It looks like New York has lost one for good—or at least as long as it takes build a “consumer-facing,” “social” start-up with “optimal founder-market fit!” Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake, who signed an agreement to leave Hunch, the recommendation engine she co-founded with Chris Dixon, just blogged that she will be launching her new company from across the country in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco.
Ms. Fake didn’t divulge any more details about the business itself, aside from a link to join her mailing list and become a beta tester. But she did shout out to a long list of investors, including her own New York-based fund Founder Collective, True Ventures, SV Angel, and friends like Square COO and angel investor Keith Rabois.
It was rumored that Ms. Fake left Hunch because of irreconcilable differences with Mr. Dixon. However, her post, which linked back to Mr. Dixon pontificating on that aforementioned “founder-market fit,” seemed like a friendly detente. That is, until Michael Arrington got involved.
In a scathing post on TechCrunch, Mr. Arrington railed on Ms. Fake for breaking the news of her own funding on her own blog. The problem, he says, is that this is the second time he’s reached out to her first as a courtesy before publishing, and the second time she’s scooped him by publishing the information he called to confirm before he could publish it on TechCrunch. Not only did Mr. Arrington demote Ms. Fake into a category of entrepreneurs “I don’t trust so much” and promise that “Fake won’t be getting any calls from me in the future to give her a heads up that we’re breaking news about her startup,” but he also called her a liar. Repeatedly. Then he makes sure to hint that Ms. Fake left Hunch in “an extremely sordid situation” before backtracking with, “I’m still not going to write about why Fake really left Hunch, because it’s not something that should be written.”
Lesson to entrepreneurs: Mr. Arrington’s courtesy has its limitations.