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Open source and the blame game

When the boat is sinking you grab the first liferaft available. If the captain of the raft dithers you grab another raft. Amazing how so many people would rather drown.

Bob Bickel, Ringside
Times are tough. We all want to blame someone else. We all want to avoid paying the piper.

This is a natural human impulse. The difference between life's winners and losers is how the former resist that impulse. Instead they look for the best possible deal and move on.

It reminds me of the last recession I saw, the dot-bomb in 2000. I was on an Ad:tech party bus listening to some young stud bemoan the new attitude among VCs, namely that there were other fish in the sea.

I laughed, long and hard. I laughed so much I cried. I laughed until my stomach hurt.

Which brings me to the sad story of Ringside Networks, makers of the Ning open source social networking system.

Apparently Ringside made the classic mistake. They tried to hold an auction in a falling market. It's the same thing Bear Stearns did, the same thing Washington Mutual did, the same thing Lehman Brothers did.

When the boat is sinking you grab the first liferaft available. If the captain of the raft dithers you grab another raft. Amazing how so many people would rather drown.

Big Money Matt Asay grabbed a few graphs off Bickel's last post to blame a certain company whose name apparently rhymes with frugal.

That is not the way Bickel concludes his post:

The building of a company requires so many things to come together. Good ideas, good target markets, good people, good business models, good timing. I think we just missed on the final ingredient - good luck…

If a deal could not be done with anyone, then I agree with Bickel. There will be plenty of time for counting now that the dealing's done.

Ringside knew when to fold 'em. The man will get a chance to play another hand. Learn from his mistake.