What Pownce Could Have Been / by Nate Westheimer

Today, Six Apart announced it was buying Pownce. While this is great news for the founders, this makes me sad, because I saw even bigger things for the messaging service.

Last Spring, when I sat on a grassy knoll at SXSW with my friend Gary Vaynerchuk, chatting about the future of Pownce with founders Leah, Daniel and Kevin, I felt like I saw the future for Pownce (and I told them).

Just last week, I rearticulated my vision on Twitter, saying, "Too bad they didn't go the Yammer route."

This, indeed, is the tragedy. Pownce should have been the premier (paid) messaging tool for internal company communications.

But alas, by the looks of it, Yammer is gaining traction in this space -- though without the nifty file and calendaring features in Pownce, which would have been awesome tools for businesses.

Instead -- who knows -- Pownce will either end up dead forever, or once it returns, somehow integrated with the Six Apart family of publishing sites (Vox?).

You can't blame founders for keeping their head down on an initial product vision and dream. However, this -- for me, anyway, is a lesson for all entrepreneurs: if you have a great product, but are going to lose a network effect horse-race, try changing race tracks and change your aims.