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The Quiet Death of Ello's Big Dreams

"Despite their idealist manifesto and their Bill of Rights, I don’t believe they could ever truly be in partnership with their community once they were taking large amounts of venture funding."

This is a key challenge with social networks that try and work with a different model: unless they're forced to be open (which, eg, Mastodon is), it's always possible for an acquirer to roll back their good intentions and do something else if it's profitable. It's also often possible for investors to remove the CEO in order to better serve a return to their fund.

The result is that these networks are hard to pay for. Decentralized networks have some advantage because they don't have to pay for infrastructure, but there's still a question about how the development team can be compensated (and therefore how to make development sustainable).

Lots to learn from in this case study.

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