In response to a tough piece in BuzzFeed reporting that high-profile customers had jumped ship amid excessive fees, Palantir's cofounder lashed out today with his own sharp words. Lonsdale called reporter Will Alden's piece "self-congratulatory and negative which is to be expected in the low-paid clickbait environment where some in the media are jealous of the growing and healthy parts of the technology economy and feel it is their duty to 'hunt unicorns'." Well, then!
Lonsdale, who no longer works closely with Palantir but remains an adviser, claimed much of the report was "out of context" and that losing clients was to be expected for a company of Palantir's scale. "But that doesn't mean the firm is 'losing top customers,'" he wrote. "In fact, it's astonishing they are doing so well that [BuzzFeed] only found three names in the last 13 months with which to claim they had issues."
Still, he conceded that one detail was worth paying attention to:
"The one fair point the article made that Palantir probably wanted to address in private was that its employee turnover rate had temporarily gone up to [Silicon Valley] norms versus the amazingly low rate of the past (context the article failed to give). We almost never lost any key people historically as the company was growing, and the under 10% turnover rates the article cites even from the last few years is amazingly low."