Mystery Startup From Ex-Mozilla CEO Aims To Go Where Tech Titans Won’t

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Brendan Eich, who left the Firefox maker during a firestorm over his anti-gay-marriage views, says his new startup’s software will make the Internet faster, safer and better in ways today’s Net powers won’t pursue.

By @stshank

 

Brendan Eich is back in business.

A year and a half after resigning as Mozilla’s chief executive following an uproar over his anti-gay-marriage stance, Eich is spinning up a new company called Brave Software. With nine employees and $2.5 million in early funding from angel investors, the San Francisco startup has begun work on software that promises to make the Internet safer and faster when the company publicly launches it in early 2016.

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Though he parted ways with Firefox maker Mozilla, the Brave CEO is carrying some of the nonprofit’s power-to-the-people ethos to his new for-profit venture. Eich won’t share any details yet but said Brave’s software will help give people independence from technology giants that often seem to care more about shareholders than users.

Companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft wield tremendous power over the technology we all use daily, from smartphones at the center of our lives to communications with our closest contacts. But anyone who doesn’t agree with such companies’ policies has little choice but to stick with them. That’s because boycotting any of them means cutting oneself off from the mainstream. Brave evidently aims to shift the balance of power back toward the user through new software that will give people some type of ability to collectively push back.

“It’s vitally important to put the user first,” Eich said in an exclusive interview. “Since all the big powers are public companies, they have to serve their shareholders…. We’re trying to innovate in dimensions that a lot of incumbents won’t innovate, where the user will have more control and maybe bargaining power.”

 

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