For all its vaunted idealism, Silicon Valley can be just as cynical as any other area of commerce. The tech companies set up to profit from spam and search-engine trickery are too numerous to count. But Facebook’s short history makes one thing clear: There has never been a tech company that built so much fortune from the exploitation of ordinary people while giving so little in return.
Self-financed angel investors are often found where venture capitalists fear to tread. They typically provide seed financing to start-ups that is counted in the thousands or tens of thousands instead of the millions VCs have to throw around.