Long before Quora admitted to being breached and losing 100,000,000 million users' account data, it had disqualified itself from being used, by dint of its impulse to hoard knowledge and the likelihood that its limping business model would cause it to imminently implode.
As Andy "Waxy" Baio writes, Quora has long distinguished itself by the extraordinary lengths it goes to to collect your personal information as a condition of accessing the site, and by the worst-of-breed policies it has in not allowing the Internet Archive to back up its data, or even APIs or backup/export tools (the company even deletes Quora topics that question these policies).
Combine that with a quarter billion dollars in venture capital overhang and with their first dollar in revenue only coming in last year (and no earnings reports in sight), and the company stands a good chance of shutting down, or being bought and purged in some significant way -- taking all the material its users provided (and whose export the company blocked) with it.
At some point, the investors who dumped a quarter billion dollars into it will want a return on that investment. Last year, founder Adam D’Angelo indicated they expect to eventually IPO. But market conditions, combined with the results of their ad platform, may force them in different directions — a pivot, merger, or acquisition are always a possibility.
When Quora shuts down, and it will eventually shut down one day, all of that collected knowledge will be lost.
Back in 2012, Adam D’Angelo wrote, “We hope to become an internet-scale Library of Alexandria.”
As long as Quora keeps boarding up the exits, we may see it end the same way.
Why You Should Never, Ever Use Quora [Andy Baio/Waxy]
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