Rant of The Week

I am interrupting our regularly scheduled programming (video of the week) to rant a bit.

Yesterday morning, Tom Labus left this comment on AVC:

You’re on the scroll on CNBC. Quoting you that “the Apple Watch will be a flop” A bit of creative editing

I had already seen Business Insider running that headline and that just put me over the edge. I got super pissed off and fired out this tweetstorm:


That led to a lot of discussion on Twitter that lasted most of yesterday.

Business Insider has been cross posting my blog posts for years on their website (totally allowed under my creative commons license) but they used to rewrite and sensationalize the headline. I hated that so much and told them so and to their credit, they’ve stopped doing that.

When someone takes the time to carefully craft their words, it is super annoying to see someone twist them into something else entirely. I know that it’s wishful thinking to imagine that media outlets that live and die on clicks will change their stripes on this one. Maybe I should get some thicker skin. But I am not sure I can on this one.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Joah Spearman

    As someone who has been blogging for years as well, I think an occasional rant is very well placed. Most of your stuff seems pretty self-directed so seeing you write something reactive like this is pretty humanizing.

  2. ErikSchwartz

    I gave up on BI years ago.The clickbait headlines are a lot of it. Turning bullet point lists into slide shows are another part. But mostly I find the lack of understanding and critical thinking of the tech media as a whole these days very troubling.You’re a well known tech company (i.e. one who will get clicks), they will happily rewrite your BS press release into an “article” without bothering to call you on your BS.

    1. Robert Metcalf

      “But mostly I find the lack of understanding and critical thinking of the tech media as a whole these days very troubling.”This. I cringe nearly every time I read anything in the cleantech/solar/renewables media. It’s just hard to imagine having dedicated your life to something and to end up with no understanding of it. Maybe that’s why more and more of the articles don’t have author attribution – would be too embarrassing to take credit for it.

    2. pointsnfigures

      Totally agree. BI is a waste of time. If I want clickable headlines there is Twitter.

  3. johndodds

    It’s overly generous of you to call them “supposedly serious”.

  4. Mark Zohar

    Business Insider headline: Tech investor Fred Wilson diversifies into life sciences. Predicts huge market for synthetically grown ‘thicker skin’.

    1. fredwilson

      i could use some of that

      1. Richard

        When someone quotes Fred Wilson using not a basket ball analogy but a baseball analogy, you know that, well …the quote was a rimshot.

      2. laurie kalmanson

        here’s what the oatmeal didhttp://www.ibtimes.com/matt…http://theoatmeal.com/blog/https://www.indiegogo.com/p…I run a comedy website called The Oatmeal. I’m going to try and raise $20,000 and instead send it to the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society.I’m hoping that philanthropy trumps douchebaggery and greed.

        1. Salt Shaker

          This is friggin Awesome!! This story has the potential to be even better than the “Serial” podcasts:) Can’t wait to learn what happens next.Ethics in journalism is practically non-existent today. I guess that’s what happens when the pursuit of money trumps journalistic integrity. Sadly, today it’s all about scratch and claw to survive, practically at any cost and at anyone’s expense.

  5. Rob Underwood

    The click bait / sensationalism style is related to another problem — ADD of the media. When was the last time there was an Ebola headline? The crisis is still raging in West Africa. ISIS? Ukraine?I’m sorry this happened Fred. I recommend skiing as a great way to clear the mind.

    1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

      Have you been reading Brad Feld ? 🙂

    2. fredwilson

      going to utah tomorrow!!!!

      1. Rob Underwood

        39-60″ of packed powder is the best thick skin I can think of

    3. pointsnfigures

      by the way, a startup in Chicago called reliefwatch.com is taking on the ebola crisis head on balls to the wall. watching that team work is pretty cool.

  6. William Mougayar

    Well, it’s a case of “You said” vs. “They heard”. You said “will not live up to the hype”. They heard “it will be a flop”.”Will be a flop” is more catchy. Their business is to catch eyeballs.

    1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

      Nope – They *chose to hear* would be accurate

      1. William Mougayar

        of course.

        1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

          Do you ever get similar treatment – I see a few people are quoting your opinions on Block chain etc now. ?

          1. William Mougayar

            It is happening right now, but no twisting yet. My recent article on the Blockchain as the next database has been re-quoted in Forbes, Cryptocoinnews, Bravecoin, lots of Twitter discussions, others…Getting requests to write for pubs, others re-quoting, etc. But if it does, I will jump in and correct if needed. That’s what social media is for. Nassim Taleb does that all the time. He regularly butchers others on Twitter when they misinterpret what he says.

          2. Twain Twain

            Lacerates, lasers and excoriates rather than butcher?:*).

          3. JimHirshfield

            Congrats on the coverage. I have that post of yours queued up to read. Looks like a good one.

          4. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            I enjoyed it – also it has helped me get my head around the space (to a limited extent)

          5. JimHirshfield


          6. William Mougayar

            read both of them. (and there’s more coming…just getting started)

          7. JimHirshfield

            I’m already impressed.

          8. Donna Brewington White

            That’s great William.

          9. pointsnfigures

            I like the word “eviscerates” so much better.

          10. William Mougayar

            He has that tendency.

          11. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Your recent post on Blockchain is great. Reading it a second time 🙂

          12. Girish Mehta

            Could you point me to the link for that article William, would love to read…Thanks.

          13. Girish Mehta

            Thanks William

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      No desire to defend Business Insiders demonstrably poor journalistic quality but to be fair here, their misquote was not a big stretch on Fred’s original quote.”The Apple Watch will not be the homerun product that iPod, iPhone, and iPad have been.” If that quote turns out to be factual then clearly in the context of Apple and its major investment efforts around this product it could only be defined/interpreted as a serious flop for Apple.Just for fun I’ll go out on a limb here and predict that Apple Watch after a slow start will go on to be Apple’s most successful product to date.Maybe “not everyone will want to wear a computer on their wrist” but everyone will want a conveniently transparent front end to their “personal mesh/personal cloud” and the wrist is the obvious time tested egonomic location for that.

  7. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Did you see this Forbes on thick skin and soft hearts ?http://www.forbes.com/sites…I guess it is bad to conflate the two.Seems to me you are neither cavalier nor overly defensive in the way you commented about wearables but objected to being misquoted.False Accusations SUCK !

  8. Chris O'Donnell

    I propose a new Creative Commons LicenseAttribution-ShareAlike-ExceptFor 4.0 InternationalThen you insert the URLs that do not have permission to reuse your work.

    1. bsoist

      I’m not sure you are serious about this, but that is not a bad idea.

