My adventure with TheStreet.com began with an early-morning phone call in New York from James J. Cramer. "I figured you'd be here," he barked into the phone, 'here' being in New York for the Goldman Sachs tech-stock conference in February 1999. "Let's get together and talk."
The rest, as they say, is history. Cramer and former editor-in-chief Dave Kansas convinced me to abandon my comfy perch at the San Jose Mercury News for the exciting but untested wilds of online journalism. And what larks I had: Exposing Webvan's exuberant IPO roadshow, helping start a TV show on the Fox News Channel, fighting the good fight on Regulation FD -- capped last week by testifying before Congress on the problem with Wall Street analysts.
This place started out as a dream, and it still is. The goal was to deliver real-time analysis over the Web in our branded, sassy style. To quote from our old marketing campaign, we are "insightful, irreverent and opinionated as hell." Perhaps only journalists can appreciate best why these fighting words warm the hearts of those serving up the fare. In an age of corporatized and commoditized news, only the privileged few have license to call it like they see it. We at TheStreet.com have had that luxury, and the responsibilities that go along with it. Nobody, but nobody, in financial journalism does it better. What a joy it's been.
There were bumps along the way, to be sure. When I left the Mercury News I wrote that "there will be huge losers among the legion of Internet wannabes flooding the market with equity offerings. More troubling from an investor's perspective, even some of the winners in business simply will not be worth tomorrow what they are today." In the same piece I also wrote that "in the not-so-distant future we won't talk much anymore about 'Internet' businesses. It won't be 'online' banking; it'll be banking. Ditto for online publishing, retailing and travel agencies." That wasn't so prescient; it was just common sense.Now I'm off on my next adventure, where I'll be part of an exceedingly established organization, Fortune magazine, a new title within the Fortune group, Business 2.0, and an online publication, Money.com. To the many kind readers who've written me such encouraging notes these past few days, I hope you'll check out my scribblings at my new venues. I also hope you'll keep checking out TheStreet.com, as I will, because this place is in fine hands with an extremely talented group of writers and editors. And feel free, as you always have, to send comments, questions and criticisms -- yes, the criticisms especially -- to me at email@example.com.