Mahalo CEO (and former Silicon Alley Reporter/Weblogs Inc. founder) Jason Calacanis can’t keep himself out of the content business.
“Writing is my drug and the send key is my needle–my true aspiration is to be a junkie (aka full-time writer),” Calacanis wrote in his latest email last night.
So he wants to hire two people, a junior and senior staffer, to help research and write his email blasts. And to try to turn his big email list into some sort of paid “forum” venture, where readers could have civilized discussions, because “The comments on TechCrunch and BusinessInsider are so anonymous, sad and pathetic that they’re comical and depressing at once.”
The most interesting part is where he says he wants to hire “of the top 25 analysts/writers in the tech/business world” to give his product more meat.
He gives himself a less-than 2% of making this happen. What do you think?
(The first obvious problem is that most of these people are already making significantly more than the $60-100K + stock options that Jason is offering to be his helper.)
I’d love to have a partner in crime for the list. You know, a Shaq to
my Kobe, a Scottie Pippen to my Michael Jordan, or perhaps a LeBron to
my Dwayne Wade (wait, what?). This person would collaborate with me on
my pieces as well as writing pieces of their own (to which I could
contribute). The basic idea is to help me get the newsletter out every
two weeks (or about 20+ times a year).
My ideal writer would be someone data-driven, hard-working,
old-school, with five to 20 years in the business. Someone who is
willing to share their opinion and–gasp!–actually have a point of
My dream team list would include folks who are not available, like the
killer Om Malik (no chance, entrepreneur), the disciplined Rafe
Needleman (CNET), the insightful Erick Schonfeld (TechCrunch), the
savvy Declan McCullagh (WIRED), Rafat Ali, who worked for me at
Silicon Alley Reporter (no chance, entrepreneur), the legendary John
Markoff (NYT), the up-and-coming MG Siegler (TechCrunch), the brutal
and wonderful Kara Swisher (no chance, entrepreneur), the diligent
Peter Kafka (AllThingsD), the promising Jessica Vascellaro (WSJ),
VentureBeat’s prolific Dean Takahashi, and perhaps one of my all-time
favourites, Steven Levy (WIRED). I’ve left off 20 more writers, but you
know who you are.
The chances of us landing any of those folks is, on average, less than
2%, I know. Long odds, however, are my specialty
2% would fall into these type of situations:
a) their boss is a total a-hole who doesn’t appreciate them (let’s not
name names) and treats them like crap
b) they want to own a chunk of stock in something valuable
c) they’re tired of filing 20 times a week and would rather file once
every two weeks (from home in their underwear)
d) they’re tired of the very broken “fair and balanced” formula that
is eroding American journalism, and they want to speak the truth
This gig would pay “what it takes,” which for the level of person I’m
talking about above would be $60-100k (or more) depending on the
equity mix (i.e. 5% on the low end, 10% on the high-end).
Offering up to double-digit equity is exactly what I’ve done in the
past to take journalists from “rice-pickers to samurai” in the past.
For the right person, it will be life and career changing. Sadly, most
people are scared to leave the comforts of the paddy field.
Question: Who do you think I should target?