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Djangy is shutting down (djangy.com)
148 points by endlessvoid94 on Feb 28, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 48 comments

Did you guys even try to sell it, even for a firesale price? I ask because recently Xmarks went through a similar decision - didn't want to continue running the service, and announced they were shutting it down.

After an outcry from the user community, and a quick survey to see how many would be willing to pay for it, they offered it for sale instead, and it was bought, gained a premium component, and continued existence.

I hate seeing promising work like this just eradicated from existence without even considering whether there might be another organization out there willing to take it on and continue developing it.

And surely there's some value in the name, market presence, email list of beta hopefuls, and current work/infrastructure. Despite listing other services that provide cloud hosting for Django projects in your announcement, Djangy is the only one I'm personally aware of. Surely there's value in that.

Shimon from DjangoZoom here. I wish the best for Dave and Sameer in their new directions. For anyone looking for Django hosting, we're working every day to build the best Django deployment and hosting solution, and will have big news real soon now. Although we've been quiet lately, it's because we've been heads-down developing the latest version of DjangoZoom, and we expect to send out more invites in a couple of weeks.

It's odd to see a competitor give up. We think this is a very promising space and are personally very excited about it. We're in it for the long haul, and welcome any suggestions or questions.

Aw, that's too bad. Can we at least get a quick overview of your stack and how everything worked now? I'm always curious to hear how people design these setups.

That can probably be arranged.

considered just pushing all your code to GH ?

Seconded. I see a few brave souls venturing into this market and would like a peek at their architecture decisions.

I wrote one of these a few months ago, and decided not to pursue it because I was one guy and just couldn't keep up on my own. I keep thinking I need to just shove what I wrote up on GitHub so people can at least look at it. It's a very interesting set of decisions you need to make.

If there's already a built platform and some traction, wouldn't it be better to sell it to someone who would/could continue to grow the service (assuming that someone exists)?

"Flipping the site" might sound cheap, but I imagine the users would be better of with a service that may have a future instead of the one that doesn't (and at least a longer data retention period for their data), and the founders might somewhat recoup their time/money/energy expenses.

(Disclaimer: I'm not a beta Djangy user, nor have I been using other similar services yet, but I am a Django user and find those really interesting).

I'd sell the platform and business. There's an increasingly large number of services aimed in this area, so folding into another, being bought by one, or something like that seems better then a total shutdown.

Ep.io, Gondor.io, DjangoZoom, the list is growing daily.

Is one month really adequate advance notice to tell people on a platform that their data is going to be permanently deleted? I think I’d be upset that I had so little advance notice — what if I was about to go on vacation? I understand they had a “zero lock in” architecture, so maybe it isn’t that big of a deal. And yet, what can you really compare this to? (Etherpad? They gave users a bit more time.) Thoughts?

Well they we're in private beta...

Would you please opensource the code?

It will help the python/django community a lot.

There is still a large gap in this market. Looking just at Python, none of the 5-6 cloud hosting providers have even launched into public beta.

I've signed up for at least four, and finally got into one -- just to find that it was like pulling teeth compared to Heroku.

app engine is surely in public beta if not production? although agreed that it's a stripped down version of core python.

i imagine it's difficult for companies like these to compete with the likes of a google.

What exactly went wrong? I might be being dumb, but from what I can gleam from the blog post, the main reason you shut down is that you didn't want to pursue the business, despite opportunity that was there. Was that the case? How can we learn from this?

From what I've heard, it really sounds like a simple case of not having enough money to sustain themselves. This coupled with the fact that there are lots of competitors out there in terms of building heroku for django.

That said, I know the founders and they're smart people who will do good things even though this didn't work out.

I'm interested to know this as well. With the success of Heroku for Rails deployment, there's definitely room for a parallel player in the Django market — and probably the opportunity to make a lot of money, too.

The post states, in a pretty clear manner, that nothing really went wrong, they'd just rather do something else than run with this for years and deal with the investment headaches it'd inevitably produce.

I think what they just did was awesome. Do what makes you happy, striving for money is utterly pointless in the end.

After spending enough time with a project you realize that you no longer interested in continuing the project. I think quitting is the best choice at that moment, rather than questioning oneself everyday.

I think you can learn that while there are many technically interesting projects to work on, seriously pursuing something as a business takes a lot of commitment.

Are there any plans to open source any of the code?

