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Friday, April 20, 2007
I’ve been a Prosper lender since near the beginning. Started in April ’06. I was instantly enamored with the idea of Prosper, I mean really excited. I’ve been active every day since then. I’ve invested a substantial amount, which I only mention as a lead in to the next point: I take this seriously.
As the months wore on, I accumulated an understanding that the reality of Prosper, that is the implementation of the great idea, was quite different than the utopian image associated with the idea. I never expected it to be perfect, but I did have some expectations. Of course this is an evolving story, so I continued to participate, and watched. We’re all learning as we go. Me. You. Prosper. Patience is a virtue.
Sadly, I have to report that my disappointment with Prosper’s management has continued to increase month after month, and my enthusiasm has continued to decline. I’m pretty sure that the majority of things that are wrong can be fixed. However my confidence that Prosper’s management will fix them has simply declined with time as I’ve witnessed their response.
So many issues that I don’t really know where to start. Issues of concern range from technical to community relations to ethics. Mixing these randomly produces only soup. I decided the ethics issues should float to the top, so that’s where I will start.
My intention is to post several bundles of thought. It takes time and effort to sort out and package up these ideas cleanly. (Everything I will talk about here has been discussed at length in the Prosper forum, but for whatever reason, that form was incompatible with the input interface to the Prosper management humans. Its like the RJ45 plug didn’t fit into their 25-pin D socket.) I’ll probably poop out long before I’ve covered all the ground that needs to be covered, so let me apologize for that in advance.
It has become popular in modern culture to polarize. Its really a kind of oversimplification . Bush is bad. Bush is good. Whatever it is, boil it down to one sound bite, and then yell and shake your finger. Talk over your opponent to make the TV sound more exciting. I can’t stand that. Everything in the world is more subtle than this dumbed-down approach allows. In particular Prosper-is-bad or Prosper-is-good are not gonna be the subjects here.
Who knows, maybe I will burn thru all the disappointments and post about something positive.