Shuts Down, Transparency & Alternatives

27 Oct 2013

I woke up Saturday to the news of’s shut down.

This is what a customer would have felt:

  1. Open email.
  2. WTF, they are shutting down.
  3. No way, how can Salesforce shut down one of their products.
  4. What! They haven’t given me a reason. Just a pathetic email telling me that the service will stop on Jan 31, 2014.
  5. Scratching head — Salesforce has so much money and resources that they could easily keep the service running for the love of their customers. They better have a strong enough reason to shut down.
  6. Hmm... another free software bites the dust.

Who wouldn’t be annoyed. Not that businesses and products can’t shut down but because businesses choose to be less transparent. Salesforce should have conveyed something meaningful to it’s customers. Lesson: Never take your customers for granted. Be open.

Luckily, I am not a customer. I would never be one cause I am a competitor. A very small one, indeed. But, that doesn’t matter right? They are gone and I am here. Trusting your business with using a service from a large, established company does not guarantee anything. It never did. The same is the case when using free software to power critical functions of your business. Free looks attractive but comes with it’s own hidden costs.

Smaller software firms should not be afraid to compete with larger firms. We have passion, drive and are super focused. We are lean and agile. We have a lot more to lose and a lot more at stake. We are less corporate and sometime more transparent.

The software business is about how passionate you are about making and maintaining software that people love using everyday. That’s it. If this drives you, you are unstoppable.

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