      1. Chris O'Donnell

        I was half joking when I typed it, but you are right. Why shouldn’t we have more granular control over our content? Right now it’s everybody can use it, or nobody can.

    2. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Do it!

    3. Rob Leathern

      Perhaps a can’t-use-clickbait-headlines or no-appearance-in-slideshows set of attributes would do the trick.

    4. Kirsten Lambertsen

      We could also open source a list of repeat offenders (org’s and/or individuals) and you could just reference it in the license.

    5. Andrew Kennedy


    6. Rick_Robinson

      it might not get used … the upside of getting BI attention (based on reach) outweighs the hassle of cleaning up after them.

  9. William Mougayar

    Kidding aside, what you did sends a message that if they want to quote you in the future, they need to be more accurate, and think twice before sensationalizing and twisting the headlines. I would be furious if that happened to me. Integrity of opinion is important.

    1. bsoist

      Exactly. And, to Fred’s point, sometimes one carefully crafts words on purpose. It’s frustrating to have that effort discarded.

    2. JimHirshfield

      Not sure they’ll think twice. You know the expression, “there’s no such thing as bad PR”?This BI article likely got more PVs as a result of Fred’s tweet storm.Not saying I agree with BI’s misquote. Just sayin’

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Agree with you in terms of outcome – but personally when I read of something like this I try to avoid the pollutant effect of reading the nonsense that triggers it. Thatcher spoke about headlines giving Terrorists “the oxygen of publicity”. For the record her policies where also “not entirely unblemished”.

        1. JimHirshfield

          For sure. I felt no need to read the BI article once I saw the hullabaloo. So perhaps my earlier assumption is wrong… Or perhaps just doesn’t apply to those of us that read AVC daily.

          1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

            Nice to feel we are that discriminating (perhaps a bold assumption though) – Just saying

      2. William Mougayar

        some truth there, but you can get your wrist slapped so many times and get away with it, after which it may turn into a bigger spanking or whipping.

  10. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Well, at least we live in a time where anyone who cares enough can come to the source and confirm or deny for themselves. And, you have a massive platform with Twitter where you can set the record straight.

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, but all those people who watch CNBC all day long and saw the ticker all day probably won’t see it. and they will think that i’m the guy who said the watch will flop. whatever. i’m mostly over it now.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Yeah, I feel ya there.

      2. Matt Zagaja

        One of my favorites on Paul Graham’s website:”The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.”– Paul Kedrosky

        1. bsoist

          Sometimes it is worth the energy, though. We need to pick and choose when to fight.

        2. fredwilson

          so true

      3. Twain Twain

        So this would be a reason for Twitter to syndicate tweets onto CNBC just like those tickers.So people can see the refutes and the record being set straight by the person(s) quoted.

      4. Supratim Dasgupta

        Fred, on a lighter note why don’t you strike a deal with them ;-)1. If Apple Watch does fail they pay you because people went to their sites to read what you predicted2. If Apple Watch does not fail, they pay you for false reporting your story and pissing you off.

      5. pointsnfigures

        Less and less people are watching CNBC…2015 prediction, they will get more sensationalistic and lose more viewers.

    2. James Ferguson @kWIQly

      Kirsten – Trouble is lies are sticky – If you ever heard the expression “No smoke without fire” or The lady doth protest too much, methinks” you will know that in the first case defending yourself is tough, in the second it can even send the opposite message.I think acknowledging any “Rantiness” of a post does a lot to diffuse the later

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Totally agree. Just trying to find a silver lining, a little bit. 20 years ago, there wouldn’t have been much recourse to being misquoted.

  11. Craig

    I read BI because it’s so awful. I don’t learn anything but it’s entertaining, like a hilariously bad movie. It’s a mental break in my day. In this case, I actually don’t think their interpretation was so bad. It sensationalized what you said, for sure, and left out all nuance. But, when I read your post (before reading the BI re-write), I thought “Fred Wilson thinks apple watch will flop.”

  12. anand

    Dislike click bait BI’s headlines that say “So and so JUST did x.” Never link to them anymore – just the underlying article/blog they are linking to.

  13. Matt Zagaja

    I used to be a huge fan of the press but as I got further into politics I started to realize:1. Many articles in the popular press leave out a lot of context.2. Sometimes in between the conveyance of information to a reporter and his placing it in a story, new facts or understandings can appear that otherwise did not seem to exist.I have also written some pieces (op-eds) etc. and one of the irritating features of the written press is that the editors get to write the headlines. I’m currently reading Double Down and one interesting part is how Mitt Romney got creamed for an op-ed he wrote in the New York Times because the headline they gave it distorted some of the nuance of what he was trying to convey.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      My epiphany on this was a very long time ago, during the O.J. Simpson trial. It was broadcast live and unedited on CourtTV. We’d watch it all day and then watch the recap on CNN that night. That’s when we learned how CNN would spin it each day. It was like they’d watched a version of the trial in an alternate universe.It wasn’t slanted for either side particularly. It was spun to keep the drama high. But it was spun enough to distort what really happened, all to keep people tuning in.That’s when I tuned out. And I’ve never gone back.

      1. bsoist

        It was like they’d watched a version of the trial in an alternate universe.I remember that very well. Wild.

      2. JimHirshfield

        And their filler/speculation journalism (if you can call it journalism) where the talking head asks, “given how little we know, how might this impact xyz?”…. Wut?

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          There was a great Canadian TV series in the ’90’s called “The Newsroom” (yep, not Jeff Daniels’ “Newsroom”) that was a brilliant, biting, hilarious satire (or not) on cable news. If you can find it, I recommend it.

  14. Leigh Drogen

    The funny thing is that I think we’ve come to a point with the underlying business model for media where everyone, including the insiders, are pissed off and generally tired. Coming from the outside and talking to people inside, it feels like investment banking did in 2007, everyone knows it sucks and is unsustainable, that they are morally corrupt and destroying their reputations, but it’s just the way the system is set up, and there will always be people willing to feed into that.I see two things that contribute to this lunacy ending.1. We get more examples of journalists (if we can call them that) blowing up their careers like Jessica Pressler from New York Magazine with the fake trader kid story. She lost out on a big gig at Bloomberg because of her need to gather page views based on a bunk story, and now she’s paying for it, as she should. This will be a lesson for young people working in media, the internet is forever, and you can’t wipe your name off of some story you wrote just because you happen to be writing inside of the machine of some publication. What these people write will stay with them forever, it will be forever searchable. Every time someone writes an article about how “the stock market may be about to crash”, their name is attached to that, and when Bloomberg goes to hire real journalists they are going to think twice about hiring that guy, even if he was just looking for page views and didn’t really mean a lick of what he was writing.2. The media business model will change because it must change. It will change because the current one offers no value long term. I believe the current incarnation of the media business model is completely in response to the death of the newspaper model and right now its just the wild west on the internet. The whole industry is scrambling to integrate the ability for anyone to write anything and have distribution via the web, especially as people stop reading just the New York Times front to back. We don’t have good enough mechanisms for pushing the best content to people from disparate sources, so in response people are attracted to shiny flashy titles. This will be solved eventually, because there is a necessity that it gets solved. People will overdose on this crap model and tire of it. It is inevitable.I give it 5 years and this stupidity is over, because it has to evolve, this is unsustainable.

