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Soapboxes not optional in the startup business  

Patrick McKenzie of Bingo Card Creator has a problem: his AdWords keep being flagged up as gambling-related (due to the word "bingo") and since Google has extremely unresponsive customer service, it considerably slows down his ability to tweak his Ads, and thus scale up his spending.

So what does he do? He posts an article complaining about this, on his popular blog, and right now it's got 172 points on Hacker News, and has been near the top of the front page for the last 12 hours.

Whether it will get the attention of someone at Google or not is undetermined at this point, but one thing, which Patrick mentions in the HN comments, is certainly true:

Strategically speaking, if I were a startup totally dependent on the Googles (I mostly am, but hypothetically speaking), and I knew that having a soap box was the only effective method of conflict resolution with Google, then I would make it a high priority to have a soap box. It certainly isn't the only reason to have a soap box. It isn't nearly the best reason to have a soap box. But you should have a soap box.

(Incidentally, it isn't as hard as you think. I know, we have it excessively easy in central Japan thanks to the well-known Ogaki tech mafia and the unending fascination of the tech press with elementary school teaching activities, but even without these huge built-in advantages you could proceed to Plan B and write interesting stuff while trying to help people.)

What's your plan to build yourself a soapbox to defend your business?

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