Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Pursuit Shuts Down; Two Founders Join Facebook

The social job referral site Pursuit has shut down, with two of its co-founders accepting offers to work at Facebook. TechCrunch had reported the affair earlier today as a so-called “acqhire,” but upon closer inspection it’s more of just a regular hire.

Pursuit was bootstrapped and had not gotten much traction with its concept of shared referral bonuses.

Co-founders Louis Eisenberg and Russ Heddleston have both taken roles at Facebook that are unrelated to social jobs or what they had been doing at Pursuit, according to a source close to the deal. A third co-founder, Nicholas Letourneau, is returning to school. All three previously had technical roles at the real estate site Trulia.

Pursuit’s team had initially spoken with Facebook about a talent acquisition, but eventually agreed upon regular jobs, the source said. The difference is somewhat semantic, given the fact that Facebook abandons nearly all the products it acquires. But such a deal was possible because Pursuit had not taken any outside investment.

A spokesperson for Facebook commented via email, “This was a hire rather than an acquisition. We’re excited to have the team at Facebook.”

Pursuit was one of a boatload of young companies exploring the potential to combine social and professional networks, a group NetworkEffect rounded up last month.

The company posted news of the change on its home page: “Update: we’ve found a new home at Facebook! Although we’ll be working on stuff unrelated to Pursuit, keep an eye out for great new features from us there and thanks to everyone who helped along the way.”

Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my ethics statement.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik