Evan Williams — founder of Blogger and of the podcasting startup formerly known as Odeo — took a lot of heat from certain sections of the blogosphere awhile back, after standing up at the Future of Web Apps conference in San Francisco and freely admitting that he had screwed up with Odeo in a whole bunch of different ways. Among them, he said, were “raising too much money too early,” “trying to do too much” and “not listening to my gut.”
In hindsight, that was kind of a red flag (or white flag, depending on your perspective) about Evan’s intentions toward Odeo. So it’s not that surprising to hear he and some other members of the team have bought out their venture backers and taken the company back in house, renaming it Obvious Corp. And while Evan has taken some flack for blowing it with Odeo and/or not knowing what he really wanted to do when he grew up, like Fred Wilson I think he should be congratulated.
From what details we can gather from Om and others, the VCs who backed the company have been “made whole” (to use the curiously Biblical term favoured by Wall Street types), and now Evan and his team can concentrate on doing more experimental things. Will any of them work out? Who knows. But they should be congratulated for knowing when to change the playbook.