ThinkEquity’s first The First Cardinal Sin


Updated with Corrections Michael Moe of boutique investment research firm, ThinkEquity Research seems to have committed the first cardinal sin of our world – he did not give proper credit where it is due. In an article in The New York Times announcing his company’s weblog, he said “he got the idea from Tony Perkins, a founder and former editor of Red Herring magazine who has started AlwaysOn, which is using blogs to discuss business and technology issues.” Well not so fast. Moe who is the former director of global growth stock research at Merrill Lynch, should have done more research. The original idea came from James Enck of Diawa Securities (Sorry James – call it Move inspired loss of reason) and the thread was then picked up by Stephen Castelleno who contacted everyone from me, to Fred Wilson and started an open source research project. If this is the level of due diligence, then I wonder how accurate the research is.

PS: Tweaks me no end – that wrong guy gets credit for a brilliant idea. As far as I am concerned, the debut never happened. If you are a blogger worth your venom dipped keyboard, then no one should ever link to these guys!



word on the street is thinkequity didn’t pay their bankers a bonus and the firm is looking to sell itself.

Om Malik

well bernard, i know tony did not come up with it. in fact, what he is talking and what always on is something that don’t sync up at all. when i read the article on new york times, it was clear to me that he was giving tony the credit. my feeling is that we should give the credit where its due. james called it and that’s his idea.

Bernard Moon

don’t you think you might be looking at it narrowly? i just read it as he saw what was going on at Alwayson and just decide to transfer it to his business. i don’t think he was saying tony gave him the specific idea of using blogs for equity research, etc. also even if he did get the specific idea from tony, was he saying tony was the first to come up with it? being a neutral reader, i would have to assume others came up with the specific idea years ago since there is so much thought generation in the blogosphere. (yes, i write for AlwaysOn, but i’m being neutral on this and don’t know michael moe)

Steve Castellano

Wow, what a post on the ThinkEquity subject. The only thing, it wasn’t my idea. I first came across notion of blog based research on your site here, which I think you got from James Enck. Your post on blogs inspired me to comment on how to structure a framework to incorporate blogs into investment research… which later lead me to stir up interest among Babson MBA students to create a model for collecting and analyzing equity research along the lines of an open source framework.

The point is, when people take credit for other’s ideas as their own, it ailienates the people who have contributed. I don’t think ThinkEquity or others has to give credit to every single person involved, but to take sole credit is a mistake on brand building, not to mention overstepping.

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