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Purism Origin Story

Linked by Paul Ciano on February 16, 2019

Todd Weaver, Purism:

One of the most common questions we get asked is why I started Purism. And given the growing importance of Purism’s mission amid the barrage of news about how large tech companies are surveilling and exposing their users, it seemed like an opportune time to share our origin story, and why I felt it was important to create this alternative to the status quo.

There are so many issues one must consider as a parent. Parenthood is possibly the single most philosophical decision-making journey a person can undergo, so it should come as no surprise that as new parents, my wife and I were researching decisions from diapers to food, housing, clothing, school districts and… technology.

And as I’ve come to find, that last topic has become the most critical one over the last decade. Like a lot of parents, I set off to research what technology choices could be made for my children as they would grow to adulthood.

But unlike a lot of parents, I am an expert on software, hardware, and what goes on behind the curtain to bring these products to market. And I know it’s not pretty.

These tech-stacks of exploitation were not really built by accident. They are wired into the business models of every tech company in the space; not a single one advances moral values over their shareholder value. And so I knew there was no way to get to have individual freedom and control from the current phone hardware or from its OS vendor (Apple or Google). I unfortunately knew there was no way to respect the digital civil rights of society by playing the silicon valley exploitation game.

That to solve all these problems with technology, I would have to start from scratch.

Paul Ciano

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