Little Guys Care
May 21, 2007
One of the nice things about independent web entrepreneurs is that they (we?) can draw contrasts against those who are giant publicly-traded faceless corporations, either pointedly or with tongue in cheek. Some of the best recent items in this vein:
This one's from Jonathan Abrams of Socializr (except everyone still wants to credit him for Friendster). The article recites the "Top Ten Reasons Why It's Time For You To Switch To Socializr", including "Barry Diller doesn't care about Evite", "Evite doesn't offer technologies from this decade", and "Evite is a mess of invasive graphical ads".
I don't know Jonathan, but I've heard fairly positive things from the people we know in common and his criticisms ring true; The fact that Evite's emails don't include the bare facts about the event you're being invited to speaks to their contempt for their users. I'm sure they had elaborate meetings years ago to justify this, but the right answer got lost along the way.
Scott Heiferman, CEO of Meetup (and a friend of mine), offers some good-natured ribbing at the expense of the Googlers, highlighting the strengths of the nimble and independent with his typical sense of humor. "At Meetup, you take the NYC subway to work. You're part of the greatest melting pot on Earth. WARNING: Some of your fellow riders aren't naturally excited about Google Apps." and "At Google, a few Googlers wish they were at a fast-growing company where they can personally still make a huge difference. At Meetup, some Meetuppers wish we had a toilet like the Googleplex."
Not too many cheap shots, just the confidence of knowing you're doing something good. I had the privilege to find out about Meetup a while before it was public, back when Scott was first launching the idea. I told him then that I wanted his company to succeed, because we needed it to, and was proud to see him being just as passionate when speaking to a room full of politicos last week. Half a decade later, I'm also especially glad he helped me understand just how smart Brad Fitzpatrick was, well before I got to work with Brad. There's some kind of kindred spirit between people who make technologies that help others.
And since Scott uses TypePad for his blog, I was going to remind him he could use TypePad's pages feature to publish his comparison. Then I realized, by using Google Docs, Scott was actually having Google pay for the resources to host his recruiting manifesto. Them entrepreneurs are a clever bunch.