Let's Get Pivotal
Earlier this month, Diaspora cofounder Max Salzberg told Betabeat that the team would turn away from the highly-anticipated, but daunting enterprise of building the anti-Facebook and instead devote its “main focus” towards Makr.io: a photo remixing tool that makes sharing and creating image macros more social. (All your memes are belong to friends, etc.)
It sounded an awful lot like the dreaded p-word to us, but Mr. Salzberg framed it as a natural evolution for an open source project. To that end, the team, which is working on Makr as part of Y Combinator’s current class, posted a message entitled, “Announcement: Diaspora* Will Now Be A Community Project,” on the company’s blog today.
On the phone with Betabeat this afternoon, Mr. Salzberg compared Diaspora to WordPress or Mozilla. “Lots of open source projects are community run,” he explained, referencing two incredibly successful standouts. “Some people are like, ‘Oh, you’re leaving?’ But that’s not it at all. We can have side projects.”
After the tragic loss of one of its core members, the team behind Diaspora–a Y-Combinator-backed open source “anti-social network”–went underground for a while, privately grieving while attempting to keep the well-funded and highly hyped company running. But the startup show must go on: AllThingsD reported today that the Diaspora team channeled their grief into a new site–launched today and called Makr–that allows you to easily remix and distribute photos.
The only startup perhaps to rival
BankSimple in pre-launch delays, Diaspora has suffered more setbacks than most. Its struggles started with overexposure and inflated expectations due to a massively successful Kickstarter campaign which was funded 20 times over; most recently, the company was tragically set back by the death of co-founder Ilya Zhitomirsky at 22, a possible suicide. CEO Yosem Companys also recently stepped down for “personal reasons,” which were later revealed to be a spat with the cofounders and the board.