The money is a red herring

I agree with Ilya that people are afraid of money, and it’s a paralyzing epidemic.

He had a good point he was making, and then he went ahead and mucked it up with App.net as an example of an alternative, and that’s when I realized that even he missed his own point.

This whole arguement is a red herring for real problems and, not shockingly, the solution is a misdirection just the same.

App.net “customers” bought a pledge, a promise, a dream of what “could be”. Not something that relieves pain. Not something that will make them their $50 back or more. And definitely not $4.16/month worth of either.

Watching arguments about what App.net is or isn’t, what it represents and if it’s going to succeed or fail reminds me of the scene in Batman Forever when Chase Meridian tells Bruce Wayne that the Rorschach blot on her wall isn’t an image of a bat; she explains that it’s nothing more than an ink blot, and that people see what they want to see.

“Do you have a thing for bats, Mr Wayne?”

People assume that whatever they see in the ink blot is what the artist intended when in fact…it’s just a blot, and their mind tricks them into thinking their perceptions are accurate.

App.net is a fascinatingly similar Rorschach test on the community surrounding it. It’s a mirror, it reflects back to them what they want and care about. And people are spending $50, $100, & $1000 at a time based on what they believe the creator intends to do. Dalton has stated his intentions, to a point, but most of the 3rd party discussion has turned to speculation.

My hunch is that some customers will end up getting their $50 worth in the fact that they got to be a part of the story - which is the closest thing to real value being sold. The rest won’t, and year 2 of revenue ends up being…well…not quite so shiny.

This fairy-tale carriage has a pumpkin-like future.

Dalton certainly marketed something to the pains that people think they have, but I’m dubious of the reality of those pains. It’s sympathy pains - the vast majority of the App.net backers have never been screwed by Twitter but they fear being screwed.

I don’t think Dalton has learned much from his mistakes of the past, except the pain of riding a media frenzy. And maybe worse, “startup mania” is just as much of a distraction from its own well being than its ever been.

By the way, I put my $50 in out of pure morbid curiosity of what’s under the hood. In retrospect, I should’ve donated to a charity.

 
844
Kudos
 
844
Kudos

Read this next

Launching Without Superlatives

Seth Godin points to some interesting Kickstarter Stats and then goes on to point out two valuable launch lessons: 1) Create inevitability around the projects you launch, wherever you launch them. and 2) One way to appear inevitable is... Continue →