14 Comments

  1. Jeff Chandler

    Well, at least he started with the notion of “owning your own data” so at least a ton of photos won’t be lost forever since the service didn’t store them.

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  2. Havenswift Hosting

    This must be a massive disappointment to all the investors that gave over $50k (!!) towards the development – so glad we decided to not invest. While people will be interested to find out the reasons, pretty certain the investors would much prefer the project to become open source. You quote Saddington as saying that this is still a possibility – this is the very bare minimum that the investors deserve

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    • jb510

      As one of those backers (investors is totally the wrong term)… no this is not a “massive disappointment”, at least not for me. I’m sure John far more disappointed than any of the backers.

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      • John Saddington (@saddington)

        @jb510:

        First, thank you for supporting this project. that means the world to me.
        Second, i thank the backers specifically for the Kickstarter project. I use that term specifically.
        Thirdly, I use the word “investors” because I actually did have some. I raised some money to support the growing costs post-Kickstarter.

        :) just for clarity.

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  3. Japh

    Wow… very disappointing news. Not least of all for John, I imagine. Hopefully he releases the source code under an open source license so the community can pick up where he left off.

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  4. Michael Beil

    As a backer, I’m not disappointed in the outcome of the app. I know this is hard for John more than anyone. Maybe we’ll see the code running wild in open source land soon.

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  5. Brin Wilson

    Surprised John hasn’t said why… too hard to monetize perhaps? Or something else? Hope to find out eventually…

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  6. Peter Knight (@peterrknight)

    The first sign someone is no longer committed in seeing a project through: starting another major project. The moment you have a more attractive side project, the more likely it is you won’t go all out to keep the older project going forward. All project creators will recognize this, the tempation is universal. Sad, because a lot of ambitious projects tend to require multi-year commitment to get anywhere. You have to persevere through long spells of uninspiring growth and tedious work with almost any project.

    One reason why I have never gone through with crowd funding: you have to be incredibly sure you are going to stick with something and see it through. Because when you abandon something it creates a lot of guilt. Sometimes abandoning a project is the right decision, but it’s better to do that without having taken on backers or investers. The guilt would really get to me.

    This is one reason why I admire the Pods team so much. They were in it for the long haul. Between 1.x and 2.x it seemed like there wasn’t much going on. And today they have their own dedicated Pods camp with Pods 3.0 on the horizon. Its amazing work. What a loss it would have been if it had been abandoned somewhere along the way.

    I can’t tell from Pressgram what the true reasons were, just like it was hard to tell as an outsider why WP Daily really ceased, or why the Standard Theme closed up (all of which were promising and impressive ventures). It takes a lot of guts and effort to make things, I just hope that the next project doesn’t suffer a premature ending before it gets a chance to mature.

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    • John Saddington (@saddington)

      I suppose a worthy clarification is that Desk represents an internal pivot as one weighed the promise (and runway) of existing opportunities. Most great surviving ventures experience at least 1 pivot… there are too many great examples to name. It is actually more rare to find ventures that land on their success product the first-time through. If that is the story of Pods (which I think is great) then those guys really nailed it and they deserve some serious kudos.

      Secondly, Desk isn’t a new shiny object. I’ve written enough about that already though around the blog and it’s been in active development nearly 300 days. This wasn’t a temptation (as I know that feeling all-too well) but an actual product that helped incentivize my investors on making their financial commitment (i.e. mitigated risk). I suppose I could write a book on this and this isn’t the place for it.

      :)

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  7. Peter Knight (@peterrknight)

    @John I’m very interested in WP use cases that are like personal applications. WP is so suitable because you get this self hosted backend that you have full control over. And that’s how I use WP everyday already. I hope a real market can develop out of it (because it’s what I want to be involved with myself).

    I’d be really surprised however if something like a desktop editor actually makes a lot of money, even a modest amount would surprise me quite frankly. Is that the intent with Desk? Are their certain criteria you are aiming to hit to determine whether its something to continue after year 1 and 2? I imagine such a thing taking a long time to really grow to a level where it starts to give a return on investment.

    I know pivoting is an important decision for startups, not all ideas are going to be winners, some solutions become apparent dead ends or a project simply runs its course, or an obstacle surfaces that isn’t worth overcoming (maybe that played a role here?). Having said that, you only hear about the successful pivots, you never hear about the projects that could have grown if only a team had persevered, i.e. the could-have-beens. I think in WordPress especially quite a lot of projects owe their success to sticking around long enough for growth to happen. I’m not sure the same expectation of growth that you find with, say, a venture backed tech startup can be realistically placed on a WP centric product (except for perhaps the hosting company model).

    Anyhow, I hope you blog your experiences for all to benefit from!

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  8. Sarah

    Too bad Pressgram is shutting down! I’m wondering if this app is a good replacement? http://www.polarfox.com
    Looks really promising…

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