In this age of aggressively scooping up all and any data, are they even possible in the first place? In the venture-backed model it is certainly not going to be possible for two reasons: 1) high valuations are driven by high-growth, and there is no way to work around that in the venture-backed model and 2) exits are going to be problem if you don’t prioritize growth at the cost of everything else.
I do feel there is a case to be made for small, profitable companies that have anywhere between 20,000 to 100,000 paying customers a month. These companies are most likely not going to be be built by people who desperately need money as they will take around a year at least where it can pay for the core team itself. But, once it hits steady state, it can grow gently, paying the small team well and also adding more to the core finances that will allow it to see it through any tough times in the future.
Companies like these won’t feel the need to sell user data or mine it excessively. They can listen to their users for feedback actively and respond to it and use data only to catch errors and bugs. We have almost forgotten that such things are possible. Imagine a scenario where you don’t run tracking of anyone who lands on your website?