It appears they’ve come to a compromise. The company will raise another pile of money, on the condition that they bring in a new C.E.O. in a move which, I assume, means bringing in an “adult” to grow the business.
It’s not really uncommon among Valley companies, I’d say. Everyone always points to Eric Schmidt or Sheryl Sandberg coming in to help the founders of Google and Facebook, respectively, with building a viable long-term company. And it worked!
I do wonder, though, about SoundCloud’s chances. The music industry is particularly brutal. Go ask Pandora, Rdio and Spotify.
Katie: One big difference for Google and Facebook is that they were on their way to being wildly profitable when the grown-ups came on to guide them. SoundCloud’s management issues have been wildly exacerbated by the fact that streaming music providers can’t make money. How many companies have overcome both problems to become huge success stories?
SoundCloud’s best hope is to stabilize and sell itself to a buyer who can handle the losses and protect what has made the platform unique. As our colleague Jenna, the Beyoncé Whisperer, Wortham points out, SoundCloud has been the place to find lesser-known, cool, diverse and unique artists. SoundCloud’s valuation was reportedly slashed by about half, making it a much more attractive buy than it was at $700 million. So here’s hoping.
Mike: Amen. Also, I need Jenna’s advice on how to join the Bey-hive someday.
Moving on, Bitcoin is surging to record highs on a near daily basis. On Friday, it was at well over $3,500 per single Bitcoin, which is being compared to the volatility of the gold markets. Perhaps people have decided to diversify their portfolios in light of the looming threat of nuclear escalation? Risk-aversion in the time of war is funny to me, if not terribly ironic.
Katie: Jack Dorsey thinks Bitcoin is going to be big. And he’s the guy who introduced the world to being woke. I think it’s time to put all of my assets into two things only: Bitcoin and shares of The New York Times.
Mike: Well, maybe I’ll skip Bitcoin and go right to Ethereum.
I’m obliged to note the ongoing fighting over at Uber, where most recently Benchmark, a major investor with a seat on the company’s board, sued Travis Kalanick, the former chief executive. It’s all about control over the Uber board, which is highly dysfunctional and trying to steer the company out of its current struggles and toward a new C.E.O.