The hatred of Business Insider by everyone in the media world is really quite something to behold. It is atavistic. It is deep. It burns with a hot fire.
Just this morning:
"Hate to admit it." Yes, Business Insider is so awful that admitting that someone there wrote something smart is just like pulling fucking teeth.
And of course, there is the (not so) inimitable Paul Carr, for whom hatred of BI is like a way of life, who tweeted this:
DEAR HENRY BLODGET: Your open letters make you sound like a crazy person writing to a newspaper in green ink.— Paul Carr (@paulcarr) June 23, 2012
Now, I know writers well enough and I know Paul Carr’s good enough of a writer and columnist to recognize talent in other writers. And the fact of the matter is that Henry Blodget is a TREMENDOUSLY talented writer. He has an absolutely unique skill for boiling down complex ideas into simple, easily explainable words, and a great talent for great argument. It’s impossible not to see this. The fact that Carr is either consciously or not missing this and thinking that Henry’s open letters make him sound like a crazy person—that can only be the product of burning, white-hot hate. (The NYT post Carr was referencing, in particular, was particularly good and spot-on.)
And of course there was the would-have-been-hilarious-if-it-wasn’t-so-serious behavior of The Economist’s Ryan Avent who, upon seeing a piece from The Economist on BI, immediately accused us of theft publicly, never assumed there could be a more innocent explanation, in fact never TRIED to find a more innocent explanation, once informed that BI syndicates The Economist refused to believe and said he’d check, and finally, never publicly retracted, never apologized for, his libelous accusation of felonious misbehavior. Why should The Economist apologize to the little pageview-mongers? Maybe they weren’t guilty of this, but they were guilty of something, for sure.
This kind of behavior can only be motivated by hate. Not just the hate motivated by fear of a disruptor eating your business, though there’s some of that. Just pure hate.
I want the New York Times to appoint as CEO whoever Business Insider thinks would be the worst choice.— Paul Carr (@paulcarr) June 23, 2012
(Caption: seven retweets.)
This, more than anything else, is the thing that could make me regret leaving BI. The hatred shows that BI is on to something and on its way to transforming the news business and becoming a marquee brand (if it doesn’t sell before that).
It’s also a great startup lesson. If you’re an innovative startup, particularly a disruptive one, people won’t just fight you, or denigrate you. They will HATE you, with real hatred. Facebook went through this. Twitter went through this. Embrace the hatred. The hatred is good. Let it wash over you, and then kick ass.