Uhh, they clearly didn't do their homework if they thought Altman co-founded YC.
And they get the more complicated facts wrong much more often, but that is because they generally directly printing either what the founder tells them or something they think that is more interesting than what the founder tells them without any sort of verification.
Basically, almost all articles about startups (and frankly most things in general) are written to be interesting, not factually correct.
There were no political issues nor agendas nor money at stake, the news reporters just didn't make any effort to be correct.
I've often wondered what we know about history that is dead wrong.
"Is the app secure?"
"Nope, but it's in my plans to start encrypting user's data at some point"
The next week (she didn't ask me for a review or anything) the newspaper printed: "[me] built an app encrypting all of its users' data"
I built a web app and got interviewed by a newspaper too. The article wasn't factually wrong, but it was poorly written and the tone was bizarre at a few points. The journalist chose to take many long quotes directly from my response emails. I didn't know I would be quoted verbatim so heavily, otherwise I would've written more formally. He also interviewed a professor about my app (a professor in a related field), but the professor hadn't heard of my app and clearly didn't even bother to check it out.
So a little disappointing, but all in all I was happy to get the press. Unfortunately this newspaper also had a policy of not printing links / URLs in their online articles, so anybody reading would have had to search for my site on their own via keywords.
Assume everything you write to a journalist, unless you specify otherwise, will be used as written in their story. You should go out of your way to write statements that you expect them to fancy and essentially copy and paste.
When emailing them, read back over what you've written and re-write sections to make them punchy sentences that could serve as introductions, headlines, captions, anything for their story.
Which isn't to say that being a numb automaton is ideal, either, but there is a degree of balance and good taste required to avoid converting the information into dangerous thoughts, and it's simpler to restrict quantity of exposure.
What you are talking about as "people matters" sounds like "exterior collective": structural, social things, or "its" as Wilber refers to them.
I'm a bit worried that you might also be writing off most of the "interior collective" quadrant: the relational, cultural aspects of reality, the "we".
This is New Age fluff, but I guess we have to start somewhere. HN can be pretty hostile to humanities thinking sometimes, at least Wilber has no prerequisites.
I am convinced that we are surrounded by two kinds of autistic behavior but are conditioned to mostly notice one of them.
Social autism (the normal kind we're familiar with) is usually evident in person. It's a spectrum from debilitating to barely evident. Some people I've talked to online have been autistic and I'd never know it just by conversing. I generally prefer it this way because it removes any prejudgements. I liked the Net better before social networks made people's photos, names and assorted history available, I feel like you got to know people more intimately.
The kind of autism we mostly don't notice is physical. There are people who are experts at social interaction, but who genuinely cannot understand the physical world, they never think about it. Their world is filled with people and nothing but people. These are the people who are blinded by the sun.
All of the world's accumulated knowledge is utterly lost on them and they have no sense of an objective reality outside of the realm of relationships. In its own way, this is a disability because they can never be more than their network of connections.
Most people know people like this but think that those people choose not to be interested in X,Y,Z. I suggest that maybe they literally cannot fathom those things, or at least have a severe hindrance in their path to doing so, similar to the social autism spectrum.
I have a hard time ascribing too much to effort. For the one wrong fact, there could be many things that were checked and were true. But of course the wrong thing stands out
That said, I feel like journalists know how to Google for basic company info...
It was clear they just assumed things and didn't do any checking. Part of that was probably the pressure to hurry up and get it in the can, the rest was it was just a job to them and they simply didn't care. They got the video of the hole in the building, and that was good enough.
Yes, that info is drawn from Wikipedia, but Google really doesn't do a good job of highlighting the source of its Knowledge Graph boxed results. Any tech-savvy reporter (I hope) would hesitate to automatically trust Wikipedia results, but Google's bio boxes are so authoritative looking by their placement that I can see (but not endorse) reporters just going with it.
“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”
Every time they cover a subject I know well, it's been the same story, even among major reputable news outlets. No facts are safe, not even basic high-level details.
I don't read much news, but I do read the nytimes tech section. It seems accurate with some necessary simplification that doesn't hurt the truth.
Their other articles seem pretty well researched and fact checked.
That said their election coverage seems pretty biased.
I have seen some startups even use this technique themselves to "erase" past or exited co-founders. Once you edit the AngelList, Crunchbase, team page, etc, you really can erase the existence of co-founder or early team member(s) if desired because eventually no one will look hard enough to find the early material.
It's something that bothers me a lot actually. I'm working on a project now to track founders and early teams across startups to get a better understanding of how often it happens and if there are any discernible patterns.
• Cisco was started by a husband & wife duo - Sandy Lerner and Lenard Bosack
• Steve Jobs did not start Pixar - depending how far you go back, it was Alexander Schure that gave birth to the original roots of the company (as CGL) and later on, branched off by Edwin Catmull and Alvy Ray Smith.
• Elon Musk did not cofound PayPal - He founded X.com and that company merged with Paypal which was founded by Peter Thiel, Max Levchin, Luke Nosek and Ken Howery)
• Same Elon did not cofound Tesla - it was started and incorporated by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning
• Etsy was not cofounded by Jared Tarbell - It was a trio of Robert Kalin, Chris Macquire and Haim Schoppik that launched the initial company.
I could go on but my memory is escaping me at the moment. I am sure other people have more examples.
tldr; this is common enough. :)
Bloomberg reporter checked Wikipedia where it clearly says, "In 2014, Altman was named president of Y Combinator, which he had been a part of as a founder...".
Of course, if the reporter had spent a few more seconds reading the entire sentence he may have gotten it right: "In 2014, Altman was named president of Y Combinator, which he had been a part of as a founder in the first batch of funded companies in 2005."
Interesting, I've never seen that before.
- Structure of the entire org, with the head of each
- History of the org (just the major announcements)