The government got off lightly

Derek Handley – Photo: Newsie

Well done, Derek?Handley?– it takes a certain kind of tech guru, sorry futurist, to deliver two miserable failures to the NZX. Administrators have just been called in for Snakk Media, the second of?Handley?s stuff ups to have been foisted on the NZX.?Handley?was responsible for floating the company in 2013 and raising capital. He was its chairman and one of its major investors.

But wait – there?s more!

Not only had Handley?given us a previous failure called Feverpitch (online gambling), he?s even working on a future failure in an aborted Kickstarter project called Magpie (a tracking tile solution). That project was cancelled, but you won?t be surprised to hear that funds have yet to be returned to investors – if the Kickstarter complaints page is anything to go by.

Handley?still takes money off investors for his Area VC fund. Those unwise enough to have ploughed money into Area VC might want to get some assurances about their ability to pull their funds out again, given everything that has happened at Feverpitch, Snakk and Magpie.

As bad as all the publicity was for the government over the?Derek?Handley Chief Technology Officer?balls-up, at least they didn?t end up putting him into a position where he could really cause problems. They got off lightly with a ministerial sacking and a $100,000 payment to?Derek. Hey, there?s a grand idea – why doesn?t?Derek?Handley?use the $100,000 to reimburse his Magpie investors?

Handley?pitches himself as an astronaut in waiting, but after several business losses and many investors losing money, it?s clear he?s just a space cadet.