Dalton Caldwell and Bryan Berg:
The bad news is that the renewal rate was not high enough for us to have sufficient budget for full-time employees. After carefully considering a few different options, we are making the difficult decision to no longer employ any salaried employees, including founders. Dalton and Bryan will continue to be responsible for the operation of App.net, but no longer as employees. Additionally, as part of our efforts to ensure App.net is generating positive cash flow, we are winding down the Developer Incentive Program. We will be reaching out to developers currently enrolled in the program with more information.
As you expected right?1
I had hoped it would turn out different for App.net, but for me the writing was on the wall just six months after App.net was launched. At that point all the “popular” kids from Twitter were more or less fully back on Twitter and not engaging on App.net.
Sure, it wasn’t their job to stay on App.net and you can argue it was App.net’s job to keep them there, but I think a lot of people ‘backed’ App.net on the assumption that it is where some, or all, of the people pushing it were going to go. When those people didn’t stay, the others had little reason to stay themselves.
It’s a nasty cycle and it’s hard to break: giving big users reasons to stay so that you can keep the rest of the users.
I greatly enjoy App.net, but what I’ve gotten the most from it is the knowledge that I really don’t care about these types of social networks — in that I really don’t get satisfaction out of using them — and so now I know I just really don’t need them. I won’t be leaving, but this certainly isn’t that shocking of news.
Everyone likes to say something is doomed, but only admit when they are right and not when they are wrong. You notice that? ↩