BitTorrent: how to kill a good idea?

San Francisco based BitTorrent, the company that could have revolutionized P2P sharing online, is falling apart. The CEO and president left and the company has fired ALL of its employees in San Francisco, says PaidContent.

Image representing BitTorrent as depicted in C...

With $46 million in funding from Accel and DCM, BitTorrent was trying to develop Torrent entertainment, an online video service based around the data transfer technology, offering free streaming of thousands of videos and tv shows.  Users were also given the option to “rent” the content for $3.99 or buy it for $9.99 for most new movies.

CEO Douglas Walker, former chief executive of Alias Systems, was appointed as CEO of BitTorrent in October of last year. Back then, the vision was grand:

Building scalable software is our forte, but we recognized the need for BitTorrent to scale as a company, therefore Ashwin and I spent the better part of this year looking for the right leader to continue the success weve demonstrated since we started the company

BitTorrent’s co-founder and president Ashwin Navin, the one of convinced BitTorrent’s founder Bram Cohen to make the technology into a business, is now leaving BitTorrent to start an incubator (we’re back to the bubble days) in San Francisco. He wil be joined by a few of the valley’s ex-superstars: Aber Whitcomb of MySpace, Jim Young from HotorNot and YouTube’s co-founder Steve Chen. The new incubator in the Mission district is said to be a place for entrepreneurs to get their ideas off the ground.

NewTeeVee has a long letter announcing Navin’s departure:

or its direct and indirect benefits, I believe BitTorrent sits among the handful of important technology breakthroughs such as the printing press, broadcasting, and the Internet itself. Why? Today’s publishing technology (like blogs, bittorrent, and video sharing sites for example) quite directly forge a level playing field for creativity. And indirectly, these tools force large media companies to realize that there is no longer scarcity or a stranglehold on distribution that locks people out of self-expression.

BitTorrent is undoubtfuly a great technology. Is this fallout driven simply by bad management or is this proff that P2P sharing cannot work as a legitimate business?

Eze Vidra
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Eze Vidra

Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote
Eze is the Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote, a startup helping patients search and match to clinical trial, to accelerate medical breakthroughs. Previously, Ezewas a General Partner at Google Ventures Europe. Before GV, Eze founded and led Campus London, Google's first physical hub for startups, and was the Head Google for Entrepreneurs in Europe. He's an experienced product manager and startup mentor. In 2012 Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for profit supporting children education in developing countries.
Eze Vidra
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Eze Vidra

Eze is the Chief Innovation Officer at Antidote, a startup helping patients search and match to clinical trial, to accelerate medical breakthroughs. Previously, Eze was a General Partner at Google Ventures Europe. Before GV, Eze founded and led Campus London, Google’s first physical hub for startups, and was the Head Google for Entrepreneurs in Europe. He’s an experienced product manager and startup mentor. In 2012 Eze founded Techbikers, a non-for profit supporting children education in developing countries.