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I'm a little skeptical of the accuracy of the info released to the public.

Thing is, companies lie when they talk to the press. Or they release a number with no context behind it, which will be interpreted differently by outsiders than insiders. Or the press makes up a number when the company refuses to release it. Or the company chooses not to get press coverage for an event that's pretty important.

When I've had inside information about a story that later breaks in the tech press, I'm always shocked at how differently it's perceived by readers of the article vs. how I experienced it. Among startups & major feature launches I've been party to, I've seen: executives that flat-out say that they're not working on a product category when there's been a whole department devoted to it for a year; startups that were founded 1.5 years before the dates listed in Crunchbase/Wikipedia; reporters that count the number of people they meet in a visit and report that as a the "team size", because the company refuses to release that info; funding rounds that never make it to the press; acquisitions that are reported as "for an undisclosed sum" but actually are less than the founders would've made if they'd taken a salaried job at the company; project start dates that are actually when the project was staffed up to its current size and ignore the year or so that a small team spent working on the problem (or the 3-4 years that other small teams spent working on the problem); and algorithms or other technologies that are widely reported as being the core of the company's success, but actually aren't even used by the company.

I figure that if such a high percentage of what I do know about is misreported, most of what I don't know about but hear from the tech media is probably wrong too. Ironically, the effect of having a little inside information isn't to make me feel well informed; it's to make me realize how uninformed everyone else is, often including top decision-makers at companies.




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