Robert Scoble, who seems to sign up for every single new service the internet has to offer, recently went on a bit of a rant against Glassmap, a Y Combinator funded company, for doing something allegedly nefarious to his Facebook feed. As Dustin Curtis points out the fault is likely not with Glassmap, but with Facebook. Still, the comments in the thread became highly entertaining when one of the founders of Glassmap jumped in, capping with Scoble telling him:
You aren’t listening to feedback. You deserve to fail.
Perhaps I’m noticing this because I’m particularly attuned to Y Combinator companies — Y Combinator is, right now, one of the most powerful organizations in Silicon Valley — and perhaps I’m noticing this because many of the startups out there getting paid attention to are Y Combinator companies. Either way, let’s just say that I’m not especially confident in my sample size or selection. But, this is not the first time a Y Combinator company has had a problem dealing with people:
- InDinero ripped off Shopify’s design.
- AirBnB handled a user’s complaints poorly.
- Dropbox had a security breach and some users felt insecure.
- Curebit ripped off a design from 37signals.
In all these cases, the handling of the event was seen as worse than the event itself. I can’t help but wonder if this is largely a function of youth — Y Combinator founders tend to be on the younger side. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that these startups aren’t doing a great job playing with others. As Mike Arrington wrote about these types of situations:
And the way to roll over is an unqualified apology, backed up with a short and easily understood explanation of how such a thing will never happen again. Don’t use any big words, and for the love of God don’t try to justify any part of what happened.
And sound advice from Richard Nixon:
It’s not the crime that gets you, it’s the cover-up.