Home Kevin Rose: Digg Turned Down $80 Million Acquisition Offer

Kevin Rose: Digg Turned Down $80 Million Acquisition Offer

At TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference, Digg‘s founder Kevin Rose presented a very candid view of the current state of Digg during an interview with TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington. Rose admitted that he and the rest of the team made mistakes when they launched Digg v4. He admitted that Digg’s traffic took quite a dip after the launch of v4. Looking back. Rose also pointed out that Digg once got an acquisition offer for close to $80 million ($60 million plus earnout) during the site’s heyday. While he was personally willing to take this offer, the Digg board decided to turn it down.

Digg v4: How Did We Get Here?

Asked about the departure of Digg’s former CEO Jay Adelson, Rose didn’t go into details, but noted that “Jay was ready for something new and so were we.” For himself, though, the role of Digg’s CEO was not something he “wanted to take on.” Rose also noted that he wasn’t around at Digg much during the months before the departure of Adelson as the service’s CEO. He pointed out that he likes to roll features out, but as the backlog of new features at Digg grew and Digg focused more on revenue-producing features than user-facing features, he grew restless. During that time, too, Rose thought that moving engineers to revenue-producing features instead of giving users a new experience was a mistake. Without new features, a lot of Digg’s users grew restless and moved on to other services.

“Big and Bold and New”

Talking about the launch of Digg v4, Rose pointed out that the company had to focus on user-focused features again as development of the site had stagnated for too long. To stand apart from Facebook and Twitter – which Rose admits are taking traffic away from Digg – the company had to do something “big and bold and new.”

Talking about the mistakes Digg made during the relaunch, Rose admitted that the team made a lot of mistakes. As an example, he noted that the Digg team shouldn’t have made the personalized news view the default.

Will Kevin Rose Leave Digg Soon?

Asked about his own future at Digg, Rose wouldn’t go into details, but said that he was getting “burned out” and wouldn’t say that he would still be at Digg by the end of the year. Rose is clearly very interested in continuing his work as an angel investor – something he seemed far more passionate about than Digg during today’s interview – so we wouldn’t be surprised if he left Digg at some point in the near future to pursue this.

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