On this blog I’m often trying to combine lessons for entrepreneurs and market commentary. Yesterday it was my turn for the lesson.
In my zeal to prove a point I often take a strong stance on an issue. I then debate the topic in the comments section and hope that we all learn from the conversation.
It’s my personality to do this.
Yesterday I pushed this passion in the wrong direction.
I have long wanted to write about FNAC (feature, not a company) because it’s part of my normal lexicon to push teams that present to me to think harder about where the economics in their industry is coming from.
I have also spent the past year talking publicly about how I didn’t believe that their were strong monetization opportunities in “group messaging” and that people offering that product would need to find other ways to monetize. I repeatedly said, “I’m not saying anything wrong about these products, just that they will need to find adjacent ways to make money.”
Yesterday I combined these topics in post. The problem with this is that it came right on the heels of GroupMe selling its business to Skype. It somehow implied that they “weren’t a real company” in some people’s eyes. And while I tried really hard to choose my language in the post carefully to NOT imply that, the truth is that my internal compass told me that the timing was wrong on a post like this.
I received a couple of emails from my friends and colleagues vigorously defending GroupMe. In my responses I kept pointing out, “I didn’t say anything was wrong about GroupMe – I said the opposite! I said it was a great product that was well marketed.”
But the truth is that even I felt bad all day about my post. It lingered.
Then an email came in from somebody I know that made it clear to me what was wrong and what my internal compass had been trying to tell me. It said
“Whether you are right or wrong doesn’t actually matter. What matters is that this is a great team with two really hardworking founders that have always stayed positive about their competition. There were two justified responses to their sale — either ‘Congrats’ or nothing at all.”
And that sums up perfect what I should have done.
Congrats, GroupMe team. I have always been impressed with your product and execution. I’m sorry if my post in anyway implied anything other than that. And I’m sorry that this unadulterated congrats came a day late. Mea Culpa.