Hashable CEO Michael Yavonditte Responds to ‘Hashable Is Worthless’

michael yavonditte Hashable CEO Michael Yavonditte Responds to Hashable Is Worthless

Michael Yavonditte

Betabeat has only just launched, and already our “hash cred” is plummeting.

Hashable CEO Michael Yavonditte didn’t appreciate Betabeat columnist Mike Taylor’s “Taylor Tees Off” column yesterday—entitled “Hashable Is Worthless”—and wrote to tell us so.

In particular, he took issue with the following passage:

“Apparently, in Hashable founder Michael Yavonditte’s fevered mind the whole world is a series of concentric VIP sections one must navigate, only to encounter Mikey Yavo himself standing guard over the last velvet rope informing anyone who makes it that far, ‘Sorry bro, you’re not Hashable enough.’”

Mr. Yavonditte responded on the record, via email:

“I do find the quotes attributed to me to be highly offensive and frankly ‘lies’. I never worked any velvet rope and I never said a word about people being ‘too Hashable’ or not Hashable enough. It’s just filled with lies. I don’t like liars.”

To clarify, the piece did not intend for the quotes to be read as actual, but as our columnist’s projection of what might have been going on in Mr. Yavonditte’s “fevered mind.”

An editor for Betabeat wrote back to Mr. Yavonditte to explain that Taylor’s article was “an opinion piece and intentionally, comedically extreme in tone.”

Mr. Yavonditte replied, in part:

“No one read it as parody – not even in the slightest. It was simply a piece of trash – a mean-spirited article that everyone thinks is real, and which many are shocked by. I am not going write a single thing in response other than to put you on notice that I will come after you if I ever see such nonsense again. I may come after you anyway.”

A new website, Betabeat launched with the stated intention to provide a more skeptical look at the New York tech scene. Like many journalistic outlets, we run opinion pieces as well as reported stories.



  1. Slava says:

    I love this whole thing so much! “I never worked any velvet rope”

  2. RG says:

    So, does this mean that Mike Taylor does or does not hate Hashable more than “burning my potatoes when I’m trying to create an awesome breakfast moment with a lady I met the night before”?

    Also, the fact that the article actually fulfilled what it stated as the purpose of Hashable (“to exploit the social anxieties of insecure weaklings”) is so awesomely meta, my head just asploded.*

    *NB Michael Yavonditte and others who hold the salt on things they read online: my head did not actually asplode.

  3. Danny Brown says:

    What a dick. I asked on Twitter how to delete a Hashable account, and he responded saying I should email support@hashable.com. I asked why there couldn’t be an option on Hashable just to delete, and he replied Hashable isn’t the kind of account people want to delete.

    Yeah, right.

  4. The Redhead says:

    This is sad to hear as I head Hashable’s CMO, Emily Hickey, at a panel at SXSW. She delivered with poise, honesty and a no-BS attitude, lacking pretention. Aside from the fact that Hashable seemed to be the anointed love child at SXSW Interactive this year, it looks as if some media coaching is in order if this commentary stream doesn’t make it viral. More startups need lessons in humility – people aren’t going to like your product, so getting used to that on day 1 is vital. Complaints like the blogger’s herein are opportunities for improvement (or springboards for being a dick). Pick your poison. And for the record, Danny, I still have no damn idea what to do with my Hashable account.

    1. Anonymous says:

      As The Redhead said, pick your poison.

      When I ran a startup and we got “Techcrunched” (circa 2007), we were – get this – “ripped a new one!” The learnings from what the masses said were absolutely crucial as we tweaked the product.

      I was “fortunate” enough to attend a pre-SXSW event “hosted” by Hashable in Chicago, the day before SXSW. I spoke with one of their Biz Dev folks who was nice enough and said that the service was a “Social CRM,” which I think I can “get,” but I fear that the masses ain’t gonna glom onto.

      I want to get this service, and, similar to The Redhead and Danny Brown, I have tweeted and tried to go online and all that fun stuff. My tweets yesterday were sorta rebuffed with tweets from @MikeYavo – “gotta use the mobile app to really understand it?”

      And I’ll say it out loud: Having a Twitter bio that says, and I quote, “Was CEO of Quigo for 5+ years, sold to AOL for $340M” – that does nothing to endear yourself with the folks you want using your service. (And if Twitter is vital to your success, may want to start working on your follower/following and community building skills, too.)

      1. Quigo says:

        Pretty sure he was never the CEO of quigo.

    2. zubinwadia says:

      Emily Hickey is a huge, huge reason for Hashable’s success. No question about it. The product has transformed and pivoted relentlessly, but the way it has captured mindshare amongst NYC-Tech’s community has been extraordinary. A true star in the making.

  5. LouReed says:

    So, although an ardent social media user, I’ve never heard of Hashable, but here is what I now know:
    1. The guy running it is an exorbitantly stupid douchebag who brags about making 340M $ by selling a company which he clearly is not smart enough to have created without the real brains of nameless people who actually did the work but who aren’t narcissistical enough to claim sole ownership of something which was clearly a group effort.
    2. Some smart people I read have tried to offer a hand to señor baggo del douche, but he is again too stupid to accept it.
    3. Hashable’s CEO is too stupid to know what the press is, what it does, or how it works.

    The last thing I know? Social Media products are springing up like weeds in a field of cow manure….I’m going to have a bazillion choices among them.

    For DAMN sure I won’t be choosing to (further) enrich a guy who is stupid enough to hang himself on a velvet rope.


    1. Mike Caprio says:

      Narcissitical is a great Palinism.

    2. Mike Caprio says:

      Narcissitical is a great Palinism.

  6. john says:

    omg, this guy is a tool. no, i take that back: that would be an insult to tools the world round. he didn’t realize that the quotes were part of the send-up in the taylor piece? Hello, McFly??? jeez, my 10 year-old cat got the joke.

  7. Robert Boyd says:

    I lol’d at the original article and at Yavonditte’s reaction. But I have to say, and I’m sure I’ll get torn up for this, but Hashable does seem to be a well designed product that adds value and is enjoyed by many of its users.

    Just because Mike Taylor doesn’t like it or can’t find a case for using it, doesn’t mean it’s “worthless” to other people. Article is pretty transparent really. I wonder what other link bait headlines were on the brainstorm mindmap that lost out in favor of the one you selected. It’s kind of sad what it says about your career that this is where you are, writing this kind of piece.

    I guess there will always be kids that want to build the sandcastles and the kids that just want to knock them over.

  8. ZuDfunck says:

    I think I like BetaBeat…
    Although I think Hashable has potential
    I love the controversy
    ANd there is nothing like Tech fights to kickoff a site
    Well done…
    Well played Mauer(Thats a Playstation ad quote)

  9. Excellent articles betabeat, you have become my social graph radar, although I’m not sure Hashable was worthy of two mentions in 24 hours.

  10. You must be doing something right if you’re pissing people off already. If this sight were just spewing out press-release info, it would be like the 1000 other tech-blogs out there.

  11. MikeY says:

    Michael Yavonditte needs an iCorrect account ;)

  12. Great example of the (only sometimes true!) axiom that “all press is good press” – this exchange got featured on Techmeme, and I hadn’t heard of Hashable before, so I went and looked up their company. Their CEO clearly made a mistake here, but without the snafu, I wouldn’t have learned about his startup.

  13. Rae Vella says:

    Yes well played.

    Seems like this brouhaha increased the visibility of both BetaBeat and Hashable.

    Are you sure you guys didn’t plan all this together?