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Twitter: I Love You Man, But…

I use you every day. I use you more passionately than email now. I hate email, by the way. I wish everyone used Three.Sentenc.es

I’m not an investor, I have no right to tell you what to do.

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I’m not an advisor & I’m not privy to any internal information at your company. You have to make the tough judgment calls.

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I’m not omnipotent so I can’t use market power to influence your behavior. Even writing this could hurt me. I don’t want that.

Twitter, I’m a friend. I love you, man. Please try to play nicer. I come in peace.

I use you every day. I use you more passionately than email now. I hate email, by the way. I wish everyone used Three.Sentenc.es

Facebook? That’s where my family shares photos. I have no problem with it. But I network, conduct business & interact with the global community openly (and privately) on Twitter. I want to keep it that way.

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I love that you create social uprisings in countries with bad leaders. I love that you are social & democratic.

I don’t love when you behave like those that you help depose. Nobody likes bullies. Egypt, China & Iran block Twitter users. Americans expect civil discourse and fair fights.

You claim that you shut down UberMedia for a variety of corporate reasons. I’m not an investor in UberMedia either. I like Bill Gross. But I don’t have a dog in your fight.

Here’s the thing. I’m a user of UberTwitter. I use it because it was the best mobile client in the market for Blackberry devices. And you shut them down today. You’ll be fine. People will stick around. You’re the king. But nobody really likes monarchies, except in a British sort of ceremonial way.

I don’t advise you. But if I did here’s what I would have said.

Issue them a public warning. Put it in the press. Tell the users that there’s a chance the service might get cut off. Hell, even cable operators do that when they have disputes with networks. Let the public see you as the good guy. If you shut off the network you screw your users, like me.

And if you want to win the client war, do it by creating a better mobile client. It’s hard to see how you don’t win if you do that.

Oh, and I probably would have added

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If you want to cut off a potential competitor at the knees and say it was over policy & security violations, try not to launch a promoted Tweet saying #TwitterMobile trying to convert users to your client that exact same day. The coincidence will be lost on people.

And please don’t shoot the messager. I’m pretty sure I’m just publicly saying what your entire fiefdom is thinking. Others will be more cautious in speaking publicly. I understand that. My private email is ringing off the hook right now. It’s just that people get a bit twitchy that their heads may be next.

I love you, man. I just want to see you succeed. This isn’t the way …

Yours since April 2007,
@msuster

Reprinted from Both Sides of the Table

Mark Suster is a 2x entrepreneur who has gone to the Dark Side of VC. He joined GRP Partners in 2007 as a General Partner after selling his company to Salesforce.com. He focuses on early-stage technology companies. Follow him at twitter.com/msuster.

About the author

I grew up in Northern California and was fortunate enough to have computers around my house and school from a young age. In fact, in high school in the mid-eighties I sold computer software and taught advanced computers.

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