Avoiding the next Skiff

Uniqueness/least-bad-option does seem like a valid factor to consider in terms of relaxing the rules in some cases. But it doesn’t really sidestep the fundamental issue of VC funding.

If a rule like this were to be enacted, I don’t think the uniqueness of Brave (on Desktop, it isn’t unique on Android) wouldn’t be enough to warrant a recommendation. I think at best it would warrant the type of half-recommendation @jonah has mentioned in discussions about recommending Mull (“it doesn’t meet the criteria… but…”).

Personally I think its worth taking some time (weeks not days) to let the dust settle on this Skiff situation, get some distance from it and consider whether any criteria change is really necessary and if so if focusing on one specific type of funding model is the most precise or effective approach or if there are other approaches that would be better. I can recall 3 recent cases of surprise sales like this (Skiff, The Simple Mobile Tools and Raivo), I believe only one of these 3 was VC backed.

Parts of Skiff were open source (parts were also not) and it was never possible to self host.

Personally, I don’t see that as a relevant factor in this context. The people choosing Skiff/Proton/Tuta, are specifically choosing not to manage their own e-mail server, I suspect that much much less than 1% of customers would pivot to self-hosting if Skiff, Proton, or Tuta gave users that option. Using a custom domain and pivoting away to another provider is a more practical solution that was and is possible with Skiff, and already recommended for scenarios like this.