As you would expect, no one wants to go on the record about a subject such as this. But one prominent social media VC let it all hang out when asked about Twittergate. The VC, who was closely involved in transactions involving MySpace, and is an active investor in the sector, blasted Twitter's management on multiple counts, making it clear that if this were his portfolio company he'd be plenty pissed. Highlights from the interview with DailyFinance are below:
On management credibility: "Overall, this really hurts management's credibility -- total disaster. It makes Ev and his team look like a bunch of rank amateurs. That they were dumb enough to put all this information in a cloud in GoogleApps with a password that anyone can figure out is not brilliant and bordering on criminal stupidity."
On Twitters big revenue projections of over $1 billion by 2013: "That's the biggest negative in my mind. The numbers they threw out were ludicrous. It's not going to help management down the road if they completely whiff on projections. If MySpace and Facebook with much larger user bases and much easier ad models couldn't come close to those numbers, does twitter have a good shot? Probably not."
On the added publicity value of Twittergate: "Did they really need any more publicity? I think they actually are risking publicity backlash here. It's inevitable. Everyone at some level hates the most popular kid in the class. I mean, yes, its great they have this much publicity, but come on. Does this extra bit really matter?"
On the various revenue models proposed: "This highlights how difficult it will be for them to make money. Twitter is more of an application than a destination, so ad support is hard. With Google, there was a clear ad model. Even with Facebook, which has struggled to make money, there was a clearer revenue model. Twitter is grabbing at straws and the documents made that even clearer."
Prominent social media VC says Twittergate is a 'disaster'