I saw a note on FriendFeed from Duncan Riley earlier today indicating he’d posted on OmniDrive, the back-up solutions company that’s had an uncertain future for quite some time. Duncan and Nik Cubrilovic, both of which who have history at TechCrunch, also have history with each other.
I know exactly what it’s like to have piss-poor relations with someone in the Web 2.0 world and subsequently blog about it. Todd Cochrane of RawVoice and I had a serious misunderstanding on the amount of money a podcast series I ran on his network was owed, and blogged about it over at Mashable. A lot of nasty words were said at the time as he rallied all his allies against me and organized a smear campaign to impugn my words, but when he and his employees went about doing a forensic accounting, they found that I was right, and a check was eventually sent out to rectify the situation.
The situation seems to be similar with Duncan and OmniDrive’s Nik Cubrilovic (without the Omnidrive eventually working to repair its rift with Duncan part). It isn’t hard to see why things are being seen as so bad for Nik and his company. There are rumors that he’s been unable to pay folks for quite some time, as well as the fact that he seems to be working for Mike Arrington again to pay his bills.
So when the line “Omnidrive entered The Deadpool 2008″ showed up on the CrunchBase entry for the company, Duncan was not at all surprised and took the opportunity to blog it. I’m not sure of the exact nature of Nik and Duncan’s disagreement; I vaguely remember something about Duncan briefly contracting for him and then not getting paid or something. If it wasn’t 5 am, I’d dig up the old Inquisitr post referencing that.
The thing that makes this so very interesting, to me anyway, is the way that Nik is vehemently denying that his company is dead:
Thats awesome work Duncan. Just ignore that anybody can edit the page and mark a company deadpooled. Hey, I just marked Google dead, you gonna write about that too?
news to me. All changes have to be approved last time I looked, unless you have admin rights…which I’m guessing you may do. Further the account used to make this change would appear to be an internal TC user account. The user has a long list of admin style changes. My guess: one of the interns. None of the changes made by the user were vandalism, and they are too frequent for anyone outside of TC to have made them.
There was some clever back and forth after that that is definitely worth reading – I’ll link to it and you can read it there (giving the Inquisitr the benefit of about 30 extra pageviews or so. Never said I didn’t give you anything, Duncan).
I suppose I could go all highbrow and ask some questions about how this is a great example of PR gone wrong, and that Nik’s inability to manage his corporate image is leading him closer to this mythical Deadpool for OmniDrive, but this is my blog and not Mashable (and especially since I haven’t yet finished my FriendFeed powered comments module, leaving no place for that type of discussion).
The real point is here that it’s sometimes just plain amusing to see how disconnected from reality folks can be. OmniDrive has had more negative press about it than just about any Web 2.0 company I can think of aside from Facebook during the Project Bac’n debacle. The only organization I can immediately recall with more folks running around saying that they haven’t been paid is that Blognation Global River of News thing.
So does OmniDrive really deserve to be in the CrunchBase deadpool? Who cares. Is it amusing to see Nik run around and try to debunk statements from credible folks with longstanding reputations in the blogosphere? Definitely.
[Disclaimer: My words in no way reflect the opinions of my employers or co-workers at Mashable. I’m guessing. I didn’t really ask them, but this is a personal blog, so don’t suddenly start blaming my boss for something I said. Unless he says it, too. Then feel free.]