Amazon Has No Taste is a pretty good title if you ask me, it's an excellent summary of the problem.
Amazon's Echo Chamber doesn't strike me as that bad, it also seems to describe the problem decently. Amazon is big enough and has enough eyeballs that they can make mediocre products appear to succeed for quite a while. Because of that insulation the products don't improve nearly as fast as they probably should.
Nokia took the competition seriously, but made a single fatal error: it tried to evolve its low end platform into its high end platform. While that strategy makes complete sense in 90% of cases for market innovation, in the mobile phone industry--which, it turns out, was going through revolution--Nokia should have done the opposite. People often forget that Nokia still controls more than 70% of the worldwide phone market, and controlled vastly more of it in the mid-2000's. In 2007, they had no idea that 90% of industry profits would come from the 30% of the market that they were not focusing on.
You can't really fault them for that, because strategically it makes perfect sense. They regarded the competition seriously but had a flawed approach/response.
That being said, they had a bunch of half-assed hedges against their fatal strategy, like high-ish end platforms such as Maemo, Symbian's advanced versions, etc.., but in fast moving markets with extraordinarily complicated infrastructure/platforms, this approach does not work. You can half-ass evolution, but you have to full-ass revolution.
They realized this mistake fairly early on, but by then it was too late to develop a platform, and full-assing it would have put the company's core competencies at huge risk. So Kallasvuo was fired, Elop was hired, the company moved in with Microsoft, and, eventually, they married.
> This is getting ridiculous: the Svbtle design is not open source, and I have never given permission for anyone to use it with Wordpress.
Dude. Without trademarks, patents, or copyright, there's not much you can do. There is no permission for you to give or not give, unless your actual code is being ripped off. There is no "open source" license that the Svbtle design could be licensed under even if you wanted to do so. You could probably get a patent on the design. Apple has patents on rounded corners and page turning, for example. Once you publish something or offer it for sale in the US, you have one year to file for a patent. You still have time, but of course, IANAL.
Whether he has legal recourse, he can still call people out on it. These Svbtle clones are way beyond "taking inspiration" the way one phone takes inspiration from another and incrementally improves or differentiates on it.
They're blatantly, outright, misleading. I had no idea it was a clone until now.
Also IANAL but I think it's more likely to be protected by copyright than a patent, which means there's no short-term limit like that.
georgeorwell, they didn't copy the manual and logo (or even the implementations). They just built a compatible interface.
To a human, a blog with a different theme would still be a compatible interface.
It's one thing to clone hardware or software, but another to misrepresent it as being from the same source as the original.
He holds the copyright to the html code, css, etc, the moment he writes it. He holds the sole right to license his work. You (figurative "you") don't see a license? That means it hasn't been licensed to you and your re-use of it constitutes copyright infringement.
That's why I wrote, "unless your actual code is being ripped off." I understand that if it isn't a reimplementation, it is copyright infringement. I strongly doubt that this is what is happening, but if it is, dcurtis should get a lawyer. He should probably get a lawyer anyway if he's serious about protecting his work.
Yup. While part of what makes Svbtle original is the admin panel, the look itself is basically just Clarus, a free Tumblr theme, without the gradient.
I've stood up for Dustin on other matters, but I think he's in the wrong when he tries to call out people for stealing what essentially amounts to border-radiuses and an original, albeit poor UX, like button. That said, there is a brand aesthetic here and a reputation that goes along with it, so I do think it's pretty tacky for people to use the theme and misguide people reading their blogs into thinking they're a part of this internet cool kid's club, whatever your thoughts on invite-only blogging platforms may be.
Then why not sign up for it directly? Hypothetically, if you hadn't discovered it from some other tech blog using it (many of which have been linked here), the steps to find it probably went from trying to fill out the actual form on Svbtle, realizing it's an application not a registration, and then Googling an alternative.
All things said, there are so many better looking minimalist WP themes out there for me to believe most folks chose this one at random. If it trended on lists and blogs, it was because enough people who recognized the potential made it so.
Putting a "Design by @DCURTIS" tagline in the footer is really weird, to me it implies some connection (where there is none). If you are going to copy without permission, don't imply that you have permission like this. I know it probably just comes default in the WP theme, but this applies to you and the theme creator.
I know many will argue it shouldn't matter, but it really makes me subconsciously think less of the blog author and the post's content.
I think that some - not I - feel this way about Svbtle, because they have an impression that it is a "mindshare" platform rather than a blogging CMS - thus an extension and continuation of the things you have said and done.
People's first impression of Svbtle happened in the context of the whole argybargy surrounding the launch and copied design, and even I didn't get a great impression of Svbtle as a result. People impute, when creators and founders don't explain what the project is about.
Maybe it's time to re-explain what Svbtle is and aspires to do to salvage the brand.
As I told pg, my opinion of you impacts Svbtle so minutely that it might as well not even exist. But, it is still my opinion of you.
Let's be honest, Dustin, that article was from 2009. It wasn't exactly written in the '80s when you were on a coke binge. I think your attitude in a lot of blog posts reflects quite negatively on who you are as a person, and that's where a lot of the hate for you comes from.
You're presumptuous about our industry in a lot of ways without much to show in terms of accomplishment. Often I've asked, who is Dustin Curtis? Why is he telling me the important things about building a startup? The answers to these questions are thin, vague, or nonexistent. I'm glad you have opinion and I certainly don't resent yours, but I also don't position myself as a commentator on all things Silicon Valley without having actually done anything in Silicon Valley. This isn't a critique of you nearly as much as it is a critique of punditry, I think, since I haven't given it much thought; that said, it's still my reaction to most of your writing.
I don't hate you, as it were, nor do I seek every opportunity to piss on your brand, I just hold a quite-negative opinion and will share it if asked. Again, as I told pg above, I'm also willing to be proven wrong but you've simply made it worse since I developed it.
I genuinely feel bad for you (and I mean that), that you want to accomplish something but you have to deal with this crap when you do. If you're self-aware about why it happens, I can sympathize, as I've made grievous mistakes in my life that cost me some reputation as well. If you aren't, then you should figure out why it's happening.
"Often I've asked, who is Dustin Curtis? Why is he telling me the important things about building a startup?"
As someone who is neither in the hater not fan category, this is what I've been trying to figure out. I have no clue who he is and it's very difficult to find out much besides he's an opinionated person with a taste for design.
Why does it matter who he is? Why not consider the merits of the ideas in their own right rather than relying on the authority of the author? One would think folks on HN would be inclined to treat ideas in a more meritocratically way.