[Wales] just got a bunch of people to give him a bunch of money thinking, 'Oh, this is the guy who created Wikipedia.' Well guess what? He didn't create Wikipedia. Larry Sanger did.
Calacanis' outburst prompted an IE reporter to contact Sanger for comments. Sanger was Wikipedia's first employee from 2001 to 2002, during which time he proposed using the wiki software to advance Wales' encyclopedia concept. Sanger has decried his omission before; he was called co-founder as recently as 2004, but afterwards forgotten, sometimes with the help of Wales' own edits as reported by a Workbench blogger and later the New York Times. Sanger believes the motivations are financial:
In 2004, at just the time when he was leaving out any mention of me in discussing the history of Wikipedia, he was starting Wikia...That's also when the star of Wikipedia really began to rise and started to enter into public consciousness. Jimmy Wales had a real financial motive to portray himself as the brains behind Wikipedia.
When solicited for a response, Wales stated that "I think very highly of Larry Sanger, and think that it is unfortunate that this silly debate has tended to overshadow his work." He saved his ire for Calacanis, calling him "a showman" trying to "generate easy publicity for himself."
Calacanis and Wales had had a much-publicized earlier fallout in 2006 after Wales rejected a proposal by Calacanis to introduce advertising on Wikipedia, see Signpost issue October 30, 2006. The recent comment about Sanger was made in a similar context: Asked by the interviewer why he expected his human search engine project Mahalo.com to succeed despite Wales' failure with his similar project Wikia Search, Calacanis retorted that "there is a big misconception that Jimmy Wales is some huge genius", arguing that he lacked business acumen:
[To make Wikipedia a non-profit] was the worst business decision in the history of business. Not since the Indians sold Manhattan has somebody made a stupider move in the history of business. Literally. The 11 or 12 dollars that the Indians got for Manhattan was a better deal than what Jimmy Wales did. Jimmy Wales would be a billionaire right now. Wikipedia would be worth 25 to 50 billion dollars and Jimmy Wales would own 80, 90 percent of it. He'd be in the top 50 richest people on the planet ...
Explaining Hudong's success compared to Wikipedia and to competitor Baidu Baike, Hudong's founder Pan Haidong said "We know the market better. That is why we can get a bigger share of it." Chinese Wikipedia had also been blocked in mainland China for most of its existence, although it is no longer blocked. The article quotes Baidu chief scientist William Chang: "There's, in fact, no reason for China to use Wikipedia, a service based 'out there'. It's very natural for China to make its own products."
Private Eye reported that the magazine History Today intended to insert three paragraphs from the Wikipedia article on Engelbert Dollfuss directly into the article A.D. Harvey wrote for the magazine on that subject. Harvey strongly objected to the inclusion of the plagiarised material and it was removed prior to publication.