That would be interesting. Particularly, I'm curious about the python sandboxing.

The post mentions they didn't want to make a multiple year commitment by taking investment dollars, but I have to imagine there are others out there willing to take the risk. Sell the business. Cloud computing is hot everywhere, but doubly so with VCs. Heruku's huge exit only helped fuel this fire and should make something like Djangy attractive to look at.

What's confusing to me is their 'thanks' to investors.

I'm not clear that one _can_ raise money from investors, and then wholesale just decide to leave as a team. At the very least just to fulfill fiduciary duty, the company should be listed as 'for sale' and go on the block, even if just on ebay.

Some guesses:

a) Acqui-hire in the works with money for early stage investors

b) serious, serious, serious team problems / investor problem, so toxic that they can't be solved in the current structure

c) 'investors' is like mom and dad, so no big deal.

Anyway, best of luck to the team, and I'm hoping for something big and exciting next!

We never took money -- just met with quite a few different investors over the course of a few months. They gave us invaluable advice.

Got it. Hope you have some good things in your future!

Quite respectable that they knew what they wanted and made the tough decision. Nothing wrong with striving greatly and failing, as long as you're in the arena.


That's the thing though: they didn't fail, they quit.

Fair point. I feel like it's somewhat similar here. If djangy was [becoming] a success the team may have made a different decision.

i quit following djangy once i quit using django. i had been signed up for an invite for what seems like years, though. too bad i never got one. :(

edit: feel free to continue down voting, but this was not meant at sarcasm. i genuinely looked forward to using it. i still seek a high quality python app cloud deployment solution. although, now i'd ideally like it to not be tied to any particular frameworks.

Past a certain point, I doubt they gave out any more invites via signups. I think everyone I knew who had an account got invited by an existing beta user.

Kind of a shame they shut down - they had a good name to help distinguish themselves from competing offerings.

I did get an invite, shame that I never got around to trying it out...

I believe it was a perfectly logical and most importantly fair decision to make. Rather than having taken the investment and not really being passionate about the work. However the alternate course of action that they may take are: 1) Sell it to someone who would like to buy it and is passionate about it for the right reasons (not money) 2)Open Source the codebase 3) Simply write a post about the architecture

What I mean to simply say is "hand over your legacy". Don't just leave it to be forgotten.

i loved djangy - it was as simple to use as heroku was. too bad you are shutting down :(

I completely agree. I wrote and deployed a project to Djangy on Saturday, in large part to try out my beta account. It was a simple app, but deploying to Djangy's cloud was trivial. (I think I spent more time figuring out GoDaddy's domain control panel than setting up Djangy.) It's sad to see such a promising service go away.

I wish you guys the best in whatever it is you choose to pursue next.

Well, that explains my unanswered support emails! Sorry to hear this guys, Djangy was a good service and I'm sad to see it go.

Dave, too bad it didn't work out. I really wanted to try it! Good luck, I look forward to your next product.

The really nice thing about deploying with a git push is that you always have a backup.

I'll miss djangy. it quickly became my go-to for a quick django prototype. hopefully zoom/gondor take off.

Huh, that looks like it would've been cool. Sad that I didn't hear about it until it shuts down.

Note to self: don't use a product these devs create. Or, don't ever depend on 'beta' programs for anything.

I get that you have to do your own thing for your life, but what a way to let people down. You had two options for supporting existing users, then you say, "No, we're just shutting it down."

Could have given it away, even.

I don't think it's really fair to dump on these guys because of this. I definitely agree that nobody should depend on a 'beta' anything in any serious capacity, but Djangy was pretty obviously a small operation trying something out. I was a beta user and absolutely LOVED it, even though I didn't have the best support experiences ever. Anything I hosted with Djangy could easily be moved elsewhere - I highly doubt there were any users with enough data to make migration difficult.

> don't ever depend on 'beta' programs for anything

Surely you already knew this principle.

I agree with this in principle, but in our Web 2.0 world, "beta" has become almost meaningless half the time. Gmail has only come out of beta last year, hasn't it?

Perpetual public beta is a problem, but there's a huge difference between a public beta from a huge corporation and a small private beta from a startup. I think it's pretty easy to judge based on company size, service momentum, number of competitors, etc. if a service is likely to last.

This is the dark side of startups that require no capital expenditure. Easy come, easy go.

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