Sony hopes L.A. geographic will cure Crackle.com's addiction to losing moneyMichael Lynton, can we talk? You may hope that you can manage your online-video issues by relocating the staff of Crackle.com, the money-losing startup you acquired for Sony in 2006, from Sausalito to Culver City. I'm sure with your experience at AOL and at Hollywood, you're confident enough to believe it's a business you can handle. But the real first step is admitting that you have a problem. We know all the cool kids were doing it when you purchased the site, then known as Grouper, for $65 million, but the $100 million you are rumored to have spent on satisfying your bandwidth cravings and making new employee and content-producer "friends" just shows how far you've sunk toward rock bottom. I can't imagine mainlining another 10-gigabit connection at a new San Diego datacenter will help. The good news, Michael, is that you're not alone. Eric Schmidt's YouTube habit has proven unmanageable as well. The note from a laid-off employee after the jump may feel like tough love, Michael, but think of it as an intervention from someone who cares.
Just heard from my soon-to-be ex-Crackle colleagues that Sony is sick of tossing money down the ol' 2.0 hole (~$100m after the $65m purchase) and offering some the chance to re-apply for their current positions in Culver City before they move the operation out of Sausalito in three months. Seems that if you stick around (for what is unknown) for that amount of time, you'll get a month or two of severance pay... I'm sure there're a few newly minted middle managers comtemplating individual contributor roles once again. Sounds like they're fretting over what to do about the $1.25m datacenter we built at L3 in Emeryville, but will probably end up forklifting the stuff to the Sony online group's DC in San Diego. Hope they can get a 10Gbit feed down there or it'll be a waste of a lot of expensive Cisco modules; then again, Crackle never cracked a Gbps in 'natural' (not purchased) traffic while I was there (I was part of this group)
(Photo by Ted Johnson)