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Ideas for Evan Williams
By Dave Winer on Friday, April 01, 2011 at 12:15 PM.

I noted that Evan Williams is leaving Twitter to do some new stuff. #

He's had two major successes, with Blogger and Twitter and now must be worth at least several hundred million -- maybe more. Enough money to last a lifetime, even if you spend a lot of money.  #

I'd like to suggest that with his next venture he give back to the open web, creating new stuff not to create profit for himself and venture capitalists, but to grow new limbs for the Internet. To support independence and freedom of the people of the world. For science and culture and community. #

A picture named espresso.jpgTwitter certainly had the potential to be a new exciting layer of the Internet, but I think it's pretty clear it's going the other way now. Closing up so that the backers, including Williams, can make more money. Had Evan decided to go for maximum Internet goodness, early-on, Twitter would have gone a different way. If I were in his shoes, I wouldn't want to be around for what's coming next. More stuff like the dickbar, for sure. And more bad news for developers, again for sure. #

Why not play without the burden of having to create a profit? Look at all the good Brewster Kahle has been able to accomplish? How about advancing the art of future-safe archives, so the work people do on the Internet has a life after they die? Williams could be the Andrew Carnegie of our time, a man who had a vision for libraries in every city, and made it happen. #

We also need a way for people creating revolutions to communicate more effectively with each other. Right now they're doing great work with the commercial systems, but clearly that's not always going to work, as governments get more savvy about working with the corporations behind them.  #

How about investing in DNS, making it better at representing people and documents, not just organizations and servers? #

I'd love to see an open source Dropbox clone, with all the human factors done right, but something I could host on an EC2 server.  #

Here's another one -- how about adopting Apache and putting a simple UI on it. Something anyone could use to set up a web server. But lift the hood, and there's all the standard richness of Apache. #

That's just the beginning. Commercial stuff is great, and when you're starting out, what choice do you have. But when you reach the level of success that Williams has, you don't have to limit yourself to ideas that generate revenue. You can simply "put back" to create more opportunities like the ones you built your success on. There was a lot of generosity that made Blogger and Twitter possible. Pay it back, for some good karma. :-) #

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