Not All That Glitters… Forbes Scraps Its Midas List

Forbes will not publish its annual Midas List next year, peHUB has learned.

A company spokeswoman confirmed the decision, saying that there are no current plans to revisit it. Really a shame, given that 2010 would have been the year in which Google’s IPO would have no longer factored into the rankings.

For the uninitiated, Forbes’ Midas List is designed to “identify venture capitalists who generate profits for their investors and assist in building valuable, long-lived technology and life sciences companies.” It’s considered the bible for VC bragging rights, with firms quick to send out indulgent press releases when one of their partners makes the cut.

The Midas List methodology focuses on exit values over the past five years, whether by M&A or IPO (it uses the first-day capitalization). Last year, it began weighting recent exits more heavily.

Unfortunately, the long-term window made most of the top rankers a rotating cast of Google backers, with Kleiner Perkins’ John Doerr winning the past two years and Sequoia Capital’s Mike Moritz taking the two previous years. I had been hoping to see new names pop up, but it seems that Doerr remains on top indefinitely.

As one might imagine, producing something like The Midas List is a giant time-suck, and sources tell me that Forbes just doesn’t have enough knowledgable staffers left to produce it. The magazine’s most recent round of layoffs was last month, including approximately 50 editorial staffers. Among those were Evan Hessel, who led the Midas coverage last year, and Rebecca Buckman, who was Forbes’ only reporter dedicated to the venture capital beat.

The Forbes spokeswoman declined to confirm that layoffs were the cause of the Midas List’s discontinuation, saying instead that the magazine is trying out “new, innovative ideas like the recent list of the world’s most powerful people.”