Flutterby™! : Some bye-byes

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Some bye-byes

2002-05-15 15:52:20+00 by Dan Lyke 6 comments

So long RealNames and goodbye Napster. I talked with one of the VCs behind RealNames[Wiki] at an NBMA meeting a while ago, and for all of Keith Teare's whining, I can only say "you guys had it coming". A great comment on the Fucked Company thread referring to the /. threads (1, 2):

There's no better indication that your product sucks when slashdot is collectively defending Microsoft for their actions. Congratulations Mr. Teare, it's a cold day in hell right now thanks to you.

As for Napster[Wiki], some of what I can rant about is covered by NDA, so I won't. Well, maybe a little: As much as I hate the RIAA, helping other people steal, even trying to defend their right to steal in court, won't ever be a profitable business model. But I've got to cut it short there, alas.

[ related topics: Business Microsoft New Economy moron Current Events ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-05-15 16:17:16+00 by: Dan Lyke

Okay, I've got to add one snarky comment about that last paragraph: Even Andersen[Wiki] eventually got caught for helping their customers steal.

#Comment made: 2002-05-15 16:26:25+00 by: Dan Lyke

The Chronicle has a better article on the death of Napster, mentioning that Shawn Fanning, the creator, left, and reporting on allegations that VCs Hank Berry and John Hummer have more to gain from sale of assets in bankruptcy.

#Comment made: 2002-05-15 19:04:52+00 by: Pete

The funny part is that Fanning set up Napster to screw the RIAA, but he got screwed by his own damn family instead.

#Comment made: 2002-05-15 23:11:02+00 by: Pete [edit history]

Gotta love that uncle Fanning:
Larger chunks of Napster are held by a roster of older and often extremely wealthy investors, some of them veterans of successful Internet companies. Chief among them is John Fanning, uncle to Shawn, who at one point owned 70% of Napster to Shawn's 30%. Insiders say that because of subsequent investments, Shawn Fanning's current stake in Napster is about 6%, with his uncle, the biggest individual shareholder, having about 12%. Napster itself won't discuss the matter.

The senior Mr. Fanning, who often introduces himself as "the founder of Napster," is himself an Internet entrepreneur, though none of his projects have had anywhere near the success of his nephew's. In an interview, the senior Mr. Fanning said his initial 70% stake in Napster was justified by the executive role he played in Napster's early days, and by the money he invested in the company, an amount he says was in the "tens of thousands of dollars."

Several friends of Shawn said that the big size of his uncle's stake is a sore point with the young Mr. Fanning, one that he doesn't like to discuss. But Mr. Fanning says his nephew, who grew up without a father, was well provided for when Napster was incorporated. "If Shawn weren't my nephew, he wouldn't have got the deal he got," Mr. Fanning says. "Usually, for people in that position, it's hard to get 3% or 5%."

#Comment made: 2002-05-15 23:22:37+00 by: Dan Lyke

I'm just glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read "...though none of his projects have had anywhere near the success of his nephew's." Gotta love the new economy, where tanking through around a hundred million bucks is a huge success.

#Comment made: 2002-05-17 19:21:37+00 by: Dan Lyke

Bertelsmann buys Napster for $8M, Konrad Hilbers and Shawn Fanning reverse their decision to leave.