From Overv.io‘s home page:
No strings attached
We store all critical information on GitHub
These are your projects. You get to keep your data and we can’t lose it even if our servers get mauled by a grizzly bear.
No commitment required
You are free to only move a part of your team to overv.io. People who hate progress can just keep using GitHub directly. Everyone else gets to keep using their favourite tools.
And then one day you may find a flashier app
You will like each other and then you’ll stop returning our calls. And as we lay in our bed and hug the pillow and certainly not cry, well maybe a little, you realize one very important thing:
There is no data for you to pick up from our office while awkwardly trying to hold a conversation.
This is how much we love you.
Principle: Avoid holding customer data if you don’t have to.
Bonus: Discuss a potentially distressing hypothetical event (breaking up with the site) in a human and humorous voice. Kudos for the metaphor; post-dating breakups are less traumatic than, say, the death of a puppy at the hands of terrorists.
Kevin Menard wound down his Mogotest service after five years. He wrote a thoughtful explanation of why he did’t release his code into the wild under an open source license. It came down to a few things.
- IP. Untangling third-party code to clear licenses was a big job.
- Privacy promises. Some customer data had been hard-coded and would need to be discovered and removed.
- Cost. Nobody was willing to pay for the work.
- Feelings. The prospect of returning to prepare the code for release was “a really tough pill to swallow.”
A good read.
I’m working this Saturday at Oakland City Hall with friends from San Jose, Sacramento, San Francisco and Oakland. It’s our first time together. We’re figuring out what we want campaign finance apps like OpenDisclosure to evolve into. How can we make boring accounting data meaningful, entertaining, and active? How can we reach more of California’s voters? Can we turn contribution envelopes and expense reports into a tool for citizenship? It’s an open meeting. RSVP.
“Remember us.” Tombstone pages stay behind after your product or company is gone. Here’s a simple, effective one from the gang at Resolver Systems Ltd..
Resolver’s tombstone does a few things well:
- Clear headline
- Logo to confirm you’re in the right place
- What happened and why
- What you can do if you want to contact someone or get support
Tombstones are briefer and less biographical than product obituaries. Easier to write, too.
Well, they said they would two years’ ago and now they’ve done it. Netflix Kills Off Its Public API, Takes A Few Applications Down With It (TechCrunch). This is the Platform Immaturity Anti-pattern:
- Startups launch public APIs, promising an open platform, hoping for industry endorsement, offering partners the chance for shared success.
- The company and their business ecosystem grows and diversify, continuing to offer proof of value but contributing little to cash flow.
- In sight of an exit, the startup constrains partners with limits on use and access.
- Last, the startup raises walled gardens to concentrate and control their market power. Alliance managers take over from developer relations, ending powerful public APIs.
Skype did this with their developer program. So did Twitter. And now Netflix.
LinkedIn Is Quietly Retiring Network Visualization Tool InMaps | TechCrunch. Too quietly. LinkedIn won’t say what went wrong with InMaps. This is like drug researchers only reporting positive results; it slows down industry learning, keeps weak assumptions alive, muddies sector innovation.
There’s a long history of sharing failure to promote learning. Military after-action reviews and Morbidity & Mortality conferences save lives. They live in professional cultures that make silence unreasonable.
How can product managers cultivate that transparency in our profession?