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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.