I just saw the posting from [Diaspora co-founders Daniel Grippi, Ilya Zhitomirskiy, and Max Maxwell Salzberg] with their explanation of why I left. I hadn’t planned to post anything more about it than what I had already said. But I was pretty upset when I read their account, a little bit because what they wrote is a blatant lie, but mostly because their description makes me sound like some power-grabbing impulsive whack job, and I may be many things but I’m not greedy, I’m not power hungry, and I really don’t think I’m an impulsive whack job.
The truth of the matter is that I have worked for Diaspora* for the past year-and-a-half without every receiving a single dollar in compensation. I wasn’t doing it for the money — I was doing it solely because I believe in the idea, and it was fun for me for a very long time. And then, it wasn’t fun any more. I learned relatively recently that the business was not being managed the way I thought it should have been. So I wrote to the board and said that either they needed to find new leadership — me or somebody else — or I wouldn’t be able to continue to be involved. So they offered me the position of President and CEO (still unpaid, of course, since we don’t have a lot of extra money), and I accepted. And I did write some messages referring to myself as President and CEO because I had been told I was. And then I found out that, although the offer had been made, no legal changes had occurred to that effect. When I insisted that they change my legal status, the board told me they were reconsidering the offer and wanted to negotiate some more. So at that point, I put my foot down and said things either had to change immediately, or I was going to resign as President and CEO and leave Diaspora entirely. As you all know, they decided to let me go. And so I went.
This is the last message I will send on this topic, no matter what other ridiculous statements about me may be released, including that I’m secretly part of the Stanford Puerto Rican mafia, that I have a hideout in my basement where Mark Zuckerberg and I plan world domination, that I was named after Yosemite National Park, or that I ever contacted Dan, Ilya, Max, and Rafi for any reason other than I thought their idea was a great one, and I thought a little band of 19- and 20-year-olds could use a little business mentoring to make it all happen.
I will also try to remember what it felt like when I was 23-years-old and somebody criticized or ditched me, and my feelings got hurt. I’m sure I probably also reacted in a way that was less than impressive. And I’m sure 10 years from now when they are my age they will look back on their behavior and be a little bit embarrassed or ashamed of it all. But then again, isn’t embarrassing yourself the entire point of your early 20s anyway?
Ultimately, I’m just happy to be out and to return to my pre-Diaspora life of Stanford and @Liberationtech, and I wish everybody still involved in Diaspora the best.
That is all.