How come most sites can get away with such crappy treatment of users?

The NYTimes wrote a little while back about how hard it is to delete an account on most social networks and web services. I got to be a voice of dissent (and reason):

Still, not every site takes the “Never Gonna Give You Up” approach. Alexis Ohanian, the co-founder of the social news site Reddit, said that if users wanted to delete an account, “they should be able to do that as easily as they signed up.”

“It puts the onus on us to keep delivering a great product, and not retaining users simply because they can’t find the exit,” he said.

But really, why are sites like reddit the exception, not the rule? How valuable can 'trapped' users be? How much are you slacking on your product and business because you don't have to keep earning that user?

Surprise shoutout from Irina Pavlova of @BrooklynNets front office

(translated thanks to Google, but not perfectly!)

Q: Jay-Z announced that it was selling its stake in the Brooklyn Nets. Who can become the owner?

A: It is still unknown. Jay-Z to sell his share, as he wants to become a sports agent, and by the rules of NBA, can not be involved in a team. The other day, a young internet millionaire, who founded the company Reddit, said he wanted to buy his share, which would continue the good tradition of our brightest owners.

So awesome. Thanks, Irina. I sure hope everything works out.

I'm still getting over last night's loss, but it was a hell of a season and '13 is going to be even better! Good luck the rest of the way, Chicago.

Inside The Startup Machine: @YCombinator Demo Day

via NYTimes - read the whole thing

At 10 o’clock on the morning of Demo Day, there was a traffic jam in Mountain View. Priuses, Teslas and Fiskers queued on North Shoreline Boulevard, on the way to the Computer History Museum. Inside, an hour before the presentations began, obsession was in the air; also insomnia, caffeine and paranoia. The prominent venture-capital firms were represented in force — Sequoia Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Andreessen Horowitz — as were the Hollywood investors, which included Ari Emanuel and his associates from W.M.E.; a trio of superciliously grinning representatives from C.A.A.; and Guy Oseary, Madonna’s manager and Ashton Kutcher’s partner at A-Grade Investments. The man who attracted the most attention of all was Ron Conway, a founder of S.V. Angel and an early investor in Google, PayPal, Facebook and Twitter. Conway is a regal personage with a sweep of thick white hair and a stately manner. He greeted well-wishers and acolytes with a wry, avuncular smile, distributing his business card as a priest might hand out alms. Less-prominent investors cautiously approached founders, asking questions designed to obscure interest and commitment.

Media business is a changin' - @Hubspot is leading the way

via Boston.com

“I’ve spent my entire career in the media business, and now I’ve bailed out. In the end it was a pretty simple decision. I came to the realization that advertising is dying, and therefore any business that depends on advertising to pay the bills is a dead end,” Lyons wrote. “At my first meeting with HubSpot, they told me about one of their customers, a company that used to spend $800,000 a year running newspaper ads but now spends $12,000 a year for a subscription to HubSpot and gets better results.”