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I don't understand how they gained an advantage through that meeting. It seems that, meeting or not, they already had the advantage by controlling the platform.

Dalton sums up his issue with FB's tactics pretty succinctly right here:

Your team doesn’t seem to understand that being “good negotiators” vs implying that you will destroy someone’s business built on your “open platform” are not the same thing.

He then goes on to call out the root-cause of the problem as FB's understandable but unfortunate focus on ad-revenue. This puts them at odds with the developers who use the platform and that's clearly not a good dynamic. Both MS and Apple have long understood that getting developers and keeping them happy was essential to keep a platform fertile.

EDIT:fixing typo/poor construction in last sentence.

Actually, over the years both MS and Apple have heavily messed with developers in various ways.

Microsoft refined the practice to the point they coined a new term for it:


As a recent example from Apple, they are now requiring sandboxing in the App store, which is heavily messing with a number of developers. But they are not sandboxing their own applications.

EDIT: this comment appears to be unpopular? what's the disagreement?

EDIT: Also, I should point out that apple didn't used to mess with developers, probably because they were primarily a hardware company, with low market share, so developers were key, and there was no competition. However, they have expanded and are now also a services company, so they have an incentive to mess with the environment in order to defend their services against competition. Microsoft, conversely, made quite a bit of money off of it's office products, so always had a reason to manipulate the environment.

Generally, negotiations favour the prepared. By ambushing him, FB was hoping to trick him into negotiating unprepared. Dalton, by experience or judgement or both, recognized the ambush and dealt with it well. Someone else might start talking terms because they accept what the FB execs are saying (and thus be intimidated or fearful, or grateful for what seems like a nice guy move by FB).

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