“Odeo-deo” — Morris Day and the Time
October 27, 2006, 1:39 pm
Filed under: Odeo, podcasting, Podcasts, venture capital

So Evan Williams bought Odeo back from the investors, reputedly for 50 cents on the dollar. He suggests on his blog that this was because ” I just wanted to create a company that would be as much fun and as fulfilling as possible. Fun in work to me means a lot of freedom, and ton of creativity, working with people I respect and like, and pursuing ideas that are just crazy enough to work.” He goes on to say, “I don’t want to have to worry about getting buy-in from executives or a board, raising money, worrying about investor’s perceptions, or cashing out.”

Nice spin. If this is really about taking the long view, why is Ev worried about the mistakes “which hindered that quick success”?

If you have an good idea, and a good business model, success is a function of execution. If your idea isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, or, as in the case of Odeo , your company “hasn’t yet settled on a business model” (gigaom.com), it doesn’t matter who your investors are. If you’ve got a good idea, and a good business model, being held accountable for execution is the best thing that can happen to you.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Ev is right in his hypothesis that every social media service has a life cycle and the continued success of a company will depend on an evolution of the services offered, but you have to finish what you start in order for any of the services to be successful.

Walking away from an idea because you don’t instantly dominate a market and get acquired by Google, doesn’t sound like freedom to me. It sounds like corporate ADD.