Many people with much dismay were surprised to see an entry from Michael Arrington about the end of the Crunchpad. With the aftermath of this, the real question is who is ever going to do business with Fusion Garage in the future?
Shareholders aside deciding to do something against the desire/wish/ability of a partner when there is shared intellectual property between them is generally a bad business idea. Fusion Garages Blog also seems to be down at time of writing and you will need to read the Google Cache for their blog. Fusion Garages dead silence on this is probably dictated by lawyers, but also troubling as the hearts and minds campaign is totally in Techcrunch’s court right now. We only have one side of the argument, and it is not good for Fusion Garage.
Many of are going to have to wait for the lawsuit, but Fusion Garage no matter how cool they are is basically over with as a company in the USA, or for people who will do a background check on the company before engaging with them. With all the press on this from Techcrunch to the NY Times, Fusion Garage no matter how they come out of this is also a member of the deadpool.
What surprises me is that the shareholders did not see the negative effects that this would have on the company. As shareholders the decision that was made to carry on without Techcrunch was a very bad business decision to make. It was also not a normal business decision to make especially in a shared intellectual property environment. One has to wonder at the choice that the shareholders were forcing on the board and on the CEO, and why the CEO of Fusion Garage rolled to a bad business decision. This is beyond bad; this is simply an indication of a CEO that rolled over to shareholders who were seemingly looking for a short term gain rather than a long term relationship. While it seems like the role of the modern CEO is to loot the company, the CEO should have known and should have fought for the right decision here, even if the Crunchpad was months late to delivery already.
This is what is coming up as the bad business decision – and the one I am having a hard time wrapping my head around. There is plenty of case law and plenty of dead companies that have tried something similar to what apparently Fusion Garage tried. Why the CEO went along with the shareholders on this decision is also inexplicable based on previous case law and plenty of dead companies. What we have witnessed is the self destruction of Fusion Garage at least in its current incarnation and brand, which means the shareholders and anyone else involved with Fusion Garage walk away with nothing, rather than with everything. That is the most striking part of this, and while we will wait to see what comes out in court, it would be fascinating to be in communication with the CEO of Fusion Garage and the shareholders today.
(Cross-posted @ TechWag)