Technorati: Sifry leaves along with 8 staffers

Dave Sifry’s announced that he’s leaving Technorati (okay,going upstairs) and allowing three of his senior team to manage the company by concensus–oh, and BTW, 8 staffers are being let go as well. I don’t need to flag the loud red alarm bells that go off when a founder leaves without the succession plan staffing locked down; we’ve all heard Technorati’s been struggling in some ways for the past 20 months or so, but this is kinda scary.
I love search and I remember meeting Dave and Dan Beldy when I’d just moved back to California in August 2003; these were the days when I was a consultant mostly for big media in NY and Richard MacManus, whom I’d met through blogging, was my analyst and researcher. I was entranced by what Technorati was doing; I didn’t think I’d seen anything as exciting since I’d discovered WAIS and Brewster Kahle back in the day. In truth, Technorati was one of the only companies I thought about leaving consulting to work at–obviously, that didn’t happen.
The point? Going from a start-up to a sustainable company is amazingly hard, as hard or harder than developing a production and customer vision for an engineering-driven set of features. And Dave deserves tons of credit for getting the team to where they are now.
And yet, at the same time, merciless Mike Arrington says what others might not, that Dave should have taken a different approach–” Perhaps a blog post lamenting the layoffs and the disruption in people’s lives would have been in order. And then an ending saying that he takes responsibility for the problems which led to this and will be stepping down, too.”
Technorati has something very valuable and unique right now; this is a chance for the board to both dig in to protect their value and take a leap in finding someone really good to craft the future…or get trashed trying.

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  1. Mary Hodder says:

    right on. i hope they figure it out because there is so much potential at technorati. i’d like to see them succeed.

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