TechCrunch announced last night the demise of Pownce and the acquisition of its people and technical resources by Six Apart - I don’t tend to get involved in too many startup communities and this is one of the first I can remember from start to finish despite the fact I only got as far as signing up and clicking around for five minutes.
On my brief look around after a clickthrough from Digg I really liked the clean and characterful design of the site and the extra functionality it added to a Twitter-style core. But eventutally that seems to have been its downfall. Whilst the world and his significant other are waking up to Twitter (including late-starters like myself) a social network who’s core function was something very similar was always going to have a hard time.
In the arena of websites and applications every company is competing for the most precious asset of modern life, customer’s time. It seems that Pownce didn’t grab the time of enough people in its relatively short tenure and has left behind it a collection of time-invested disgruntled former customers. Promises to “come back with something much better in 2009” are all well and good presuming you can convince the prospective users of your something that this time they can rely on you.