    1. fredwilson

      do you think micropayments, like the coinbase tip widget on this post, are a possible solution?

      1. Leigh Drogen

        Been thinking a lot about online tipping, even as it relates to our biz. I’m trying to find an existing human behavior that is a corollary to this type of action, and I’m failing to find one. That in and of itself doesn’t mean it won’t work, but it makes it more unlikely for me.The major issue is that the vast vast vast majority of people don’t actually value the type of reporting and content that is difficult and costly to produce. The other type of content, which is mostly just opinion and observation, can be done by anyone at little cost as the world crowdsources news and info via Twitter and other mediums. This type of info will never be paid for, and I believe that includes tips. There’s just too much supply, and there’s no other time in history where people have paid for a commodity (which this is now) when there is such abundance of supply. Opinions are worth exactly what people are willing to pay for them, in most cases nothing.The more likely outcome is that we get a completely bifurcated system for content. Content as entertainment, which is what most people will consume because that’s what they actually want, will continue to be driven by pageview/advertising. On the other side you have the real valuable content and reporting which a very small % of people will pay for, think New Scientist.That’s my best guess, but I’d be willing to bet that I’m wrong.

        1. pointsnfigures

          good point on human behavior. TradingView.com is testing micropayments on their site. Tipping with bitcoin. Leigh’s site is estimize.com and crowdsources earnings estimates better than WS analysts. Would be interesting to see if a trader made some dough off a guys prediction and flipped him a couple of bucks for the effort.

          1. Leigh Drogen

            I still don’t see the incentive for someone to flip that guy a few bucks.

          2. pointsnfigures

            you are right, although in the pit we used to do that with ticks sometimes.

          3. LE

            If you reverse engineer why people tip it’s easy to see why they (probably) won’t tip for this.People tip by convention, or for good service (mania let’s call it), or, and this is important, to not feel guilty by not tipping. [1] Other reasons also but let’s go with this for now.The “not feel guilty” or “feel good about myself” comes into play mainly with people that you will never ever see again (bellman at hotel, cab driver and so on). (“not feel guilty” is above “by convention”). The “convention” is the thing that tells you “you tip here, it’s expected” that creates the “guilty” feeling by not doing so.The “mania” is after someone does you a big solid. Like the maintenance guy at the hotel who lent me a cable that I desperately needed. I was so thankful that if I had a $20 in my pocket I would have given it to him right then and there! But I didn’t. So by the time I saw him again (7 days later when leaving) I only gave him a $5 and considered not even doing that (but did to avoid the guilt of someone who holds to their word or something like that in my brain).[1] A few years ago I was on the upper east side at a crappy bagel place and noticed people stuffing money into the tip jar on the super busy counter while workers’s backs were turned. Like they didn’t even care if the low paid workers saw that they had tipped them. Think of why they did that and why these people who were swimming in cash operated that way. Part of the reason must have been (there are others of course) that they “felt sorry” for them and wanted to feel good about themselves. Not sure you can duplicate that on the web and certainly not in a big enough way for people to earn a living w/o a tear jerker story attached which of course will never happen.

          4. Tilie

            The rest of the world doesn’t share your American form of tipping. In Aus if you are happy with your service you are under no obligatation to tip Thanks and payment of bill is enough . A 10% or more .of bill tip is considered an addded bonus and a way of feeling appreciated for good service or going the extra mile. Service providers earn a living wage per hour for the job they do by thier employer. $32.00 an hour to make coffee on a sunday is fair enough l reckon. So the rest of us don’t get your obligatation to tip. Get paid for the work you do or give it away and see what happens your choice

        2. LE

          I’m trying to find an existing human behavior that is a corollary to this type of action,Really important point. Stuff I think about a great deal.This really goes to the essence of things. For example “all good SNL skits are variations of old skits that worked”. Which are all based on variations of other things in comedy that have worked in one way or another.In Cialdinis “Persuasion” books he boiled things down to basic principles he learned by going into the field and seeing what, say, car dealers do and others who have to confidence people. All boils down to human basics in the end.

        3. Robert Metcalf

          It’s definitely hard to think of an offline corollary.It’s pretty easy to come up with counter-examples to “people will open their wallets for information-based value”.I’m an expert in renewable energy and solar specifically, but the business is so grindy and low margin that I don’t actually do much residential solar anymore. But, if I am specifically referred to someone, I’ll help them out so that there’s a point to me knowing everything I know – there are a lot of snake oil salesmen in the solar world. So, I share all of my knowledge with them: how big a system they need, what it should cost, what technology to use, how much energy it will produce, the value of that energy, etc. They often realize that the competition has misrepresented a variety of key items.And on a variety of occasions I’ve been told that I should be an energy consultant (to which I mentally respond, “what do you think that I’m doing right now?”). But then I point out to them that they’re price shopping and looking for the lowest bid, so that money that they’re saving is money that they’re actively choosing to pay me (cause I’m not interested in being the lowest price since it’s a great investment either way). They usually just buy the system from the cheapest bidder.So, they’re effectively telling me that I should work for tips, but then don’t value what I do enough to actually give me tip. There’s the rub.

          1. Tilie

            No the rub is you don’t value what you do enough. Ask for payment for your consultative work. l would happily pay a consultant to work out the best system for me to install on my roof and not deal with all the sales teams that constantly ring after making enquiries to info lines. l would have gladly paid for all your research ,knowledge and expertese as it is a great big pain in the arse figuring out who is selling what is their agenda and who is informing. It took me hours and lots of covnersation. in the end l decided to stall, till the more ecco and environmentally sound and dare l suggest cheaper products are released. Am l on the right track or should l just bite the bullet and take advantage of the govt subsidy being offered to install now? Cheeky! l know . l am hoping that my advise re believe in yourself and charge what you think you are worth for the advise you give, is as equal as yours. ie it is win win. l am in the exchange economyyou scratch my back l will scratch yours and we will both have what we want and need with no itch to scratch

          2. Robert Metcalf

            @Tilie, I agree that I don’t value what I do enough. Or, I should say, doing singular residential solar installations doesn’t put my knowledge to sufficient use. But it doesn’t change the fact that I don’t want anyone who knows that I exist to be taken advantage of by a solar snake oil salesmen, even if that means that my knowledge is given away. Fred gives away his knowledge on a daily basis here at avc.com, but reaps many benefits, even if just having an online community of friends and brothers-at-arms. My resolution for 2015 is to get my knowledge and insights out of my head and into the world (in a more efficient way than one-on-one). All that said, I would be more than happy to specifically share my knowledge with you. Email me at [email protected] or give me a buzz at 626.319.5326. That offers stands to anyone on AVC.com that has a question about solar or renewables. I probably know the answer.

