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Should we forgive the sleazy behavior once companies get famous?

Many famous dot-coms did a lot of sleazy, spammy things in their early days. AOL, Microsoft, and other major players in the online advertising industry bought and absorbed some very ugly promoters of pop-ups, spam, and deceptive ad practices.

Today, startup Thumbtack is shamelessly harvesting emails off of Craigslist and mass-spamming  fake personal emails to promote the site.

I’m sure they’ll be big and successful someday. And no one will remember the path they chose to get there.

Do we forgive them? Do we forget it happened?

Or do we decide that there is something fundamentally corrupt about the culture and leadership of a company that chooses to grow this way.

You know what I think.

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Comments

  1. mj August 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Depends. Look at Martha Stewart, heck even that Mayor of Wash DC that was caught on tape smoking crack and after doing prison time was re-elected!!! People tend to forget or just write a huge check and all is forgiven – see Goldman Sachs, WalMart, etc.

  2. Kevin Stecko August 26, 2011 at 10:50 pm #

    Lots of websites got huge by stealing copyrighted files or bootlegging merchandise and giving it away cheaper than they otherwise could. Thinking Youtube, ebay, cafepress, etc.

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