Monday, May 14, 2012

Internet Brand’s Investment Nightmare: vBulletin

I’ve often wondered why some the senior development team for vBulletin suddenly left without any advance warning. In one short month, Kier Darby, Mike Sullivan, and Scott Macvicar all left Internet Brands. In that one month, it represented a significant loss of talent, senior management, and senior development of vBulletin.

These three represent the brains of vBulletin. They represent the integrity of vBulletin.

They represent the key development and leadership of a industry icon. They understood customer’s requirements. They understood the customer.

Last but not least, this trio understood vBulletin.

These questions have been racing in my mind.

Why did they leave? What possible reasons could they have left? Was it because Internet Brands (Nasdaq: INET) acquired them?

Was it because of management? Was it because they no longer liked working at Jelsoft and Internet Brands? Was it because they became merely a cog in this giant machine?

Or maybe rather than job enlargement and enrichment, they experienced job reduction and dissatisfaction?
Finally, that silence has been broken. It appears what we’ve suspected all along happened.

I hoped this wasn’t the case, however, my own nightmare, suspicions, and fears have been confirmed.
Internet Brands meddled where they should not have.

They’ve roasted, and killed the goose that laid the golden eggs. It is the classic management case study in which employees leave because of management, not because of the company.