          3. Tilie

            Thanks l will take you up on your very fine offer

        4. kidmercury

          my favorite offline corollary is street performers. personally, i tip them under a few conditions:1. i think they are awesome and i want to support them; i am purchasing the emotional connection and investing in their future2. some musicians i will actually stop what i am doing and hang out for a few minutes to listen. in such instances, i think it is a bit rude to not give, so there is some social pressure/cultural norms.i think social norms are a big part of tipping, and the anonymity of the internet could be a disconnect when attempting to draw parallels. but i think online communities have identities, so perhaps community is the key to creating social norms that in turn would lead to tipping.

          1. Leigh Drogen

            Completely agree, communities are what makes tipping online work, anonymity works against it.

        5. Tilie

          Sounds good to me. l can get what l want ,when l want ,how l want in an easy to access form Yipppeee

      2. John Frankel

        Micro payments will never work. Macro friction. There is more distance between free and 1c than there is between 1c and $10.

        1. pointsnfigures

          Interesting point.

        2. Leigh Drogen

          Totally agree John.

        3. John Clyman

          Agree in general — though commenting also involves friction, and yet that hardly stops people who are sufficiently engaged.What if Disqus, say, had a “Post & Tip” button right next to the “Post as” button?

          1. John Frankel

            They should try it. Expect it to fail.

        4. William Mougayar

          Well, if you’re being charged 50 cents to $2 for a $10 transaction, and you can do that via Bitcoin for 1-15 cents instead, then there’s a good case for crypto-currencies.

      3. pointsnfigures


      4. LE

        The widget would need to be wherever you are on the page, not just at the top. So if I look to the left or the right I should see it there so I can click. Graphic presentation is a problem.Because “out of sight” means “out of mind”. I forgot it was even there. The execution doesn’t work.That said I don’t think micropayments will work.

    2. PhilipSugar


    3. Salt Shaker

      This is all about the dumbing down of America, which has been going on for quite some time. Look at the success of reality TV, the publics fixation with no talent celebs, the quality of Hollywood movies, clickbait driven sites, etc. How does a movie like “The Interview” even get made? It’s nothing but inane, sophomoric, misogynist humor. Yes, there is and will continue to be a market for quality content, but sadly that end of the spectrum is far more mature than a legit prospect for growth. Middle America doesn’t have a high need to be educated or enlightened, only to be entertained, and that’s the modern-day value prop.

  15. Robert Heiblim

    Fred, I feel your frustration and I have shared it at times. I read your note and commented and also agree with you. Then again, most Apple first units do not perform like current ones ever, and as agreed this market is still developing in ways we do not yet know. Meanwhile, it is quite wrong in my mind to change quotes, and what ever happened to getting back to the source? The state of some of the media is very poor.

  16. Ivan the K

    I would have liked to see you take up CNBC on their offer to appear on their air yesterday. I don’t think your Twitter rant sets the record straight with their viewers with respect to their lifting the “flop” language from BI. Also, it would have forced them to address the practice of lifting headlines at face value.

    1. Guest

      Not always ~ sure it helps. But if someone else said it they likely would not have sent it out there. But there are also ways to look at life and save yourself getting annoyed. Life is short.

  17. iggyfanlo

    While it’s terribly unfortunate that they misquoted you, it’s the difficult side of being so well “followed” and being so right so often… It’s a perverse form of flattery… like a swimsuit photo of some celeb form Hollywood that “looks fat”… it’s news

    1. Andrew Kennedy

      i hear you, but the difference is that he didn’t say it. in photo example they look, well, that way. would be akin to photoshopping someone to look worse…

      1. iggyfanlo

        That happens all the time… many people are misquoted or taken out of context… it’s an unfortunate price of fame, fortune, and notoriety

  18. Tracey Jackson

    We were in Paris and it was all over the business news there. I said to Glenn “Look at that Fred says the Apple Watch is going to be a flop. I don’t want one anyway. I think he’s probably right. Who wants to wear their computer. Do you ever see anybody in Google Glasses? ” I didn’t think any the less of you for it. I was impressed your opinion is considered valuable enough that if you say something like that it goes viral. Look at it that way Fred – You talk the world listens. Even if they did twist it. They twist most things. Thicker skin and pride in the fact you are a trailblazer and have turned yourself into a powerful voice to be listened to.Happy New Year!

    1. Andrew Kennedy

      the world listens when the headline is catchy / juicy. it’s got to be super annoying.

      1. Tracey Jackson

        Sometimes sure, but a lot of people could have said that and it wouldn’t have meant anything to anybody. Most people in fact.There are ways we can look at life and save ourselves getting overly annoyed.

    2. fredwilson

      you are right Tracey. i need to get thicker skin. i have it about some things. but still need to work on that more. good new years resolution material!

  19. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Let’s all amplify the truth on Twitter todayhttps://twitter.com/MsPseud…

    1. fredwilson

      that is exactly what happened

  20. Twain Twain

    It’s an example of BI hijacking the authority and credibility of startup and investor insiders like Fred to add weight to their pieces.Being an influential person is a double-edged sword. They can move markets. AND other people like journalists use them to move markets (or people to content).Misquotes and misinterpretations are awful.

  21. John Frankel

    Perhaps you should ask BI to not cross post, or cross-post with your headline. Are you sure you want their distribution?

    1. fredwilson

      i want to get my thoughts out there. there is a cost to that, though

      1. John Frankel

        I find BI’s model to be fascinating in that they repost complete articles with poor attribution (to the home page and not the article itself) and changed aspect (e.g. the headline). It is clear that publishers are fine with it, but it dilutes their work.Offsetting this is that they have started to have some original content (free and paid) that is sometimes worth reposting.The model feels transient to me, but it has for the past few years, so clearly they have found a model that has some stability to it, and certainly growth in terms of traffic and revenues.

