Joel recently posted about going for VC funding for SO.
This makes me nervous for ill-defined reasons. Somehow it feels like "the man" would have elements of control in a site which has really been very community-focused so far. Now I'm no tin-foil hat wearer normally, and feel a little silly for even raising this concern... but it may be symptomatic of a deeper concern:
Do we really want to be influential on a stock price?
Okay, so VC funding is a long way from floating on the stock market, but it's a step in that potential direction. Let's suppose SO did float... could I influence its price? If myself and a few other high rep users wrote carefully worded (and time-separated) posts trashing the site - not in a stroppy way, just in an "it's so sad, small decisions X and Y have gradually deteriorated the site until it's no longer the place it was" kind of way... would that lower the value? I'm not saying I would want to do that by any means - it just makes me nervous that I potentially could.
To view it the other way round: I've always been clear that I don't want to be paid for answers. Yet if I owned stocks in SO, then every time I tried to make the site better by answering questions, editing, commenting etc then I'd effectively be protecting my investment. Would it be unethical to do this on company time, waiting for a build?
Apologies for the ramble - I just wanted to air some uncomfortable feelings and give others an opportunity to do likewise. Answers telling me to pull myself together are welcome :)