Peter Kafka

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Groups Management Start-Up Kohort Shrinks Its Staff

Kohort, a groups management start-up that raised $3 million last year and launched this summer, is laying off staff.

In a blog post published yesterday, the company says it has had a “strong first few months” after coming out of beta in August, but has decided to run with a “smaller team, a leaner approach.”

CEO Mark Peter Davis tells me the company hasn’t figured out how many people it will let go, because “we’re still in the process of determining the appropriate team structure.” But my understanding is that Davis plans to lay off most of his workers; at its peak, Davis said, the company had about 15 employees.

Davis says the company, which wants to be the “best group and community management platform on the Web,” isn’t shutting down, and won’t change its focus. He says that “the leadership team and founders, obviously including myself, will be committed to staying” with the company.

Last year, Davis, a former associate at New York-based DFJ Gotham Ventures, raised a $3 million “seed round” led by Roger Ehrenberg’s IA Ventures and a long list of VCs and angels. Kohort is supposed to let online and offline groups organize themselves, and has a host of competitors, most notably Meetup.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work