  22. Semil Shah

    Didn’t you give BI a nice interview from an “on background” chat, too? They should be more careful to your requests. When folks rewrite words and headlines, largely it’s the cost and tax of aggregation — they’re curating things for their audience but don’t have enough context, so they make it up. BI isn’t the only one, that’s for sure.

    1. fredwilson

      i did.

  23. Jeff Robinson

    Always a bright side – Lots of free publicity…

  24. Supratim Dasgupta

    I think iWatch will be like iPad. When the first iPad came out I said, what this just a giant iPhone, What is the compelling need to buy one? 4 years and 2 iPads later I still feel the same.

  25. jerrycolonna

    Once BI (with my permission) took a piece I wrote (I don’t have a Creative Commons license so they needed my permission). They changed the headline (made it awful), edited out my colorful language.I was furious and revoked their rights.Two things:A) I think it’s outrageous to change any aspect of a reposted piece without the express permission of the author. Words matter. If you had wanted to call something a flop, you would have. You’re not shy about such things. I can’t believe the license allows them to take it and change the meaning by way of the headline. (And yes, headlines, matter–often that’s ALL that someone will read.)B) Re-posting someone else’s work isn’t journalism. It’s cutting and pasting. When I was a journalist and an editor, I would never have had a business model that includes this. To me, it’s like wearing someone else’s underwear. Jerry​

    1. Supratim Dasgupta

      Agree, but 90% of today’s journalism is copy paste.

      1. dufas_duck

        …or just made up…

    2. JimHirshfield

      So true. I’m reminded of Jerry Seinfeld…JERRY: I don’t know, my bathing suit? That’s a little familiar, I don’t want your…your boys down there.KRAMER: C’mon, what’s wrong with my boys?JERRY: Your boys should stay in their neighborhood.

    3. bsoist

      Words matter.Indeed!

      1. Tilie

        They are someones creation (hopefully) piece of art and like the person, owed a certain amount of respect, which includes accurate quoting surely!

    4. fredwilson

      ouch!!!!i like that they give my words more distribution. but it comes at a cost.

      1. pointsnfigures

        as long as your willing to pay the cost….

      2. Sam

        The cost of asking you to sound like an idiot rather than BI and HB.Remember that their article will rank higher in Google search than yours, for decades!

    5. LE

      When I was a journalist and an editor, I would never have had a business model that includes this.That was back in the day that the business model worked and they weren’t jumping into the available lifeboats. You have to understand that things are different now and all the “gentleman” goes out the window. As it always does.Although people would like to think that “journalism” is some kind of higher calling like “medicine” or “teaching” or “religion” when you boil it down it goes by the same basics of human behavior. People have to survive. You know even churches make deals with the devil when they have to (and in many cases when they don’t have to).

    6. Andrew Wong

      Ha, now we are getting into business models. I like these discussions better and better.

    7. TeddyBeingTeddy

      how does BI get away with copying and cliff-noting everyone’s content? It’s so valuable for BI to scrape the best of the web and post it on BI as if it’s their own. Why are the original authors ok with it? Is the link wheeling really worth it?

    8. Russ Turner

      Maybe they’re running out of things to write about or perhaps that just felt like jumping on the curation bandwagon like everyone else!Better give them some fresh material then..?!

  26. Eric Snyder

    Got to love sensationalized headlines: ‘OMG! Fred Wilson tweets SIX times to defend Apple Watch. You won’t believe what he says in number five!!’

  27. John Pepper

    I think you should move on, as you already likely have… easier said than done I know, and in my former, admittedly far smaller, world of selling burritos in Boston, my tweets, quotes and intentions were often misunderstood even by the honorable Mayor Menino himself not to mention the press. The good news for you, unlike most, is that enough people know you and your work and philosophy that this “story” of BI lifting and twisting your quotes could have become nearly as big as the original story itself 😉

    1. fredwilson

      i’m headed there. this post was the closure i wanted.

  28. Mark Zohar

    On the subject of the Apple Watch, the key factor that will limit its appeal (or “flop” in BI’s parlance) IMO is that it needs to be within Bluetooth range of an iOS device. Why pay $400 for the added “convenience” of viewing a notification on your wrist when you can pull your phone out of your pocket for “free”? Or, jog with your Watch when you have to carry your phone in your pocket too? With the exception of a heart rate sensor, there doesn’t appear to be any unique functionality the Watch has that isn’t already part of the iPhone.The real opportunity for the Apple Watch is when they release a stand-alone version that includes its own SIM (like Will.i.am’s Puls watch). Then I can see greater utility and value in having a separate smart device, especially for excercise, outdoor activities like hiking and even certain business and enterprise applications.

    1. JimHirshfield

      If these wrist wearables don’t collect data (think fitness features) and store it for later when they’re connected to the smart phone, then they will flop. Like you said, who wants to jog, play soccer, or swim (!) with their phone at hand?

      1. Mark Zohar

        Btw, the best investment you can make is to buy the Apple Watch and keep it sealed in its box for 10 years. Apparently, the original 2007 iPhone is going for $10,000 on eBay. http://m.ebay.com/itm/RARE-

        1. JimHirshfield

          Ha! Until/unless it sells, not much of a data point. 😉

  29. Hrunga Zmuda

    The Washington Post’s tech section has become a stalking horse for attacking Apple ever since Bezos bought it in the pawnshop for a measly $250 million. Can we expect lesser organizations to have more integrity in this day and age? Sadly, I doubt it.

  30. Mark Heyert

    Related question, are the research reports BI puts out worth the money? Does the ad supported media just fall into the trappings of quick, positive ROI?

  31. Dara Albright

    Imagine a world with an honest, unbiased media more interested in seeking & reporting truth than in selling advertisements and spreading propaganda. I am thankful that the Internet helps democratize journalism by giving the people a louder voice and the ability to share more diverse opinions. Next stop – the true democratization of the capital markets.

  32. howardlindzon

    Solved pretty easily as i never let people take my blog posts and seeking alpha was the first to just shamelessly do it. Its not good long term for any brand. trust is all you have. but with aol, yahoo and others out their buying huffpo and page views, the game is never played with true organics. The VC’s are to blame for this too

    1. fredwilson


    2. LE

      Its not good long term for any brand.As a generality I disagree. Brands need exposure. Most any exposure is good.Fred isn’t a household cleaner or an Audi on 60 Minutes being skewered. He’s a VC. He is not synthetic kids playing turf on an NBC report:http://www.nbcnews.com/news…Generally I like to use my “WD-40” rule. The active ingredient (name recognition) lasts long after the “carrier” (the nasty) evaporates. People remember the name not why unless the exposure is repeatedly bad. People forget very easily especially today with so much info out there.Fred getting scrolled on CNBC is good. Period.No question in my mind about that.

  33. VM

    Fred,I see your point, and I agree that BI sensationalized your points of view. But I also think, you set yourself up a bit for it. What if they had headlined it ” FRED WILSON SAYS iWATCH WON”T BE A HOME RUN”. This is a direct extract from your first sentence, granted not your entire sentence. Not as bad as Flop, but still bad imho.I, like most of your readers, understand what you were saying and totally agree with the point you were making. But when words like “Home Run” are used by a very influential Tech commentator on a company like Apple at a sensitive time in its timeline (awaiting product launch), reactions such as these are expected and you end up drawing a headline, unfortunately.Your Fan,VM

  34. Alex Iskold

    I hate the sensational headlines as well. They cheapen the stories and make us, the readers, feel super dumb. Thats why I switched to Circa and Vice News as my primary news readers.

  35. mcnabj

    It seems that as news outlets struggle to compete with the internet for attention they have resorted to sensationalism over journalism. In the rush to be first to break a news story journalists have broken The News.

  36. LaMarEstaba

    I think it’s just journalism today. It’s based on clickbait. Journalists are paid based on how much interest they can get. Beacon Reader is an interesting startup coming out of YC where you pay journalists directly for reporting on things which interest you. The first person I backed was Mariah Stewart, doing journalism on the ground in Ferguson as it happened. I’m also fond of the guy who is doing a bunch of work based on what’s happening in the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota. Domestic oil production is fascinating to me, because it’s changed world dynamics. I know that the steeply falling price of oil is hitting the markets pretty hard, but it’s good in the short term for the average American household. We’ll pay in increased pollution, but the good times are rolling right now.

  37. laurie kalmanson

    old problem that’s faster now“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”― Mark Twainchallenge it with truth, and with gooddonors choose challenge: will donate for every corrective tweet and challenge BI and CNN to match

    1. fredwilson

      mark twain!!!!!!he was so good with a turn of phrase

      1. Girish Mehta

        Ironically (since it validates the statement in a way), there is no conclusive evidence Mark Twain said this although it is often attributed to him.http://quoteinvestigator.co…Mark Twain and Churchill – Two people who did say legendary things…but also might not have said everything they are supposed to have said !Not surprisingly, this statement is attributed to Churchill as well…except Churchill’s version has pants instead of shoes.http://www.goodreads.com/qu… “I really didn’t say everything I said” – Yogi Berra.

        1. laurie kalmanson

          truth vs. truthy

          1. Girish Mehta

            That line at the end of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”When the Legend Becomes Fact, Print the Legend.”https://www.youtube.com/wat…

          2. laurie kalmanson

            one morning, i shot an elephant in my pajamas. how he got in there, i’ll never knowhttps://www.youtube.com/wat…

          3. Tilie

            now that is an oldie but a good one

          4. Tilie


      2. Tilie


        1. Tilie

          Gotta love a good song, dance, laugh and giggle in a train where everyone particpates with gay oblivion!

  38. Chris Stephenson

    it’s not thin-skinned to simply want to be quoted with basic respect and integrity. I recall your post on the Apple Watch. your words were unambiguous and clear. your skin seems plenty thick to me. kudos for taking a measured and classy stand on this.

  39. Donna Brewington White

    This was pretty mild for a rant. Here’s a little help.pow right in the kisser: http://youtu.be/Txs3diHeM8c

    1. LE

      See now Donna if a man had posted that clip it would be interpreted quite differently as condoning violence and abuse against women in some way. Or imagine for a second if a mainstream publication had done that?By the way I’m not saying it’s wrong that you put that up. Just the irony and the fact that the “politically correct lack of freedom of speech world” bothers me a great deal.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        I thought about that. And maybe at face value it was risky to post this. But no one takes “Ralph” seriously as a role model and there is no implication whatsoever that he is domestically abusive. If anything he’s the victim in his helpless frustration and I always think of Alice as the smarter, in control, one. Not that this is what I was implying by posting this. Wasn’t meant to be taken too seriously.But yes in a thoughtful comments section such as this I can expect that someone would take issue with my use of this slice of humor and maybe I should have been more considerate or discerning.Or alternatively…Lighten up. 😉

        1. LE

          Note also that Fred upvoted your post so think of how the BI headline would read. This is exactly why it doesn’t pay to censure one’s self. If someone wants to make hay they will find a way. Not a game that can be “won” if you want to call it that.

        2. Tilie

          here here!

      2. Tilie

        Political correctness only has power because we aren’t game to stick our heads up and say what we think or believe for fear of rejection, or lack of acceptance of our views.. Yes the irony remains

  40. marko calvo-cruz

    The kicker is that you’ll never see any media outlet write response to this post. They cherry-pick the articles they notice.

  41. Donna Brewington White

    If I read the Business Insider headline and then your post I’d like to think I would have been annoyed by the discrepancy but wonder if the headline would have influenced my perception.BI runs the risk of being perceived as a business counterpart of the genre represented by National Inquirer.

  42. Brandon Kessler

    My favorite: Do a search for the words “freak out” on Business Insider and see all the headlines that use that phrase (2,433 results): http://www.businessinsider….

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Wow that’s telling.

    2. fredwilson


    3. Kirsten Lambertsen

      ha ha!

    4. Rick_Robinson

      …and does mark cuban have a deal with bi to cover him kindly at least a couple times a week?

  43. Pete Griffiths

    It will never change.

  44. ajitjaokar

    yes I am also surprised how much BI copy and paste in their article from others and then sensationalize the headline. i.e. my idea of creative commons is a summary and pointing to original source(which preserves the context)

  45. Dan Conway

    Yesterday’s one percent correction in Apple is a loss of six billion dollars in market cap. Not saying CNBC’s false representation of what you said had anything to do with that but news organizations must be held accountable when they yield the power to potentially (falsely) influence mom and pop America with their scroll. Even if it impacted one lady in Iowa to second guess her Apple holdings and sell – it’s not at all alright. You have every reason to rant.

    1. LE

      You can’t be serious? So you think that if a “little old lady” is investing in stocks to the point where she reads a scroll and dumps the stock then it’s the fault of the news and not the little old lady (who is clueless if she thinks to do that based on what Fred says) or perhaps the entire industry for fostering this gambling model in the first place?You are saying that some little old lady trying to time the market has been harmed?So then does Fred have any liability for the “little old lady” in terms of anything and everything that he says in other cases which he means? Should he be held accountable for the things that he actually does say that are 100% what he means and haven’t been twisted? Or only when someone twists something that he says? (All Alice in Wonderland by the way nothing is real with this anyway it’s basically hocus pocus).Business is analog not digital. This is an analog interpretation. It’s not CNBC reporting some fact or number wrong and knowing they are doing so (which would be an important component).

