Nick Denton and Henry Blodget took to the stage at last week’s Ignition: Future of Digital conference — organized by Business Insider — and kind of shot down rumors of a B.I.-Gawker merger, according to The New York Observer.
The funny thing is, merger talk was started from inside the B.I. headquarters itself. B.I. tech reporter Jay Yarrow tweeted about the potential merger on Wednesday, before tweeting that “talks broke down…situation remains fluid” on Thursday.
This ‘situation remain fluid’ assertion is interesting, because by Thurday morning Denton had told GigaOm, “I told Henry to get in touch if they ever decided to sell…That’s about it.” He also added that, “I think it was useful for him [for] people to speculate.”
All evidence considered, it would seem that Blodget is purposefully floating acquisition rumors to trump up B.I.’s value. Considering he recently took on $15 million in venture capital funds, a flashy exit is not entirely out of the question.
However, B.I. has also represented Blodget’s redemption, as both a Wall Street conduit and as a journalist. Would he really want to, quite literally, sell out?
On stage at Ignition the day before, Denton explained to Blodget that ‘bad capitalists’ are those who pump up their businesses with superficial buzzwords and shoot for a quick exit, and also sniped at Blodget that “we’re calling it a merger for the sake of your own ego.”
Blodget, ever the sphinx, will continue to demure from revealing too much about B.I.’s future plans. Regardless, a big corporate payday may be the ultimate troll maneuver for the ultimate troll — and considering the power of trolls in today’s startup world (see RapGenius), I don’t mean that as an insult.