Growing Pains  

Matt Alexander:

We no longer live in a world in which commerce is characterized by the simplistic exchange of currency for a product or service. Instead, the Internet has given rise to utterly new forms of revenue generation. Although, arguably, many of these methods are inherently flawed, I have faith that such problems are merely indicative of the Internet’s continued growing pains.

Some people are criticizing Pocket for “pivoting” to a free service in spite of their clear intentions on planning to stick around to build a great platform that makes revenue.

I’ve said many times that this is uncharted territory for developers, investors, and the users. I don’t think “taking time to figure things out” is inherently flawed as a business-building process.

Should we give Twitter, Flipboard, Zite, and others crap because they needed/need time to figure out the business?

My problem is with the bitterness and condemnation on principle.

It’s the same issue with “losing faith in humanity” because some “bad” people exist. Some developers are driven by greediness: they launch free services to grab some data and investors’ money, and then they shut down (or get acquired and become worse). But does this mean because of a few examples we have to be so skeptical, rude, and cynical?

Do we really want to stop giving the benefit of the doubt?

 
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