      1. Steven Lowell

        For what its worth,When I worked on Wall St as an insurance claims analyst, I took over a cubicle held by a broker with a phone that received messages with stock tips every morning. I was curious about the 20 messages, so I used to listen.I heard some crazy things. Example: “a farmers revolt in South America is sure to affect prices of Carvel ice cream today as corn production comes to a halt.”I think Its very possible for Irresponsible, sensationalized head lines to damage a stock prices, as well as it is a dozen other obscure reasons.A deliberate accountable, action to affect stock prices? I have an example from history: In the early 00’s, a disgruntled waiter food poisoned passengers on a Disney Big Red Boat cruise and It led to a huge drop in stock value due to safety concerns and trust leading to a drop In sales.A consumer opinion is not accountable for drops in prices. The company creating a product is ultimately accountable.

    2. Leigh Drogen

      I gotta disagree with you on this one Dan. Every investor is responsible for the heuristics under which they make decisions. The behavior of CNBC and other news as entertainment outlets may be morally reprehensible, but anyone should be able to say basically anything.

  46. matthughes

    The worst part is that twisting what someone says is their entire business model.

  47. Joe Cardillo

    Is there a topic / tag for misquotes onsite? Could save you some time correcting down the line (and might be fun for people here)

  48. LE

    “Think Different”I agree you definitely didn’t say it was going to be a flop. Those were not your words.However in this day and age who can dispute that if something isn’t a homerun then it’s a flop?Especially when someone is involved in investing where the basic idea is to make your money from the home runs, not with the “lifestyle” businesses.And you don’t think for a second that Apple has approached this and is doing this for any other reason at all than to have a big big big big homerun?So if this is digital (yeah or nay), and I believe that it is, the only other thing is the “0” which is “flop”.Anyway the above is one way I would argue it when in front of the high court.

  49. Kirsten Lambertsen

    As true today as it was when it was runninghttps://www.youtube.com/wat…

  50. pointsnfigures

    I don’t think you need thicker skin when you are misquoted, or taken totally out of context. I find the critical thinking of the people that report the news totally lacking these days. Ezra Klein is a case and point. One time I was categorized by someone in Chicago as a racist when I said Oprah lost half her audience when she came out for Obama. In fact, she did lose half her audience post endorsement and it had nothing to do with racism. I attacked the racism charge head on. It really really pissed me off. Especially when I found out the source. Lost all respect for that person and wouldn’t recommend them for anything.Most of the media today are vapid. They are under such assault from tech they don’t know how to save themselves. They get paid by the click, so their economic incentive is to generate clicks, not inform the public. At the same time, they like to build things up and then rejoice in their failure.I have a pretty thick skin on a lot of things. But if I am misquoted, I get pissed off too. So should everyone. That being said, if you say something and it’s wrong-apologize or defend it. I hate when people try to backtrack and say, “I really didn’t mean that”.In Fred’s case, it was clear. He doesn’t think it’s going to be a home run. That doesn’t mean it’s going to flop either. My gut tells me if Fred is wrong, he’s going to say he was wrong. But if he’s right, he’s not going to dance on the grave of the iWatch.

    1. LE

      Hey someone called me eccentric:http://www.dmagazine.com/pu…When I asked them (Matt Rutledge) why they said that they told me the reporter took what they said out of context and misquoted them. But I am eccentric and to me it’s actually worked to my advantage. To me it’s part of the creative process and being “interesting” and not boring. So nice that he had the courtesy to (probably) lie to me but my guess is that he did say that but felt uncomfortable owning up to it.

    2. LE

      Most of the media today are vapid. They are under such assault from tech they don’t know how to save themselves. They get paid by the click, so their economic incentive is to generate clicks, not inform the public. At the same time, they like to build things up and then rejoice in their failure.See “you can only be as honest as your competition”. Everyone is very nice in the world until there are only a certain amount of deck chairs or life boats to save everyone. Then it’s everyman for himself. (Except the schmucks who go down with the ship of course).

  51. Salt Shaker

    Wow, I literally just found this disclaimer on BI’s site:”You should be skeptical of any information on Business Insider, because it may be wrong.”http://www.businessinsider….So much for journalistic integrity. Henry Luce must be rolling in his grave!!

  52. Jan Schultink

    We can make this a regular exercise at AVC: re-write Fred’s blog headline for BI:”New York’s most successful VC sits down at New Year’s Eve to make his 15 predictions for 2015 and what he says next about the Apple Watch will make you want to call your stock broker right away!”

  53. Rachel

    Where were the Kardashians when CNBC and BI need them.

  54. Steven Lowell

    I’m sorry you dealt with that garbage. News outlets now seem to act like WWE Wrestling segments with their words. When I worked at a website it helped to have a former actor on staff, who was himself a victim of tabloid reporting with no fact checking. He taught us “the game” for dealing with it.When those paparazzi pics of you on a beach show up In tabloids, and youre taking off the Apple watch to go swimming, just tweet, “sorry Apple, I dont like tan lines”. J/kI do wish media outlets would quit with the yellow journalism. Freedom of press is being abused here.

  55. Kevin OKeefe

    Fine line between valuable content and going over the top with headlines to get things going viral and ultimate traffic back to site fo ad dollars. Happening all over.Exchanged notes with Irish Independent reporter yesterday when his story about Twitter “While you were gone” feature had headline that Twitter is getting a Facebook style news feed. Tweeted misleading. He asked if story was accurate and I told him it was – it was the headline, probably not done by him, that was misleading.

