Disclaimer: I was SCVNGR’s lead iOS developer for almost two years. I started a new job at GitHub last month. This is neither a critique nor a defense of the actions or words of Seth Priebatsch or SCVNGR.
Today, BostInnovation published an article called Seth Priebatsch Thinks Everyone at BostInno is Painfully Stupid… Really?. In it, they publish an internal SCVNGR email in which Seth insults them, then spend the rest of the article defending themselves from his insults and offering him advice on how to have fun and run a company.
Like most media outlets, I have mixed feelings about BostInnovation. The article in question, however, is childish garbage.
The are some points to be made here that anyone who is techy enough to read BostInnovation knows. There’s no way to prove this email is real. There’s no way to prove that the “leaker” didn’t tweak it. But those aren’t the important part.
The important part is, this was an internal email. Were it not for BostInnovation, under 100 people would’ve read it, all of whom work for SCVNGR. This email was no threat to BostInnovation’s readership. This is reminiscent of elementary school kids intercepting a passed note and reading it out loud to all their friends.
If the focus of this article was “Seth is lying to the media and investors,” that would be a different story (and would require significantly more evidence). I would still be a bit off-put by the publishing of an internal email in a private company, but at least that would be news worth reading. Instead, the focus is “CEO of company thinks we’re dumb, so here’s why he’s weird and mean.” If I were an advertiser on BostInnovation, I would be pretty upset with this.