By Dave Winer on Saturday, September 17, 2011 at 10:27 AM.
The term "selling out" is a great one, because it's both a state of mind and a financial transaction. But they mean the same thing, no matter which way you approach it.
1. He sold out. He used to have integrity, his word used to mean something, he took principled stands. But now, he's like a noodle, doesn't stand for anything, produces crap, is a yes-man, etc etc.
2. He sold out. He hired lawyers and accountants and financial advisers and gave up his labor of love, his virtual baby, for money!
There's a time for principled stands, and there's a time to sell out. I've done both. I get to do more of the former because I've done some of the latter.
But it's funny how there's no way to to avoid #1 once you've done #2. People always say they're going to, but it never works.
Soon after the sale, the founder leaves, often in a hail of virtual bullets, and you can see that the organizational independence that was supposed to be thematic, never was there at all. They blame the boss. But there really is no one to blame, it's just the way it works.
Being a very public thing, TechCrunch's transition from a platform for outrageous entrepreneurialism to a corporate cash cow, is something we can all watch.
I'm being polite. I won't miss the old TechCrunch. I don't like gatekeepers. I know eventually their lock breaks.
Their campaign against RSS was wrong. Essential plumbing from years-gone-by never goes away. There's still water flowing through pipes laid by the Roman Empire. Their roads still exist. Even if RSS has stopped growing, which I doubt, it's a long way from being what they said it is.
Now that's over (we hope), maybe we can distribute power more evenly, and get to do some really neat stuff in tech, with more people working with each other. TechCrunch often stood in the way of that.