Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Digg Revolt and Greenhouses
I am super interested about today's story about the Digg revolt, not so much about the story itself, but about the management reaction. The short story : some users posted the security key for unlocking HD-DVD movies, and Digg deleted them before the AACS Licensing Authority sued them. Users revolt, Digg capitulates and (apparently) are now awaiting the summons. Perhaps if they made no attempt to delete the posts in the first place, they would have a better argument about the lack of responsibility. The fact that they restored the key might be seen as an action equal to that of the original posters. I'm no lawyer, but I wonder if Digg ever signed a confidentiality agreement with the AACS (I doubt it), and I wonder if you could possibly copyright a 16 digit hexadecimal number. If so, I wish to copyright the letters R, S, T, L, N and E. Anyways, it appears as though the Digg management recognized that without the users, they don' t have a service, so as far as this goes... the users have the power. Lesson learned.
A smart, smart man once told me that marrying the right woman was like living in a greenhouse, where you would grow faster than in any other environment. Marry the wrong one, and you live in a desert, and your very existence is threatened. I have only worked at small companies, and almost exclusively inside startups. I started at PictureTel when it was clearly a startup, and my exit was a statement of how large it had become. My thought early in my career was that I wished to start my own company one day, so by hanging around startups, I would learn how to do it. As I've grown older, I see a richer truth : I grow faster in small companies. They are my greenhouse. At a small company, you are challenged from every side, every minute, every day. If you see my e-mail address change to "Mitre" or "Raytheon", please come to my retirement party... or should I say wake... because it will be a sure sign that I have stopped growing.
It was good to see the management team at Digg grow just a little bit. Victor Frankl said that life didn't have meaning, instead it asked you what your meaning was. I believe that Digg, and the management, have a deeper understanding of what their meaning is. Good to see they are living in a greenhouse, too.
R,S,T,L,N and E are copyright(c) 2007, Thomas Howe. All rights reserved.