What’s their business model? Huh!?

Do you know what I don’t need? I don’t need a feed full of people assuming they know the intentions of others all the time. If one more neckbeard says “…but Business Model!?” I’m going to crack.

There, now that that’s off my chest…

What triggered me today was the following post (on my instance, fosstodon.org, of course) by Aral Balkan:

“We’re a team of founders who sold their last company, ex-Instagram engineers, former Heads of Design at Tesla and Medium, multiple Google Chrome alums, a founding engineer of Amazon S3, alumni from Snap, Slack and Pinterest, and so many other people who have done it before.”

Fuck no. No, thank you. Why do you think this would in any way make me want to use your browser?

Aral Balkan, fosstodon.org

I’m most certainly not trying to single out Aral. Aral’s great. I follow him because of his Small Web initiative, which I am 100% behind. Aral is an advocate for the right things and is doing good work. And usually delivers his message with just the right amount of snark. But this post in particular, and the ensuing responses, annoyed me in a way that I couldn’t let go of. It’s not his post, specifically, that triggered me. It’s just that it reminded me of other things I’ve been annoyed by lately.

First, I don’t subscribe to the idea that once someone has worked for a “bad” company, that person is forever also bad and should be blamed for whatever said bad company has done to me or the world before or since. In a follow-up comment, Aral wrote, “Only it’s not even an apology… they’re proud of it.” If I worked for any of those companies (and left), why wouldn’t I be proud of it? Management, culture (or lack of it), and greed cause bad companies. Individuals (normally) don’t. If one is allergic to what those companies have become, then sure, hearing them brag about the team in that way can be off-putting. But it also, I think, demonstrates experience at levels required for an ambitious new company making an ambitious new browser.

Speaking of browsers, what are my alternatives for browsers made by good companies? Chrome? Yeah, right. Safari? Uh uh. Edge? Nope. Mozilla is probably the closest to the “ideal,” but it’s a shitty browser and I’m not using it because the company that makes it is slightly less bad than the others. Orion and Brave are decent but boring and they bring nothing interesting to the table.

On the other hand, Arc is the best new browser with the best new ideas to come along in years. I’ve been using it for months and I’m amazed at how much I enjoy it. I swore nothing would pull me away from Safari but here we are. Good is good and I’m all for it.

“Mmm…but something, something Business Model?” is not a question I care about, yet. Tell you what, I’m going to use Arc until The Browser Company does something I dislike enough that it offsets the value I get from it. Then I’ll just switch browsers. Until then, I’m not going to dismiss something great simply because they hired ex-employees from companies I don’t like. Seems assumptive and premature.