I was as surprised as anyone to hear Pando was still in business, I figured by now Sarah Lacy would’ve egged Paul Carr on to punch someone and the both of them go to prison. And now they’ve sold their site to, no shit, “BuySellAds”. The “we run on investment and vapor like a tech company”, no, “we run a LOT of ads but paywalls are evil!”, no, “we run a LOT of ads AND a paywall!” business models never supported them becoming big.
Say what you want about Michael Arrington and Techcrunc, the business model worked. Just as hated, still kind of a shitty site, but they pay their bills and provide consistent mediocre tech industry news coverage.
Examine why everyone hated them. First, they bit the hand that feeds; you can’t run FuckedCompany 2.0 and also schmooze with the companies you openly fuck over. Second, their site was awful even before the paywall, and after, you had to search around for someone with a sharing link or find a bugmenot login, complete pain in the ass; I never gave them a penny and read anything I wanted, back when I cared about the “Tech Industry”. Third, they thought they were the smartest gal/guy in the room, when generally they were unaware of basic technology and business principles.
Take the site Pandering Dozily continuously compared itself to, despite a vast difference in scale and ambitions: The NY Times, with 100x more staff (?). NYT has shitty tech coverage, too, but nobody feels anything but mild contempt for them, because they don’t try to suck up to Silicon Valley; and fundamentally everyone hates New Yorkers including New Yorkers, so it’s just urine off a rat’s back to them. NYT has a big solid base of not-tech-news to support this dangerous hobby of insulting every tech company they report on, despite half of them having universal surveillance systems, AI killer drones, and whatever else in the labs. Nobody expects New Yorkers to know anything except shitty pizza, Wall Street nonsense, and Broadway, so their tech gaffes are ignorable. Pandilly had no such backup base.
Oh, don’t worry about them. Paul can fall back on writing midlist quasi-self-help books, Sarah’s trying to teach women how to be mothers because clearly they need her help.