May 3

Marc Hedlund

Marc Hedlund

Satisfaction on the Digg Revolt

I've really been liking the blog over at Satisfaction, the as-yet-unlaunched new company from Adaptive Path veteran Lane Becker and others. I liked what they had to say today about the Digg Revolt:

Beware of business decisions that masquerade as legal issues. You’ll be tempted to defer to your lawyer’s advice. And it’s a good bet your lawyer’s instincts will be wrong when it comes to fostering open, two-way dialog with your customers. It’s more likely they’ll enmesh you in a battle of wills with the very people you depend on to grow your business.

Whatever the “right” decision was for Digg regarding whether or not to delete the offending post, Digg knows it is nothing without its passionate and participating members. The enlightened path should have been obvious to them: be completely transparent with users from the beginning.

I've subscribed -- and am looking forward to seeing what they've built to help companies with these questions.

tags: attaboys  | comments: 7   | Sphere It

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Comments: 7

  lane becker [05.03.07 09:34 AM]

thanks, marc. actually, we based our approach to our company blog -- subject-matter specific but with posts that range around all the issues involved in starting a company related to that subject -- pretty much entirely on "wheaties for your wallet." steal (borrow, whatever) from the best!

  duane edmonds [05.03.07 09:46 AM]

Thanks for the post. I agree that being transparent from the start is the key.

  Tim O'Reilly [05.03.07 09:48 AM]

Since Marc would be too bashful to do this, I should add to Lane's comment that Wheaties for your Wallet is Marc's other blog, over at Wesabe.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I will of course add that O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures is an investor in Wesabe, and I'm on the board of directors. But I will note that I'm not touting Wesabe because I'm an investor. I'm an investor because it's a company put together by entrepreneurs I admire, with an idealistic consumer-friendly but business-powerful premise.

  Josh [05.03.07 12:35 PM]

This harkens to a simple concept known as “Fair Process”. HBR published a piece ten years ago titled “Fair Process: Managing in the Knowledge Economy” that essentially states what is common sense; people want to understand the process by which decisions are arrived at and feel that those processes are fair and transparent. What is remarkable is that the study found that the process is more important than the decision… In other words, it is generally more important to people that the process is fair and transparent than that whether the outcome favors them.

Digg has totally missed the point and taken this as some call to arms for the freedom of information and fighting "the man" - when in my opinion, this is about the lack of transparency in their own business decision-making.

  Michael R. Bernstein [05.03.07 05:37 PM]

In other words, it is generally more important to people that the process is fair and transparent than that whether the outcome favors them.

True, and this in itself is ripe for abuse, as you can lie about what the actual process is and frequently get away with it. We see this sort of sham transparency all the time.

  Roy Schestowitz [05.04.07 12:03 AM]

What's more mind-boggling is the pursuit for the impossible---stopping the indexer.
"Google got DMCA notice about HD DVD key"

  Jack [05.04.07 01:58 AM]

I personally back the revolt at Digg and I cannot believe how childish Kevin Rose was in his statement that the people revolting obviously wanted Digg to be destroyed rather than see them bow down to a far bigger company.

Look at the RIAA backlash because they are suing their own customers. Kevin basically hit out at his customers like a kid does when they don't get their own way. Whatever happens...Diggnation is going to be VERY interesting this/next week!

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