Digg this: How liberal geeks turned $45 million into $500,000

Friday, 13 July, 2012

Once upon a time, and not that long ago, either, the people behind the website Digg raised $45 million from big-time investors including LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen. The fools and their money are now parted.

When Digg was hot Digg, which was once “valued” at more than $160 million, has been sold for $500,000 to the New York technology development firm Betaworks. Word on the street is that the purchaser will fold Digg into News.me, a Betaworks start up that sends users links to news articles that their Twitter and Facebook friends are talking about.

Why did Digg die? Hubris, partly. Its founder Kevin Rose appeared on the cover of BusinessWeek in 2006 with the immortal cover line, “How This Kid Made $60 Million in 18 Months,” referring to the company’s supposed valuation then. The article contained stuff like this: “So far, Digg is breaking even on an estimated $3 million annually in revenues. Nonetheless, people in the know say Digg is easily worth $200 million.” BusinessWeek has not revealed who those “people in the know” were.

The other reason Digg died is that it dealt in liberal bias for a liberal base that finds the soft porn of the Huffington Post more to its liking. Why bother with “What Really Happened at Bain in 1999?” when you can have “Kim & Kanye Have Officially Gone Too Far” and “Disgusting Thing Ruins This Engagement Video”. Arianna may be tasteless and her thievery, er, curation, is outrageous but AOL did pay $315 million for the Huffington Post last year. Mrs Huffington is a Greek, not a geek, and that’s the difference.

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