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Knowing absolutely nothing about this case, and assuming Sam is 100% right, I think it is a bit unfair for Sam to use his huge PR advantage. Obviously, it's just business, and it's good to see Sam and YC putting their considerable PR weight behind one of their companies, but it's also problematic, especially at this point in time, where it doesn't seem like the other side has done any PR (otherwise this move is perfectly understandable). Maybe Jeremy will withdraw his claim? Maybe he'll take the next settlement offer? Maybe he's an opportunist, but maybe he truly feels he's been unjustly harmed (and maybe both)? And maybe he's just so angry with himself for dropping out that he just can't let it go? Is it really necessary to air this in public, possibly destroying a person's reputation, when you might well win anyway (and it is unlikely that this post would change the outcome one way or the other)? Or is it just a form of deterrence to others?



It does feel a little unfair; I have a huge advantage, no doubt.

I basically tried every other method I knew of, even encouraging Kyle to file the suit under seal to keep it private as long as possible. When the guy stopped talking to me, and to Kyle, and to Ron, and Cruise need to proceed with the lawsuit so that they could close the merger, I felt out of options. Today they lifted the seal on the suit.

And, I think it's time people talk about these things publicly. They are a rising undercurrent, but I would have preferred to talk about them in the general case.


OK, but I still don't understand what it is that you're trying to achieve with this particular post. Social pressure on Jeremy to settle? Deterrence to others? Is there a strategy here or just an expression of frustration (which is absolutely legitimate, but would be better served by a less official position)?


This is YCombinator's largest exit ever. Sam seems to be asking for the support of the crowd, both against Jeremy, and in support of the acquisition with GM.

It makes sense, but it's also airing their dirty laundry. It comes across as a bit embarassing that some of the top advisors, investors, and lawyers in Silicon Valley allowed this potential deal-breaker through their due diligence process. It sounds like if it was dealt with at the Seed or Series A stage, this ex-founder would have left on much simpler terms.


> > I think it's time people talk about these things publicly

The strategy is deterrence. This is similar to how the justice system "makes an example" out of certain cases by pressing extremely harsh penalties. So while this effects Jeremy negatively, he is not the target here.


Regardless of how right sama is, this is exactly what is happening. YC is making an example of Jeremy.


Deterrence. Ok, what exactly is the behavior to be deterred here? Working with sama? Or ycombinator in general? That's what I get from this ill-advised post, at least...


Internet drama


It does seem like an overly aggressive move.

Unfortunately the company and its investors didn't clear this situation years ago with a release document, and then GM didn't do their complete due diligence, so the defendant now can drag his heels until the case(s) get resolved.


The GM deal hasn't closed yet so wouldn't due diligence on their part still be underway? It's not GMs fault... It's the lawyers, advisors, and investors who didn't step in until now, and the founder for not realizing this could become an issue.


The reality is likely more complex than we understand it but "deterrence to others" is the greatest value gained here. Assuming what's written is more or less close to the truth Jeremy is an opportunist and a bully. It seems important that people like that shouldn't be allowed to interfere with legitimate business through baseless legal accusations without consequence. I'd feel better if the matter was resolved in a more controlled objective and less personal way. That being said it does appear that trying to extort money from someone through legal harassment is a pretty safe play in terms of personal risk which doesn't seem right to me.

I think we'd be much better off culturally if litigious behavior were not as acceptable as I perceive it to be.


"Assuming what's written [by one party in a dispute, in this case the most powerful] is more or less close to the truth," especially when huge piles of money are at stake, is a terrible way to settle disagreements, or to find out the truth. Whoever is right in this thing -- I don't know anyone involved, and don't really care who wins -- this is an aggressive, preemptive PR move by sama.


Meta: What's with all the down-voting these days? Down-voting is not for disagreeing. If you do, engage the debate.


> Down-voting is not for disagreeing.

Says you. The site's guidelines/FAQ don't give any instruction on their use, and the founder of the site has stated on multiple occasions that he agrees with downvoting to disagree (example: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=117171)

(Maybe your way is better, but persuade the mods of that and get the guidelines changed, don't just tell people your way is the way they should be doing it anyway.)


That's pretty strong langauge ("don't just tell people your way is the way"), based on some comment by pg that happened almost ten years ago. The fact is many websites that have down-voting, for example reddit, have issues with users using it for disagreement when it should be primarily used to move comments down that don't help the discussions, or involve rudeness - kind of like your attack.

Note the exact quote: "I think it's ok to use the up and down arrows to express agreement. Obviously the uparrows aren't only for applauding politeness, so it seems reasonable that the downarrows aren't only for booing rudeness." (pg)

It appears to imply that the intention is actually for booing rudeness, but, in order to be symmetrical with agreement, it's not only for that. At least this seems to be pg's intention eight years ago, maybe we can grow beyond that. For example, I've seen plenty of down-voting when people are trying to be funny, and the mod telling this people off, because this is not reddit. It all points to wanting a constructive debate, which doesn't work if everybody just agrees.


Maybe I'm just not being sensitive enough, but I don't read my previous comment as being an "attack", nor even rude (maybe a little blunt).

I was (attempting to) point out that a policy such as "don't downvote comments just because you disagree" can only work if either the entire community agrees, or if the people who run the community dictate it. Here on HN, neither of those is the case, therefore while we're all free to follow that guidance if we prefer, posting a comment asking other people to do it isn't going to change much.


Downvoting isn't clearly defined. It is in the eyes of the beholder. A good trigger though is being negative against any of the HN legacies without the appropriate deference.


Is there a way to downvote without flagging on HN?


Yes. There's a karma threshold.




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