100% user-supported

Why Obsidian is 100% user-supported and not backed by venture capital investors:

  1. We want to stay small, we don’t need to hire lots of people
  2. We follow strict principles that we do not want to compromise
  3. Our users are happy to support us, we don’t need VC money

概括上面的内容就是精英团队、坚持产品原则和从用户获取支持不融资。 我觉得理想状态下这些都是对的,就像每个姑娘都有个开咖啡屋或书店的梦想、每个男孩都有个开酒吧活着台球厅的理念一样。但现实之下能坚持做到每一点都不容易,坚持的路上那些困难可能我们都没有机会去面对,这算是一种另类的幸存者偏差吧。

一直觉得坚持原则是一个优秀产品经理必备的素质。在现实中会对自己说我们是在权衡利弊,不得不做一些妥协。我觉得核心问题其实不是这样,关键点是我们都是自私的,不愿意为自己的决策承担失败带来的责任,造成我们不敢坚持自己认为的原则;当然另一个方面,公司的体系内可能没有给你做出错误的决定的机会,大家不是追求 100 分或者 90 分,75 分可能是对所有人都有利的选择。所以,在国内产品经理做的事情大多数情况叫做产品化,就是给一个后端服务做界面的设计...

Obsidian will not exist forever, no app will. However, the files you create in Obsidian are yours, and can hopefully last for generations. VCware is built with a five year horizon, it is not built to live on for decades.

到底是谁的生命周期更长,是公司、产品还是 VC ? 我觉得这段和题目之间的关系感觉有点远,应该是为下一段做铺垫。

Many startup founders raise VC money because they need the upfront capital to build their product, or they see it as a shortcut to growth. For some products the capital truly is necessary, but too often it’s fueled by impatience and the inertia of Silicon Valley.

为了短期快速增长而融资我觉得是没有问题的,有些市场是需要快速占领的。kenpano 的另一个观点是如果你选择市场够大,你就算融到钱也不可能快速占领整个市场。但是现在 OpenAI 的表现又恰好相反,到底什么是对的呢?

In the short term, VCware tends to subsidize pricing to acquire users. It’s easier to grow if your product is cheap or free. But this generally comes at the cost of hoarding user data, and locking in customers. Once you’re in you can’t get out.


To keep raising money, VCware startups must paint an increasingly enormous vision of their future, which becomes impossible to live up to. This leads to increasingly disparate priorities that gradually make the product worse. What starts off as a useful app becomes burdened with crap — a process Cory Doctorow has called enshittification. Eventually all VCware must exit. That means being acquired or going public to pay back investors. It’s expected that 9 out 10 startups will fail. That’s just part of the math in a VC portfolio. The startups that have big exits pay for the ones that fail. Venture capital creates the unavoidable pressure to go big or go broke.


It is now possible for tiny teams to make principled software that millions of people use, unburdened by investors. Principled apps that put people in control of their data, their privacy, their wellbeing. These principles can be irrevocably built into the architecture of the app. Principled people have always been able to make principled software. The difference is that now you need far less money and far fewer employees to reach far more customers. That wave is only just beginning.


If you have principles and enough patience, being 100% user-supported is by far the most fun way to build.