Back the f*ck out of Marco Arment’s finances

This is one of those TL;DR scenarios. I’ll do my best to sum it up quickly.

Yahoo bought Tumblr for a boatload of money.

-Marco Arment used to work for Tumblr; he weighs in on the acquisition in depth and eloquence, with a small passing mention of gratitude for the generosity of his former employer and the deliberately vague and modest description of a decent safety net if he’s prudent with how he manages his finances. And I quote (emphasis mine):

As for me, while I wasn’t a founder” financially, David was generous with my employee stock options back in the day. I won’t make yacht-and-helicopter money from the acquisition, and I won’t be switching to dedicated day and night iPhones. But as long as I manage investments properly and don’t spend recklessly, Tumblr has given my family a strong safety net and given me the freedom to work on whatever I want. And that’s exactly what I plan to do.

-Anil Dash, whose technical background is questionable to some*, was pissy about something else and in response to that flippantly tweeted this snotty message to Marco, with vaguely racially-loaded tones:

EDITED: Apparently, Anil’s dick tweet wasn’t specifically in response to Marco’s financial mention, like I originally thought it was. But that’s how I misinterpreted it, because Twitter. Regardless, the following rant remains valid to me, because attacking Marco’s finances, even as a tangent in response to some other beef, is a shitty and immature thing to do. Thanks for the correction, Tweeps.

Marco got understandably annoyed with Anil’s tweet, and flamed him a bit, with other members of the tech community chiming in.

I was bothered by Anil’s tweet too, because I’ve been paying attention to Marco’s adventures since I first heard of Instapaper and Build & Analyze. So I tweeted up a storm, and a Twitter buddy asked me to blog it (probably in jest, but I did) so here you go:

Why am I so up in arms about the finances of some software developer across the country? Because this shit is PRIVATE, people. The fact that Marco has EVER mentioned ANYTHING related to ANY of his finances on ANY of his projects is a GENEROUS GESTURE on his part, because he clearly takes some stupid shit for it. We really are like paparazzi in this weird little nerd world, and it’s uncomfortable to share figures and income. Heck, when my husband and I bought our home in 2011, I was incredibly uncomfortable with the questions some friends posed, and the fact that plenty of them raced off to Zillow or Redfin to look up the exact purchase price.

There is SO MUCH context to any financial aspect of anyone’s lives. You don’t know how much we had saved up, how much we were loaned or gifted, how long we scrimped, how many dollars in closing costs or repairs we were awarded in that one little transaction, or how long we’ll have to wait before we feel comfortable booking air travel that isn’t with rewards miles, or how scary it was for me to part with an Amazon income to try out my own venture, or how often home cost paranoia keeps me up at night, or what a pain in the ass the entire process is. That misguidedly public transaction record is none of your goddamned business, and neither are the details of Marco Arment’s stock deal from a company he worked at four years ago.

So please, everyone. Appreciate that we get ANYTHING more than a canned “No comment” response from this young, smart, talented guy who’s bombarded with inappropriate and deeply personal questions as if he owed entitled jackal world an answer. Just back the fuck off, go focus on doing your own awesome work, and appreciate that Marco has offered up ANY insight into what you might aspire to or expect or be able to pull off if you spent your time focusing on your own accomplishments. Sheesh! ;)

*Anil’s tech expertise level is not my business to explore, nor does it interest me much. But I assume he’s more technical than me based on his self-identity as such, even though I’ve worked at/on and been recruited by some pretty fucking major software companies and projects myself. I’m not trying to brag here; I’m saying I’ve had quite a bit of first-hand experience within the tech world on paper, but I don’t consider myself an authority on projects with which I had absolutely no involvement. So regardless of how technical Anil is, he too should shut the fuck up sometimes and focus on his own shit more, in my not remotely humble opinion. OK I promise I’m done yelling at everyone now!