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Silcon Valley Story: Twitter Please Don’t Be Web 2.0 Pointcast – Don’t Pull a Pointcast November 25, 2008

Posted by John in Technology.
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9 comments

Twitter was offered $500 million from Facebook as reported by Kara Swisher (who has an accurate reporting record).

Let me get this on the record: I love Twitter. From the day that my friend Dan Bricklin showed me Pyra I’ve been watching Ev and his team at Pyra, Odeo, and then Twitter I have been a big fan of those product guys.

Twitter has been a ‘whale of a hit’. I remember when I started PodTech we moved the needle with Twitter at SXSW in 2007 not only was it fun, but it was effective. Since that time in early 2007 Twitter has gone and continues to go mainstream. Many people use Twitter as a way to communicate to peers and friends while some use it to promote their wares (PR firms and social media wannabees).

Here’s my point: I hope that Twitter doesn’t become the Web 2.0 version of Pointcast. For all you not familar with the storied company they were a big Web 1.0 company with massive hype and viability. In fact their product paradigm was awesome. Except for some minor fatal flaws – like price of bandwidth and massive changes in clients software (browser) – it was a great product.

The final nail in Pointcast’s coffin was their blatant turn down of a $300 million+ offer from News Corp. Pointcast’s hubris reject the News Corp offer. Why? They were drinking the Web 1.0 kool aid – they thought they were on the verge of riding the wave of the Dot Com gold rush. That bubble popped and Pointcast was sold for like $2 million (mainly IP) a few years later.

Now here we have Twitter having a ‘whale of time’ enjoying their success and constant outage. Facebook offers $500 million and they turn it down. I love Twitter but I think that you’re on the verge of pulling a Pointcast.

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