Aral is leaving Ello :
When you take venture capital, it is not a matter of if you’re going to sell your users, you already have. It’s called an exit plan. And no investor will give you venture capital without one. In the myopic and upside-down world of venture capital, exits precede the building of the actual thing itself. It would be a comedy if the repercussions of this toxic system were not so tragic.
Personally, I don’t really mind VCs selling my datas to advertisers and brands. That’s the price I’m willing to pay for a good service.
The other way to build a social service like this would be to set a subscription, like App.net does, though it has not proven to be very popular.
Now, how to maintain a service without funding ?
This is mythical. I think Aral’s note falls short without explaining his ideal way to fund a company and feed its employees.
Venture Capital might not be the perfect match between privacy and social medias, but I think it sustains creativity and encourage entrepreneurs to take risk — sometimes in creating some pixel-perfect layouts.