What happens when a Kiwi firm founded and run by your friends gets sold to an American firm. They promptly take your personal data and upload it to Facebook without your permission. Why are companies so obsessed with giving information to Facebook? Do they owe Mark something?

@jackyan that sucks. Sorry to hear it. Companies, even our friends' , are untrustworthy, because they don't stay our friends or owned by our friends. Sad.

@lightweight @jackyan As a general strategy, we need to avoid creating organizations which can easily be bought by #BigTech, or where cash can be conveniently converted into influence. So cooperatives, non-profits and so forth.


@bob agreed. I also think that our gov't needs to stop subsidising 'startups'. They're a huge waste, and they make it easy for foreign corporates to buy up our best and brightest, with no benefits for NZ. Any gov't support for them is tantamount to supporting "trickle down economics". In other words, a bad joke.

@bob and when I say "they're a huge waste", I mean that 80% of them fail. They take all their subsidies with them, so they're well less than zero value to society.

@aral @bob I think the best companies *boot strap* and employ great people with good remuneration. Those people *are* the value of the organisation. They should also have a share of the ownership. That's how we achieve equitable societies.

@lightweight @bob Let’s take it even further: good societies bootstrap great people; they should also have a share of the ownership. If an org agrees to a charter that stipulates that they cannot be sold/bought and that their work must remain in the commons (eg., mandated AGPL license), then they should be an independent org that is funded from the commons for the common good. The independent bit is crucial though. You don’t want it to turn into govt control.

@aral @lightweight @bob

@aral haven't you just described venture capitalism? They aren't just gifting money, they get ownership as well.

@lightweight @aral @bob One problem is that it's very hard to bootstrap _and_ offer a good compensation. You have to hire people who care more about the cause than the compensation, because VC-funded companies can offer much larger salaries from their "free" money than you can offer from your hard-earned early profits.

@dmbaturin @aral @bob when I bootstrapped my company, I had to pay some of my key staff more than I paid myself for a few years... worked out quite well (sold my 100% FOSS company to another, bigger FOSS company after 14 years)...

@lightweight @aral @bob That's what we going now. In earlier stages, we ourselves struggled to make the ends meet, and hiring people wasn't even an option.
While if we were ready to give up the software freedom, we could likely hire more people right away and more much faster (but the ultimate fate would not be a self-sustaining operation for sure).

@lightweight @aral @bob

companies who are bootstrapping offer the compensation based on what revenue they can raise, which is a lot less than what a VC-funded company can bear. So sure, there could be a bootstrapped company with good compensation, but the founders probably took on massive debt.

"Funding for startups" are local govs. way of reducing that risk.

@lightweight @aral @bob

so many promising new businesses fail cuz grandma gets sick, key employee leaves for better pay elsewhere, a flood, fire, stupid stuff.

@Literally @aral @bob yup. There're always random factors that we can't control for... We just have to work to mitigate our risk as well as we can. Same happens for cashed up VC-funded (soulless)proprietary startups.

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