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Having worked for Jason Calacanis for 3 years now…

… first as a freelance blogger, then as Managing Editor of Netscape, and now as Editorial Director of Mahalo, I can say that Duncan Riley’s post about Jason (which I’m not going to bother linking to, b/c I avoid linking to garbage online) on TechCrunch is *totally* out of line.

I normally don’t weigh in on these types of discussions (I almost didn’t post this), because I strongly believe in not feeding trolls, whether they happen to be comment trolls, blog trolls, or good guys who normally write good pieces who suddenly fall into bad form / trollish behavior that borders on slander. I also know that Jason is perfectly capable of handling these discussions himself and my time would be better spent focusing on doing what I do well: supporting and growing my team and helping them create good online content.

However, I’m personally insulted by Duncan Riley’s post and the bile that I’ve seen online as a result of it. It implies that Mahalo is something it isn’t. That implication, in its flailing, badly formed attempt to defend the people who work at Mahalo, insults all of us, and what’s worse, distracts our audience from the good hard work we are doing, thereby potentially undermining our continued success. Don’t be fooled. None of our employees benefit from Duncan’s post. None of the families who make money at Mahalo, working hard to make search a better place, benefit from it.

I work with a great team of good people at Mahalo. We eat lunch together. Sometimes some of us aren’t in the mood for what was for lunch and we go out to get food on our own. Sometimes we work late. Sometimes we come in late. We drink coffee from the expensive coffee machine and it’s great. Some of us walk to Starbucks because some of us prefer Starbucks. Sometimes we take a walk outside in the afternoon and enjoy the Santa Monica sun for no reason other than to do so and because we can. We often go out to dinner together. Whenever we can, we all get together for a night at the movies or for some karaoke. None of us are enslaved. None of us are downtrodden. You can watch many of our Mahalo Daily episodes to see several of our enthusiastic employees having fun participating in our podcasts. I think all of us are smiling and laughing on a regular basis working hard on a great startup.

In case you have no idea what I’m blogging about: Here’s a related post from Sean Percival, one of our Guides. Here’s Jason’s original post in its original form before it was totally misrepresented by Duncan on TechCrunch. If you haven’t read it yet, you should, and you should also see this follow up post.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Tim 3/8/2008, 4:20 pm

    I read through Jason’s post before delving into the techcrunch article and find that the majority of his tips are spot on for any company, not just a start-up. Some of his tips will not apply to a company in every market but no doubt something in there will be beneficial.

    It seems that Duncan Riley’s main objection was regarding the statement that Calcanis made saying “Fire people who are not workaholics…go work at the post office or stabucks if you want balance in your life. For realz.”

    This particular statement has been revised and is less off-putting and probably more accurate to what Jason had intended.

  • Kekoa 3/8/2008, 4:33 pm

    Thanks chiming in.

    Aren’t we all adults here? I, too, was surprised at how some people reacted to Jason’s post. I think partly it was meant to be taken in jest and partly in fact. (i.e. not completely 100% concrete serious.) Of course, it helps to have an idea of Jason is coming from and his personality. Jason likes to be a little outrageous, but taking his words out of context is immature and a bad business practice.

    I have to wonder if the controversy on TechCrunch isn’t just an easy way for them to generate buzz, and therefore more traffic.

  • Kekoa 3/8/2008, 4:40 pm

    Actually, let me rephrase.

    Of course Jason is serious, but I think his bluntness (which is usually charming) can result in some interesting statements…

  • Marcos Gonzalez 3/8/2008, 5:14 pm

    Mahalo “a sweatshop powered search engine”

  • Nick 3/8/2008, 9:02 pm

    Marcos,

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
    Mohandas Gandhi

    I can’t wait for phase 4!

  • Jeff 3/9/2008, 1:20 am

    @Marcos

    Not sure why you came up with that, as a Mahalo employee (rftg) I earn more then when I worked for “great American corporations” HP and T-Mobile (outsourced as cubicle farms in Canada, no less.) Should I add that with Mahalo, I actually get to do work I enjoy, from home, what a concept.

  • Manoa 3/9/2008, 1:50 pm

    You can work very hard with great equipment and great espresso, and be very happy, because you love what you are doing– it is more than a job– all my life I have worked 24-7, in law firms, investment banking, finance, and real estate– happy and satisfied the whole time– and these are very efficient places– they spend as carefully as any startup (why do you think they have cafeterias and food service? BTW, hope food is great at Mahalo).

    But that is not for everyone and not for anyone all the time! Jason was focused on one thing in his blog– how to get the most of the limited money we have for a few things in the office– he is not talking about the whole enterprise. He is not talking about how people relate and get things done at Mahalo– as CK points out, how people work and interact and are treated at Mahalo is a whole another post— nothing to do with chairs, coffee, getting the most productivity, or coffee machines.

  • Stuart 3/10/2008, 9:45 am

    Your link to Jason’s post is a link to a revised version, not the original form as you stated. In the original post it did not have the strikethroughs. The strikethroughs appeared after Duncan’s post responded to Jason’s post.

    Your post occurred after Jason revised his post so you have always linked to the revised version (in case people respond that Jason’s post changed after this post was submitted).

  • Solacetech 3/11/2008, 11:11 am

    My favorite Calacanis comment was from TWIT yesterday when I he said People thinks he’s a jerk at first,then love em… He sounded real confused b/c he’s just being himself 24/7. There’s nothing wrong with that at all…

  • c.k. 3/16/2008, 12:33 pm

    Hey Stuart, Yes, I realize I linked to a revised version, but as it is revised with strikethroughs, it is pretty transparent about the revision, no?