Apple aficionado, speaker, and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki has a new startup coming out called Truemors. This normally wouldn’t be a big deal (person starting mobile-ready web application, how unique) but because it’s Guy Kawasaki’s pet project it gets press. Unfortunately for Guy, his aura has been fading in recent months, so simply having his name attached to a company isn’t enough anymore.
Guy put up the “help wanted” sign over at his blog, saying that Truemors was looking for a few good people, and was trounced in the comments. Here are some choice quotes:
“I hope this is a joke?”
“I agree with most of the comments. It just seems sad. The world doesn’t need another gossip monger.”
“Did you hear that Guy has sunk to a new low? Come on Guy… gossip is one step away from pornography.”
According to TechCrunch, the service will be a “rumor reporting bulletin board with twitter-like capabilities”, or if you switch it around a bit, “Twitter but for rumors.” Unfortunately, that description falls dangerously close to the “it’s like X but for Y” where X is a popular (and normally revenue-free) Web 2.0 startup, and Y is the uninteresting market that X purposely didn’t go for. Truemors gets pwn3d over at that TechCrunch thread as well:
“Cash from rumors. True or not. Potential to ruin lives and reputations all on one board! Great idea, Guy.”
“Wow, how boring and what a bad name. I donâ€™t think Guy has ever founded a real company and his investment record is poor as well – and tumor or whatever is sure to maintain this record. Reminds me of Seth Godin and squidpoo or whatever it was called.”
The comments at TC bring up a good point. If Truemors is essentially “post whatever you want, is it true or not? VOTE!” then I could theoretically post something like “My next-door neighbor John Smith is a Nazi and likes to burn down churches in his spare time” which is obviously libelous. The problem is, the entire Truemors concept is based on posting things that may or may not be true, so how do you avoid defamatory comments in any sort of programmatic fashion? I want to see how they sort that stuff out.
Those crazy cats at TechCrunch have done some more sleuthing, and have somehow gained access to the Truemors beta and produced a screenshot:
The screenshot validates the rumors (ha) about Guy’s new service, and indicates it’s also adopting a Reddit/Digg-type voting style to move individually posted rumors up and down. The site was developed by electric pulp, a design/development agency out in South Dakota that does some really great work. They even have a quote from Guy on their homepage:
“Most tech teams are good, fast, cheap â€” pick any two. Electric Pulp is all three.” -Guy Kawasaki
Um, not to burst anybody’s bubble, but that’s hardly a compliment. Being good and fast is good, being called or thought of as cheap is not. I’d never want a quote like that on my website, but hey, Guy Kawasaki wrote it so it must be gold, right? Right?