Kravitz v PhoneDog Twitter lawsuit - The Real StoryTom Klein - CEO / Co-founder
Dear PhoneDog Fans,
As many of you may have recently heard, PhoneDog has been in a legal dispute with a former editor of ours, Noah Kravitz. Not knowing the full story, some are quick to paint PhoneDog in an unfavorable light. Although we have tried repeatedly to settle the dispute privately, the recent media coverage regarding our lawsuit against Noah has made it clear that we need to provide you, our fans, with the facts and why we’ve been essentially forced into this position.
Noah joined the PhoneDog team in April 2006. During that period, PhoneDog.com was in the very early stages of becoming the personality-driven mobile tech review site it is today. We found Noah to be a very talented and charismatic editor/video blogger and an excellent addition to represent PhoneDog. Over the next four years, we invested in Noah and the site by sending him to trade shows and conferences from San Francisco, Vegas, New York, Barcelona and many places in between. We hired PR agencies to increase PhoneDog’s exposure and Noah was frequently featured on CNBC, FOX Business, and other national and local media outlets. During this time, we also expanded our efforts into many forms of social media, starting with our YouTube channel, then to Twitter and facebook respectively; each with the very specific intent to grow PhoneDog’s social media following and its loyal audience. From all of our efforts, the site’s popularity continued to grow and Noah essentially became a micro-celebrity of sorts. What started out as a small part-time freelance opportunity grew into a very well paid career for Noah.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT
So when Noah notified us in October 2010 that he wanted to leave PhoneDog and the mobile tech industry to pursue something more “meaningful,” we were obviously disappointed. However, we completely respected his decision and wished him our most sincere best of luck.
Shortly after Noah left the company, we found that Noah’s intentions had changed. Whatever his motives, he began publishing content for other tech publishers while still being paid by PhoneDog, thereby going against the terms we agreed to prior to his departure. In addition, he was promoting the competitors’ content to the Twitter account we clearly had and have rights to. For several months after Noah’s departure, I tried on many occasions to contact Noah directly in hopes of working out our differences. Noah would not speak to me directly and shortly thereafter hired a lawyer who began calling and threatening a lawsuit. Even after these actions, we had no desire to further damage what had been such a good relationship. We hoped to just move forward and put that chapter behind us.
Then earlier in 2011, Noah filed a lawsuit against PhoneDog for meritless claims under California employment laws. Although he has sworn under oath that he was not an employee of PhoneDog, Noah continues to insist that PhoneDog pay substantial sums to settle his employment claims. During all of his media interviews, Noah has avoided the fact that PhoneDog has offered to settle the cases under very reasonable terms. Unfortunately, Noah’s motives are based solely on monetary gain.
It takes both sides to compromise in order to settle their differences, and while I can’t speak for Noah, I can assure you that we are looking to find a fair and reasonable solution. Noah has the ability to stop the legal nonsense and move on; it’s his choice.
THANKS FOR BEING A PHONEDOG FAN
PhoneDog was started by two guys interested in the web and technology in general, and to this day we are a small group of passionate mobile tech enthusiasts. We are privileged to have been able to grow such a loyal audience of regular site visitors, Twitter followers, Facebook fans, and YouTube subscribers. We are fortunate to have all of you as fans and we truly appreciate your choice to follow us and subscribe to all of our channels.
Thank you for being a PhoneDog fan,