Last week there was a lot of talk about this post from Twitter hinting that there may be some reining in of what is acceptable for API clients. In response to the news and subsequent chatter, Dalton Caldwell wrote this post giving a little history and his lament for the company that Twitter could have been. It is an interesting read and he makes some great points. After reading it though there was one thought that stuck with me: “If this guy so passionately believes that there is so much value in this other platform that Twitter elected not to build, why doesn’t he build it himself?”.
This week Dalton posted a follow up. He begins with some great insight about building profitable companies that do not rely on ad revenue because they supply a product that customers what to pay for. Then he drops the bomb. That product that I was wondering why he didn’t build himself? He is going to build it.
I believe so deeply in the importance of having a financially sustainable realtime feed API & service that I am going to refocus App.net to become exactly that. I have the experience, vision, infrastructure and team to do it.
I can’t say I understand Mr. Caldwell’s vision well enough to give an opinion on whether he will be successful but I applaud him for laying it out there and trying. Criticism from the sidelines is rampant in technology these days. We rend our garments over Twitter’s API, we scoff and snicker as Netflix stumbles to re-focus their business, we look sideways and tsk-tsk at Facebook’s ambitions to gather ever more data on us. What so few of us actually do is get off the bench and try to build better alternatives. It is truly refreshing to me to see someone step up and say not only “this could be better” but follow that up with “and I am going to make it so.” Kudos to you Mr. Caldwell and best of luck.