Home Science Why I Really Left Diaspora*

Why I Really Left Diaspora*

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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.

Yosem