My Comments on the Unroll.Me // Uber Situation
I need to say something about the “freak out” in response to Uber and Unroll.me and to come to the defense of Unroll.me CEO and co-founder Jojo Hedaya. You want to disagree with business practices? Go ahead. You want to say you were tricked or scammed go ahead. You want to personally attack my friend and co-founder? Sorry. No. I am not going to sit by silently on the bench for that one.
My co-founder Jojo is literally one of the most incredible humans I have ever met and I cannot in good conscience watch the press call him sociopathic and rip him apart for the tone of his apology. When Jojo says he is heartbroken, he is. I know that’s hard to understand since most people in tech are … not like Jojo. But truly, he is a genuine wholehearted person.
Believe me we came up with this product to rid your inbox of unwanted emails, AND the reason it is used by millions of people for FREE is because we figured out how to monetize it.
Data is pretty much the only business model for email and Unroll.me is not the only company that looks at, collects and sells your data. What exactly do you think is going on in your FREE gmail inbox? And honestly, anonymized and at scale why do people care? Do you really care? Are you really surprised? How exactly is this shocking?
Or maybe you just hate yourselves because you think Uber is gross but you use them anyway and “why are these tech founders such assholes” that they have to ruin your experience where you need to delete your apps? And you love Unroll.me and you feel righteous and you have to delete that now too because you need to take a stand against these plain-as-day-in-the-terms-of -service practices.
Look, respectfully, you have clearly been living under a rock because if you look at the entire tech ecosystem — It’s fucking gross. It starts at the top with the character quality and priorities of the investment community which, btw is not to be nice to the users it is (shocking) to make money!!! I encourage you to go read the Terms of Service of every app you opt in to in order to see what rights they have over your data. This is not new. Is it good? Is it bad? Is that the point? You optin for an awesome free product that clearly states the following and you are offended and surprised? Really?
“We also collect non-personal information — data in a form that does not permit direct association with any specific individual. We may collect, use, transfer, sell and disclose non-personal information for any purpose. For example, when you use our services, we may collect data from and about the ‘commercial electronic mail messages’ and ‘transactional or relationship messages’ (as such terms are defined in the CAN-SPAM Act (15 U.S.C. 7702 et. seq.)) that are sent to your email accounts.”
But how did we really get here, hating on Jojo? Let’s look at why we are really in this situation. Travis Kalanick is out of control and no one can stop him. No one except a board who refuses to hold him accountable for his disgusting behavior. Yeah. As a woman I think he is disgusting. As a founder, the truth is I’m like DAMN. That guy is willing to do whatever it takes and I have a mild amount of envy that I’m not a shittier human willing to go to those lengths to be successful. (Oh and since this has been misinterpreted so many times in comments — let me lay this out for you. I AM NOT WILLING TO BE A SHITTY HUMAN TO BE SUCCESSFUL. That is what that means.)
See, Silicon Valley rewards it. It rewards shitty behavior. He is setting the example for the future founders who want to “crush it” and be unstoppable. It’s gross. And that is NOT Jojo. Jojo is not a malicious asshole. Jojo is
You don’t hate that Unroll.me sells your data. You hate that Unroll.me sells your data to Uber.
But back to my sweet, sweet friend Jojo.
And now. Because you think Jojo is personally helping Travis continue on with his douchebaggery keeping tabs on Lyft you hate him too.
Unroll.me was bought by a company called Slice Intelligence (don’t get me started on the founder of that company) who takes that data and repackages it to sell insights to companies. Slice is responsible for selling the data to Uber. Not Unroll.me and definitely not Jojo. Jojo and Travis are not buddies hanging out at a strip club in Korea. Jojo has nothing to do with Uber. Slice, the parent company, takes care of that.
And, as an aside, if you think this is the worst thing that tech companies do with your data then you have your head in the sand.
So in summary, you want to delete Unroll.me? That is your right. But personal attacks are not warranted. There was no intentional malice done by Jojo or anyone at Unroll.me.
We built Unroll.me as decent humans and it has to our best efforts always been run that way.
We always cared deeply about our users and Jojo still really does. You will just have to trust me on that.
Disclosure:I was cashed out when the company was acquired so my comments do not represent any official corporate capacity of Unroll.me or Slice but I will not stand by and watch people go after Jojo Hedaya.