Jerry Guo, international rules-bending journalist turned startup CEO, just issued a public apology on his Tumblr. The apology is addressed to the startup world and to the CEO of TechStars company Ignighter, Adam Sachs. Mr. Guo told Mr. Sachs he was a journalist, visited Ignighter and asked lots of questions about the business. Mr. Guo wanted intel on the competition because he was starting his own company, Grouper. “I didn’t tell Adam this, and met him under false pretenses,” Mr. Guo writes.
In the wake of the sudden attention after Betabeat’s article earlier this week, and Gawker’s subsequent interest, Mr. Guo has left Grouper in what he says was a mutual decision with his co-founder and CTO Michael Waxman.
Startups are not a zero-sum game. We can all win, and by that, I mean create value that ultimately helps those around us—by creating jobs, connecting people, making markets more efficient, etc—and some go on to change the world.
The media world can be a zero-sum game. Getting a scoop means beating someone else to the punch. Coming up with a false narrative garners more page views for gossip rags. I don’t want to stoop to their level and give a point-by-point refutation, but will just let my reporting speak for itself and the love our Grouper members have shown us.
Mr. Guo also publicly apologized to his co-founder:
He’s poured his heart into Grouper and does not deserve the scandals I’ve created, for which only I am responsible for. We came to a mutual decision for Grouper to survive, I will need to part ways. I’m really thankful to Michael for always being there for me and believing in my potential from the start. He’s my best case for why the tech world is so awesome.
Mr. Waxman has not returned requests for comment.
Betabeat tried to get Mr. Guo to write a post, but he declined, preferring to break the news himself.