Brendan Eich is making a comeback.
But in 2014, after being appointed CEO of the Mozilla Corporation, he found himself at the middle of a firestorm. Eich had donated to Proposition 8, a failed Californian ballot initiative that aimed to define marriage as between one man and one woman. When news of the donation became public, he was highly criticised, and ultimately resigned from the role.
Eich is now launching a new startup, called Brave, that aims to “fix” a problem with the modern internet — adverts.
Advertising is sick, Eich says. It’s intrusive, tracking users with “cookies, tracker pixels, fingerprinting, everything,” and slowing the internet down to boot — and as a result, users are increasingly turning to ad blocking software to eliminate them altogether.
Eich’s solution: A new web browser that blocks all adverts by default — and then replaces them with new ones.
Two big selling points
Brave (the browser) is going to have adblocking software baked into it. This, Eich told Business Insider in an interview, will have two benefits: Privacy and speed.
First, privacy. Modern advertising is invasive, building up profiles to target users more effectively with ads. This is why people use anti-tracking plugins have proliferated. Brave “preserves data sovereignty, anonymity,” Eich said.
Next, speed. Ad tech and trackers can significantly slow down the time it takes to load pages. So by stripping out this extra junk, you can see impressive speed gains — two to four times faster, Eich claims. He says that for another browser to match Brave’s speed “out of the box … you need to add [the plugins] Ghostery, Disconnect.me, Adblock Plus, [and] even then you have to tune them.”