Yeah, that's not how it works.
Committing time and money to a failed venture is the biggest mistake an entrepreneur can make.
Committing time and money to enhance your reputation is never a mistake.
This is pretty typical. Every single business owner out there knows that the non-paying users generate more noise and complaints than an average paying customer.
The bullshit 'reputation' angle you are playing is a total non-sense.
Tell that to Max Levchin and 99% of other entrepreneurs that had to fail and fail hard prior to actually making it. I'm sure their 'reputation' is ruined.
TLDR: You live in a bubble.
I wonder when majority of people will dislike Startup folks like they did dislike Stock Brokers thanks to thinking like yours.
Greed is good. Right?
Honour is just a myth?