An interesting read: The Inside Story of BitTorrent’s Bizarre Collapse

Or what happened when a brilliant idea got destroyed by the money men in a bid to create "the next Netflix"
A long read, but worth it.


Interesting indeed, but I don’t think it got destroyed by the money men so to speak.

It seem to me that lack of management skills, such as co-CEOs barely spending any time in the company headquarters and the resulting poor communication between them and employees would be one of the worst problem they face. Another is that the tech was open source from the beginning, and it also might be hard to make a commercial product/service out of it.

Like a good friend says, invest in people not in ideas.

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Yeah, I suppose get-rich-quick merchants is a better description than money men. I don’t know much about the startup world but this story seems like a neat encapsulation of all the things that can go wrong, even if you start with a brilliant idea.

I feel sorry for Bram Cohen who invented the BitTorrent protocol but who is not, according to this write up, any sort of businessman. He got cleaned out by Johnson and Delamar who, with no experience of the entertainment industry, decided to take on Netflix even though a similar plan had failed previously. Duh. And his investors were no help at all effectively selling the firm for a credit note.

Your point about BitTorrent being open source is a good one. It’s hard to build a traditional business on something that can be forked, particularly one that’s going to make you rich overnight.I liked this quote in the article:

Perhaps the lesson here is that sometimes technologies are not products. And they’re not companies. They’re just damn good technologies. Vint Cerf did not land a Google-size fortune for having helped invent the TCP/IP protocols that power the Internet (though he did get the U.S. National Medal of Technology). What’s more, to be successful, a startup requires both a great idea for a product or service, and a great idea for how to make money off of it. One without the other will fail.

It will be interesting to see what sort of money making ideas emerge on the back of SAFE.