It seems to me that GLBSE or similar can offer real value without verifying companies in any way whatsoever. Let the companies figure out how to build reputations. It might be by levering forum reputation, already running other longstanding business, meeting people in meatspace and pitching your ideas then telling them that they can invest via GLBSE, etc.
As long as the market is clear that they make no promise except that they will care for funds in their control and provide usable software continuously it seems fine too me.
Now if someone found a way to filter for 'non scams' that would be great, but it doesn't have to be the same entity as the market.
To avoid what is essentially spam the exchange could charge a largish fee or deposit for companies before they can make an offering.
+1 to this.
Nefario, you have generally been both professional and responsive, and I have no quarrel with you, but please don't try to put yourself into the role of regulator. It (a) won't work and (b) will destroy GLBSE. More to the point, attempting to regulate Bitcoin goes against the very principles that made Bitcoin what it is.
I agree that Goat's response and behavior were inappropriate, and I understand your desire to protect your shareholders, but protecting against bad investments should not and cannot be your responsibility. Users make the decision to invest, weigh the risk versus reward, and collect the windfall if they pick right and lose a lot if they pick wrong. At GLBSE's beginning both investors and companies were playing rashly, promising things they could not deliver in the case of companies and investing in users who had not demonstrated responsibility in the case of investors. While this resulted in a good amount of pain for everyone involved, it also taught them not to make the same mistakes again. Those who invested in Goat made the choice consciously. They had the necessary information to calculate the potentials of risk and reward. Their investment is their choice and their risk.
I don't feel that you necessarily have to restrict your commenting, nor do I feel that GLBSE has to integrally change. You made what I think you agree was a mistake, took action on that mistake that caused annoyance but no permanent damage, realized you were in the wrong and relented. Goat can hold his grudge if he so desires, but I think the community should and will forgive you on this one, as long as it doesn't happen again.
Charge a fee or deposit if you wish, but don't make it exorbitantly large. One of the great things about GLBSE is how easily a committed entrepreneur with limited capital can launch a company. Ruining that by requiring excessive fees or deposits would make it impossible for many of the companies currently listed on the exchange to exist.
A third party can screen for scammers, but I think having the stock exchange perform that function is a recipe for disaster, as has been seemingly demonstrated in this case. No one should enforce
scamming rules, that goes against the point of a distributed system. If a third party screened and provided results to the public, shareholders would have that information in hand when making the decision of whether or not to invest, a decision that should always be theirs.
I'm rather tired and I've been rather long-winded; I hope my points weren't totally obscured. I'd be glad to clarify if necessary. In summary:
(1) Goat's behavior was ridiculous, but...
(2) You cannot and should not regulate this; doing so goes against the very ideal of Bitcoin.
(3) Shareholders reap rewards and should also take the risks.
(4) Don't let this ruin the good parts of GLBSE, notably the ease of launching an IPO.
(5) A third party and not the exchange should screen for scammers.
(6) We (the community) should cut you a little slack as long as this is a one-time occurrence.