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Pownce is Gone and It’s Kevin Rose’s Fault
We’ve learned today that the microblogging service Pownce has been acquired by Six Apart. It also appears that Pownce will close in two weeks from today. While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, it appears it was a deal to get some programming talent.
Mr. Ha at VentureBeat has a good overview of the deal and what it means for the team. Ha notes, "Culver and Mike Malone, who were Pownce’s main developers, will move on to similar roles at Six Apart. Though Pownce won’t be a part of Six Apart, you can be sure the two will be working on something related to the “rebalancing” effort that Six Apart chief executive Chris Alden mentioned." Apparently Kevin Rose will remain on as a Six Apart advisor.
The sad reality here is that Pownce had a HUGE opportunity that was wasted by Pownce co-founder Kevin Rose. Instead of Kevin using his huge network to push Pownce, he pushed their biggest competitor Twitter. With 75,000 followers on Twitter, Rose could have easily moved (at least a large percentage of) them over to Pownce and made the service more active. I’ve watched how loyal Rose’s fans are and they would have helped to build Pownce up, instead of allowing it to be sold for scraps. It’s a pretty shocking business strategy.
I can’t imagine how the team must feel building a tool that one of the founders doesn’t even actively promote! Take this as a lesson for your startup, actively use your own service or watch it fall apart!