The problem with feeling indispensable is not realizing that you never are. If Google started charging 50 cents per search, we would all find another place to search, after all. That’s what happened to Unity, which, after announcing its future plan, including charging 20 cents for each program installation, has suffered the worst setback in its history… to dangerous extents.
You know that on the Internet, feelings are magnified, just like in the ‘Big Brother’ house. The problem arises when someone believes it and takes real-life action. In the case of Unity, after receiving several death threats on social media, and in a very unexpected turn of events (for them), the next threat was directed at their personnel.
It may be that an administrative decision is incredibly unpopular, but I assure you that killing someone will not make Unity lower their prices (besides, there are other alternatives that developers are already starting to use en masse). The person who threatened the company’s offices in Austin and San Francisco was certainly not mincing words.
While the company hasn’t disclosed the specific potential threat, they have stated that it is a “credible death threat” so real that the CEO, John Riccitiello, has canceled all his public appearances, at least until today, Friday. “We have taken immediate and proactive measures to ensure the safety of our employees,” they said.
The lesson we can draw from this is not that scaring someone who has done something wrong yields results, but rather that there are always other possibilities, no matter how indispensable something may seem. Well, and that the least expected person can stab you in the back. In the world of technology, a death threat is not going to deter a strategic plan, no matter how unpopular it may be. Let’s remember that.