We don’t know what is going on over at Nambu, but it doesn’t smell good. Today, just days after shutting down Tr.im and saying all support would cease at the end of the year, killing all the links shortened with the service, they have reversed course. “Nambu will keep tr.im operating going forward, indefinitely, while we continue to consider our options in regards to tr.im’s future.”
The company cites the massive outpouring of pleas not to shut down the service as the reason behind the move. But here’s what we think is really going on. By shutting down the service and announcing that they would be completely dead in a few months, Nambu was ensuring that no one would use it. The problem with this is that they’re also trying to sell Tr.im, for between $80,000 and $100,000, we’ve heard from multiple sources. But everyone is balking at those prices. And with a non-working service, Nambu had absolutely no leverage.
So, the service is back and will operate “indefinitely” which is code for “until we can offload the site.” As they say in point number four on their blog post, “This was not a public-relations stunt. At all.” Sure, but it was an awful business decision — one that had to be reversed for any hope of a reasonable sale for them.
In their post today, they also make it very clear that they still blame Twitter for showing favoritism (Twitter uses Bit.ly as its default shortener), which led to the rash decision to shut off the service. We’ve also heard they were considering doing the same thing to their Twitter client over the same issue.
Nambu also notes that it won’t just offload the site to anyone:
We too want to see tr.im live on, but feel we can only transition it to another party committed to ensuring the links are not highjacked in any way. A contract for sale to an unknown group or individual simply cannot guarantee that.
This somewhat explains the multiple emails we’ve gotten from interested parties saying that Nambu is simply not responding to their inquiries about the sale. But a lot of these parties are reputable, so I’m not entirely sure what is going on over at Nambu. Perhaps they just didn’t want to engage some of these offers until the service was back on, and they had some leverage.