  56. LE

    As promised, why Apple watch could work. And not be a flop.I was thinking about this the other day when I had to reach into my pocket and turn on my iphone with the thumb password. To many steps my brain said. Then I thought “what if the iphone knew it was me when I just held it as opposed to someone else”. Just if I picked it up. How would you do that? (Remember iphone makes you keep re-authenticating yourself which is time consuming and annoying.)Well one way would be if you also had a watch on that you had activated when you put the watch on. (And if you take the watch off it deactivates; simple). That would solve that problem. Then my iphone would know it was me and I wouldn’t need any password protection at all. You would if you picked up my phone but I wouldn’t. As long as I had my watch.Then I thought, what is the advantage of something that you strap to your wrist vs. a phone as a security device? Well, it’s on your wrist and it can’t be snatched out of your hand or left on a table somewhere. So it’s much more secure for that reason. And you would need both the watch, the phone, and a password even if you stole both physical devices. However the password only gets put in 1 time per day unless you take the watch off your hand.Then I thought, ok what can we do with this? Well we can then allow you to open locks, start cars, make payments without taking anything out of your pocket at all. To name just a few things. Because we know it’s you. Merely having those two devices and password (which you have unlocked when you put the watch on your wrist) opens up a world of possibilities to solve the password problem.My car starts without the keys in the ignition. At first I thought “I don’t need this”. Now that I use it and can leave my keys in my pocket all I think is “I want this for all my doors as well and for my garage door opener so I can just put my keys in my pocket and not have to fiddle with things”. And would love if it worked as well for my computer passwords. However for that I’d only feel secure if I had it strapped to my wrist with a password to protect and a way to revoke rights (which you can’t do with a fob).And what if you New Yorkers could take a cab or a subway without having to take anything out or touch anything at all (maybe just confirm on a screen with 1 click but the cab knew it was you)? Kind of like the way Ezpass works? See where this is going?

  57. Salt Shaker

    NYT tagline: “All the news that’s fit to print.”BI tagline: “All the news that fits.”

  58. Rupert

    BI without crazy clickbait headlines wouldn’t be BI.

  59. CatF1ght

    The twentysomethings of today by-and-large do not wear watches. It remains to be seen if Apple will influence them to start. Personally, I have doubts.

    1. Rupert

      On the other hand its a huge market to tap.

      1. CatF1ght

        Very true!!

  60. Donna Brewington White

    I hope that by titling this Rant of the Week, you are promising a weekly rant. 😉

  61. John Risner

    Maybe we all should get some thicker skin, but not on this topic. This is just plain misrepresentation and you are right to call them out on it.BI, along with most “news” sites these days are not journalists, just aggregators/curators. Helpful at times yes, but nothing original. Recasting other’s content with clickbait headlines is wrong. But alas, likely to continue.

  62. inthewoods

    Just about every interaction I’ve ever had/seen with the media (small and large) is a study in sensationalism and ignorance – so much so that I now have little or no respect for the media and tend to question what they write implicitly. So here’s a frame to adjust your thinking: assume that the media will completely misrepresent what you say but hopefully you’ll gain some audience in exchange for that loss (I think Howard mentioned this as well).Bottom line, the media is now staffed by “editors” who’s only metric is clicks and writers who are generally just out of college and have limited knowledge about anything in particular. As long is that is our new “frame”, we can expect nothing but websites that promote slideshows of repurposed crap – and because we are, overall, unwilling to pay for news/media, we’ve created the home we now need to live in.Have a drink, enjoy your new “fame” on CNBC (have you looked at their ratings??) and sleep well at night.

  63. Tom Labus

    Part of their (CNBC) strategy with headlines is to piss you off enough that you’ll come on and refute what they’re saying.

  64. scottythebody

    Fred Wilson declares Twitter and Tweetstorm “Finished”

  65. Govind Kabra

    Lets look at the other three sentences from that bullet point individually.”Another market where the reality will not live up to the hype is wearables.””Eventually, the focus on wearables will be a bit of a headfake.””[Computer on their wrist] will take up a lot of time, energy, and money in 2015 with not a lot of results.”The *exact quote* you pointed out in your tweetstorm was the most positive in that whole point. Taking any other sentence from that bullet point paints little more pessimistic picture, and reading the whole bullet point leaves the reader with a feeling that watch will be a flop.

  66. george

    Well, welcome to mainstream! Perhaps you could set the record straight on CNBC, that would be cool!Everyone plugged into the avc community knows what you mean and your contextual intent.I don’t think this has much to do about having thick skin…you simply act by virtue!Glad you shot back!

  67. Oren Moravchik

    I think that “Sensationalized headlines” will eventually backfire. People will grow thicker skin, and mistrust such click baits. I actually believe they’ll go for straight forward headlines from authentic sources. The emotional effect of being promised something sensational and then feeling deceived is a powerful emotion. People still go to news sites or follow links becuase they have time and want to read. Give them what they need and respect them, and you’ll win them.In Israel the best NBA coverage is by “Walla”, but they’re the worst type, with click bait headlines, publishing the same article under completely different headlines (A/B?) etc., and the result is I left them, found other sources, and would be surprised if I get back to Walla again.I’d let the first X readers vote for the most accurate headline, and see what happens. Maybe a micropayments’ contibution system between the moderators and the satisfied readers could make sense there, too.

  68. John Willkie

    I disagree with your assertion that Business Insider is a serious publication; all evidence is to the contrary. CNBC once was a serious cab le channel; I haven’t bothered to check recently if that is still the case. To the extent they pickup from BI (or Twitter), they lose “seriousness” proportionately.

  69. MFishbein

    “I know that it’s wishful thinking to imagine that media outlets that live and die on clicks will change their stripes on this one. “Readers need to take some responsibility too. If we keep giving them the clicks they won’t change their ways. If we do stop giving them the clicks they will have to change their ways.

    1. Tilie

      The media are just consumers of information right or wrong, always has and always will. Once printed it doesn’t mean crap . Its old news once it is printed Of no more interest, its the next story that matters always. It is a huge assumption that the media reports the facts for facts sake, the media prints stuff to fill up the pages that sell advertising. The media is there to sell ads. The material is just fodder for the machine of advertising, Readers beware

  70. Mariah Lichtenstern

    Media should get some better business chops. One shouldn’t have to compromise integrity to make a sale / get clicks.

    1. ShanaC

      what does that mean?

      1. Mariah Lichtenstern

        Writers are respectable professionals, but because of the digitization of print media, the misleading headlines and spin Fred referenced are becoming more common. Rather than compromise the integrity of the craft, it’s the responsibility of the business leaders to pivot in such a way as to not drift towards “yellow journalism” to get clicks.Now, I’ve not have the privilege of being misquoted by Business Insider or anyone else, but I don’t think anyone who has likes it, nor, I’m sure, do the fans / follows of those misquoted.

  71. meredithcollinz

    Sorry to say, Fox 5 at 10pm in NYC clearly did not do their due diligence tonight and missed your original post, this post and your tweet storm…and the “flop” comment was attributed to you yet again, days after the fact. Seemed like you should know, but consider the source – not only late but very, very sloppy.

    1. fredwilson

      This will be attributed to me forever more. I knew that the minute I heard they were saying it. That’s why I got so pissed

      1. meredithcollinz

        I don’t blame you. Having watched it all unfold in real time, I wanted to send my own tweetstorm tonight. This is really egregious sensationalism – and I won’t even mention how lacking their “up to the minute” reporting is.