Fastly Tumbles

So, Fastly is at it again - just absolutely bungling, stock down almost 20% yet again after hours.

Fastly has firmly established itself as the poster child for what kind of companies not to invest in - those that have promising technology, but no track record of excellence, weak leadership and awful numbers.

I’ll let others do the numbers.

But let’s see how the CEO, Josh Bixby handles this disastrous ER.

Here’s his letter……

It’s a travesty, a case study in corporate awfulness.

This letter is what AI would write if given some inputs. What stands out is that after this disastrous performance he has the gall, or sheer cluelessness to site their “operational rigor” as a reason to think they’ll right the ship. That’s like the Three Stooges Moe citing operational rigor after whacking every single one of his coworkers in the head with a spinning ladder.

And he notes that their mission remains “strong and relevant.” Relevant? So weak. Imagine Steve Jobs saying the iPhone would be “relevant”? “You people will actually use this thing.” Fastly is supposed to be a high tech visionary company. There’s no blood, life force, passion, emotion, conviction, nothing.

Get a load of this cliche-ridden drivel,

On the operations front, we have two new seasoned executives to drive our sales and finance organizations. Brett Shirk joined as our Chief Revenue Officer in Q1 and is growing Fastly’s global sales organization into a scalable and repeatable sales machine, while strengthening customer and partner relationships. Ron Kisling is joining as our Chief Financial Officer, later this month, bringing experience in scaling public companies through rapid growth.

Does this make you feel anything? Make you believe he truly knows these two people? Who they are, what they’ve done, how they inspired him to win their jobs? What makes them better than all other candidates? Does anyone seriously think this doesn’t effect the stock price?

I help kids write essays for college and often the first thing I have to address is the kid’s mother made them write it. In their first draft it’s obvious they just don’t care. This feels like one of those - lazy, vague, unconvincing.

Bottom line this letter was written by someone who already made his fortune and now doesn’t want to do the long, hard work of staring into the mirror and admitting what a mess he’s made. Because the truth is for him, it doesn’t mean a thing. He’s already among the richest humans ever to walk the face of the Earth. Jeff Lawson has a passion to revolutionize human communication, Eric Yuan to make communication fun, Matthew Prince to make a better internet, Tobi Lutke to “arm the rebels” and give power to entrepreneurs who don’t want to kowtow to Amazon. I have no clue why Bixby wants - or deserves - to be CEO of Fastly. And it’s not about logic. It’s about emotion.

Lesson: The best get better, the worst get worse.