Reputation

Suppose you were a social media company. And you were a little bit reckless. Just a little. In fact, you kept screwing up. You screwed up privacy. You screwed up advertising. You screwed up and accidentally aided and abetted in Nazi and genocide-driving propaganda all over the world.

And you were very sorry. So very sorry.

Suppose that in spite all of this, your stock price kept going up, your core metrics were better than ever, and you kept making more money. In fact, you seemed so immune to bad press that commenters and analysts basically assumed no matter how badly you screwed up, it was inconsequential. You were unstoppable, and anyone who express concern or disgust at your behavior was probably just biased against you.

But then suppose you wanted to make something new. Let’s say, just to use an arbitrary and entirely hypothetical example, a cryptographic currency.

A funny thing might happen. All those people who didn’t delete their accounts don’t trust you with their money. All those governments who couldn’t do anything but hold hearings and issue talking points start sharpening their knives.

Reputations matters.

Never trust someone who says otherwise.