Why we did not publish The Naked Truth

Why we did not publish The Naked Truth

On the 7th of May, The Next Web wrote a story about Naked, who had revealed in an honest and simple way that they were having cashflow problems, and that their plans for launch were on hold until these problems could be resolved – to quote:

We will need to regroup, see who’s still on board, and work out a way forward. In the meantime we’ll do everything possible to keep the service going.

We’ll update you when we have more news.


The news is that TechCrunch covered this story yesterday, three weeks on, with a classic play on words: “Naked stripped bare – startup runs out of cash, enters liquidation” — having established the fact that the company had officially gone into liquidation. TechCrunch also felt at liberty, in faux investigative style, to cover some of the more salacious background involving revealing (shock, horror) alleged divorce law-suits causing the assets of the company’s investor to be frozen, and also selectively unearthing information about Naked’s investor, Robert Bonnier.

All great material for a soap opera, but not an approach to reporting a story that we think is correct. Why?

Well, at The Next Web, we chose not to publish any details about Naked until its future status was established – and it still is far from clear. We have maintained discreet and supportive contact with a number of sources close to the situation as the legal and fiduciary process has developed.

One good reason for our silence is that we at The Next Web have had the advantage of having access to the Naked Private Beta, and, having being rather impressed by the service, we felt it best to wait, and allow what is a complex and difficult situation to be resolved before making further comment, or revealing details that we have long known about. We intend to publish details from our sources here when there is a developed story that we feel will interest and benefit our readership. Making a dramatic, and possibly premature, pronouncement of death, is not an appropriate or helpful approach, in our view. As Naked said: “We’ll update you when we have more news.”

Probably the best way for any web company in liquidation to make sure the value of any IP sale is at a maximum is to keep the service running – and that’s the real news. Naked have remained true to their promise because the service is still 100% operational and online. It can be accessed on receipt of a private invitation from an existing user.

Get Naked:
Videos describing how the Naked service works are here at http://www.getnaked.com/tour. You can request an invitation by writing to david@thenextweb.org – or if you are a Naked user, please feel free to add your details in any comments below.

Read next: New Netvibes CEO responds to rumors

Shh. Here's some distraction