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The insider's game in Silicon Valley
By Dave Winer on Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at 10:13 AM.

On this week's Rebooting the News, Jay quoted Alex Payne's piece about decentralizing Twitter.  permalink

So many loops closed. We got to hear the words the insiders use to describe people who want freedom for users.  permalink

"Standardsistas, the neckbeards, the open sorcerers, the people who believe that all things must be free and open regardless of context."  permalink

"I came to the conclusion on a different path, but I came to it nonetheless," Payne continues. permalink

I don't think he knows what path others went down to arrive at these conclusions. I suspect it was pretty much the same one he went down, just a few years earlier. No matter. permalink

Then Arrington's piece about "collusion" among the latest crop of investors in Silicon Valley. Arrington started out as a user, writing from a user's persepective. That's when TechCrunch was great. Then he fell in with the VCs. He as much admits that in the piece people are citing as so courageous. Maybe that's the courage, openly telling his readers that, unless they're insiders, to be careful about what he tells us. permalink

Suppose they had invited him into the meeting, would he have written about it then? From another angle, how many meetings has Mike already been in where VCs talk about working with each other against some other interests? How often have they been working against the users' interests? (They would laugh at that question, as if they have any shared interests with the users. Sad, but I've seen people accused of being Mother Teresa because they cared about how the users fared as a result of things they were doing.) Has Mike written about those meetings? permalink

Anyway, the tech industry self-deals until it gets so far off-track that it collapses. Then another layer, built by users, comes along, and freshens things up. Then it gets stale and stagnant through incest, inbreeding and self-dealing. Then it collapses. Etc. Etc. This is an old, old story. permalink

If Mike really told the truth about the Valley, the VCs wouldn't be calling him a friend. :-) permalink

To Alex, maybe the people you thought were so idealistic and naive actually were trying to avoid these collapses. I personally have no doubts that if Twitter had the discipline and courage to compete based strictly on performance and features, and the quality of their name, that they would do much better long-term. Being open is good business.  permalink

Put another way, I think WordPress is going to end up owning a huge chunk of the business in the future, because they have the guts to allow, even encourage and support, competition, in virtually every aspect of what they do. It isn't hurting them in the short term either. permalink

Silicon Valley VCs loving each other and only listening to each other is an old story Mike. Older than either of us. Go back to your user roots, and ignore all that insider crap. Go back to where you began. That's when it was exciting.  permalink

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