Bill Simmons was suspended by ESPN for calling the commissioner of the NFL a liar. Of course he was lying. Every time an exec opens his or her mouth, they're lying. They're all telling TV stories. It's their job to lie. But Bill Simmons, presumably, has put away enough money so he doesn't need the ESPN job. He could keep his podcast and start a new blog, and continue telling the truth. The question isn't whether or not ESPN will let its columnists tell the truth, they won't because they can't, and still keep the relationships they have with the leagues. The question is this -- does Simmons need more money? If not, if I were him, I'd go ahead and tell the truth. Let another system develop. I think very quickly people will choose to go the way of the truth. It's a lot more interesting.
I ask the same question of entrepreneurs who have cashed out for enough money to live comfortably for the rest of their lives. They could do their next venture not based on the standard tech industry model of enticing users to give their love to a network that just wants to turn them into unpaid liars. Because that's what the tech business model is based on. Creating lots of people who repeat the lies, while trying to sound controversial. There are so many professors and journalists willing to sign up for that, they might get paid a few bucks, in order to lead everyone else into doing it for free.
The question for the entrepreneurs is this -- why? If you already have a billion dollars, why not try to break the mold, and create a network where everyone is free to say whatever they like, and if they don't like your service, if they find it too confining, they can take their ideas with them? It's a shame more people, once they've achieved a certain amount of success, don't give freedom a try. Not just for their users, but for themselves too.
I guess basically people get comfort from the constraints other people put on them. Otherwise, why not just break out? The really interesting thing to watch is if Simmons, having broke the rules once, decides to fuck the rules, and take a permanent leave from ESPN.