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This article was published on November 3, 2008

Sour Grapes at AOL

Sour Grapes at AOL
Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Story by

Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

Founder & board member, TNW

Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

It is never a good idea to criticize the competition for doing better than you. There is no such thing as ‘fair’ when it comes to user satisfaction and loyalty. If you have all the cool features but your competition is hipper and attracts more members then you simply have to become hipper too. No point in pointing out that you were first, are better or have more features. All of that is irrelevant. The only thing that counts is what people want.

Clear, right? Not to AOL Mail apparently. It looks like someone got so frustrated over Gmail that they decided to write an Open Letter to Gmail, on the AOL Blog no less, last Friday. The post reads like it is written by a scorned lover. The only thing missing in the post is “I faked every orgasm”. A few excerpts:

An “experimental” instant-messaging feature built right into your mail service so people can use it to send text messages to their contacts’ phones? We love it – that was such a hit when we first introduced it so many years ago.

On Gmails gadgets:

Adding gadgets to email that allow people to manage their calendars, access their favorite content and best Websites? Nice work. The idea of adding a side panel like that was one of our best.

And they end their post with this gem:

You can’t be all Gmail all the time any more – it won’t be such a big hit next year!

That last one sounds like “You will never be happy again!!!”. Read the whole thing here and don’t forget the 60+ comments under the posts. They are about as funny and ironic as the post itself:

An Open Letter to Gmail: Happy Halloween! We love your costume!