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A Quick Note To The Founders Who Were Hiding.. [Net Neutrality Debate]

So far, very few ‘funded’ founders came out in the open and talked openly about the net neutrality issue.
Why? Because it’s a double-edged sword.
[A] You can easily say *Fuck You* to AirtelZero (or similar opportunity) and win the community love.
BUT.
[B] What if your competition goes ahead and does a deal – you are screwed.Plus, inherently such platforms can be used to drive marketing – so ‘never say never’.
That is, keep the channel open. And DON’T SPEAK.
None of them came out clearly in the open and uttered a word (except for some like Deepinder of Zomato).
Now that Flipkart has done the ballsy job of declaring its stand on Airtel zero, several founders are now *issuing* press releases supporting net neutrality. Because they have to ‘look good’. They need to ride the ‘Flipkart wave’ at any cost!
This is the screenshot of my inbox post today’s Flipkart announcement.
netneutraliity-startup-founders
My 2 cents to these founders: You are a chicken. You are a mere watcher with no guts to take a stand of your own. Don’t be a pretentious dick. Don’t bother to send us press releases.

2 comments

  • Ashish,
    Quick points.
    1) First of all, congratulations with running a sane debate on this issue. Media ran this as totally anti-net-neutrality move and equating it to speed throttling. However zero rating (in its current form) is not the same as anti-net-neutrality
    2) I think you are being generous to Flipkart. They did intend to go through with this and didn’t pull out because of concern or noble cause. I think they did pull out because of netizens’ pressure. Nothing else would have moved them otherwise. So it wasn’t a ballsy move, it was what any one would have done after getting a beating.
    There should be a key lesson for all start-up founders. I think during this debate Sachin Bansal brought out earlier deals like Flipkart-Reliance which too was zero rating but no one raised hue and cry then and it was discriminatory. Well while it was discriminatory, Flipkart founders didn’t raise hue and cry then and didn’t throw their weight behind the issue, because they were not getting impacted. I think such (and other) founders should learn to champion causes early on for the benefit of India and internet in general. Raising such excuses later on only shows them as serving their selfish interests.

  • Hey – yes . Flipkart isn’t that sane either. But they atleast put up a brave and candid face. There is very less PR BS that comes from them (it does come, but I know how to ignore these). They were at the forefront of this debate and glad that they took the right step – which I am sure is because of the pressure from their customers/fans.