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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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