Awesome move by Michael Arrington at TechCrunch to post as soon as possible about a 17 years old intern asking for computers against posts on TechCrunch.
With social software and everyone a clic away there is no way something like that would have remained secret, there aren't many secrets left, look at what happened to Tiger Woods, with no further comparison. And it's good news that it is becoming impossible to cheat and hide being dishonest. Same with businesses and products, there is no way you can hide a problem under the carpet hoping it will not go out. Kudos to TechCrunch for being upfront about it before someone reveals it and jeopardizes the entire credibility of the team and damages the brand.
We're in a world where companies like Zappos thrive because they are transparent and honest, answering 24h/24 their customers in public on Twitter and even advising them to call competition if they do not have what you want.
The relationship and trust you create with everyone around you in the long run is more important than anything. I would rather keep your trust for life than sell you crappy service or product even at high profit. Our email supplier got hacked two months ago and some of our users got spam, they could naturally think that we had sold their emails and it would have been out anyway, so we posted about it. We kept the trust, what happened to us can happen to anyone.
Let's not begin an internet lynching of a kid. It would really not be appropriate, but if the facts are true, that lesson is a good one to publicize so that others don't make the same mistake. After all, he is only 17 and has time to learn that this was a really bad idea, as well as time to recover from it. I think he just wanted to go way too fast. Let's forgive him.
Now go write an apology post in which you recognize everything that needs to. Like right now. It should already be up.
Vive la transparence.
update, John Furrier says this is entirely wrong and that he talked to him who never did that. I hope he will post his side of the story soon.
update, The Line Was Crossed.