Because the Cart Came before the Horse

Shannon Whitley, in an open letter to Ryan Sarver of Twitter, responding to the new Twitter API strategy statements:

I understand the thinking behind this strategy, “We must control input to the system.  We need to have X in place to generate revenue using Y.”  I don’t have to tell you how wrong this thinking is, but somehow it’s moved beyond a bean counter’s dream into reality.  Somehow, everyone in the boardroom forgot about Twitter’s history of amazing innovation due to having an open API.  They forgot that Twitter is a beautiful messaging platform with unlimited potential.  Twitter has unlimited potential specifically because innovation on top of the API has been largely unlimited, until now.

What Twitter is doing right now is exactly what happens when you build your platform without a revenue strategy. Now, the strategy appears to be incompatible with the innovation that has come before.