulitzer prize winning photographer Barbara Davidson, Tumblr
CEO president John Maloney, Facebook Photos engineer Srinivas Narayanan and the School of Visual Art’s David Ross. All speakers will present a 20-minute TED-style lecture.
TOE, HEEL, TOE, HEEL. What Not to Wear‘s Stacy London is the cofounder of a just-launched site that aims to connect personal stylists with the stylistically clueless. Style For Hire stylists will perform a “closet audit,” provide personal shopping services or create new outfits out of clothes a customer already has—that’s called closet shopping. Now women who aren’t lucky enough to be on the show can still have their closets—and lack of fashion sense—torn apart, but without the benefit of a judgmental, national audience.
If there were a more visual element (perhaps a honey badger or LOLcat) attached to the “Why I Left Company X” genre, the meme would already be cresting to the top of BuzzFeed. Former TechCrunch employees may have thought they had the art of the bomb-throwing exit letter on lockdown, but over the last couple days, they’ve been bested by the their more corporate brethren.
Yesterday, Google’s former engineering director James Whittaker accused the once-great innovation lab of devolving into an advertising machine. And today Goldman Sachs former executive director Greg Smith issued the most damning sayonara since Jerry McGuire. He started by decrying the toxic, profit-hungry culture, then revealed Goldman’s pet name for clients (“muppets”), before going on to level charges of widespread “moral bankruptcy.”
Those missives quickly spawned a parody (“Why I Am Leaving the Empire, by Darth Vader“) and a spin-off (Mr. Smith’s former intern at Goldman tried to jump into the fray.) Both “Greg Smith” and “Goldman Sachs” are already trending topics on Twitter.
The startup world—which never shies away from the world-changing rhetoric, even when it’s being used to shill for American Express—couldn’t have dreamed up a better recruiting strategy than Mr. Smith’s 2,500-word explosion of righteous indignation.
Tumblr has restored Microsoft researcher and pundit Danah Boyd’s blog to its original location after a public spat.
Yesterday, Microsoft researcher of 43,900+ Twitter follower fame Danah Boyd discovered her Tumblr account, zephoria.tumblr.com, had been changed to zephoria1.tumblr.com to make room for Zephoria Inc., a New York-based social media marketing agency. Ms. Boyd is an infrequent Tumblr user–her last entry was in January–but she was irritated that one, Tumblr would automatically give preference to a corporation, and two, she had no idea her blog was being moved until it happened.