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They have such a terrible landing page though.

Having heard of this first time I tried looking it up and all I see is this:

> Vercel combines the best developer experience with an obsessive focus on end-user performance. Our platform enables frontend teams to do their best work.

The heading above it is even more nonsensical. So many words which convey absolutely nothing to me.

Can anyone please tell me what does it do? Is it a cdn or some kind of hosting?

It hosts your next.js website.

Or Nuxt, Gatsby, Blitz, Hugo, Svelte, Vue, Vite and many more.

CDN (edge network as they call it) + host your serverless functions. All that automatically after you push your code to a remote git repos.

To be fair they jump right to the nuance of why you'd choose them, assuming you know who they are. Coca-Cola's website doesn't tell you what coke is, it talks about experiences/moments..etc. I share your frustration to some extent but I understand their reasoning.

Coca-Cola, Nike ... are some magnitudes different in brand recognition. They can afford to do that. I find it quite frustating when I'm on some startups' websites and after 1-3 clicks around I still don't know what their products or services do, lost in marketing/tech jargons. After that I just quit. Come on people, use English!

"To be fair they jump right to the nuance of why you'd choose them, assuming you know who they are.

Coke is 1) a drink. and 2) 7 Billion people know what it is.

Vercel is 1) complicate and 2) nobody knows who they are.

It's such an embarrassing problem for them, I find it hard to fathom how they even have new users, much of their language is dense and ridiculous like this.

"but I understand their reasoning."

It is not 'reasoned' and they are definitely not intentional in their focus, they have just put some scruff on a page that's confusing.

Companies fail at these things all the time because often there are no checks and balances.

Yup. What sells isn't actually the product, it's what feelings the product invokes!

I don't choose a framework or hosting service because of what feelings it invokes. My boss wouldn't like that very much.

Your boss will love (or not) to be on the bleeding edge of serverless, or using latest tech. That way he can impress his boss or feel safe. All feelings.

confusion, frustration, anxiety

It's Heroku, but for React.

Vercel is a frontend cloud platform. It works with any frontend framework (or just HTML) you prefer. React, Next.js, Svelte, Vue, Nuxt, etc.


That does not explain what it does.

This is the exact same issue that came up last time they raised money, #1 post: 'What is it?'.

From the doc page:


"Vercel is a platform for frontend frameworks and static sites, built to integrate with your headless content, commerce, or database.

We provide a frictionless developer experience to take care of the hard things: deploying instantly, scaling automatically, and serving personalized content around the globe.

We make it easy for frontend teams to develop, preview, and ship delightful user experiences, where performance is the default."


That still does not say 'what it does'.

Is this a hosting service? Some open source UI like React? Does it to back-end logic?

Saying "It'A a Front End Framework That's Really Cool And Solves All Your Problems" is not marketing.

This is a fairly giant marketing/communications fail.

Sorry, but the comment you’re replying to definitely does explain what it is. It obviously requires some domain knowledge but that’s fair to assume.

This is not about comments on HN, it's about communication on their site.

I have enough experience to be able to know what it is from a quick summary, but I still don't quite get it.

It's an epic communications failure.

Vercel marketing team has created a huge problem on the funnel whereby a lot of casual / semi-interested visitors are effectively bouncing without having ingested a nominal understanding of 'what it is'.

Technology is not quite like brand marketing where 'Jordan / Kapernick / Yeezy' do the selling, it's generally something we need to understand in order for it to make sense. The 'aha' moment can only come after that.

Vercel does face the additional challenge that 'Next.JS' is not a widely known framework, and they have to additionally explain that, but it's not an insurmountable problem.

This is not uncommon in SaaS actually, but it is kind of ridiculous.

As a rule of thumb: if people feel the need to visit your Wikipedia page to understand 'what you do' - then the marketing department is acting against the best interest of the company, and is literally a source of confusion instead of clarity.

Perhaps Vercel is ok having visitors bounce who don't understand what they do with the marketing copy as is. Maybe they're not trying to be everything for everyone?

No, there's no such thing. It's just bad marketing. Everyone wants more customers.

It probably means the vector of spread is word of mouth and other things.

SaaS companies are notorious for this.

Landing page just crashed my 2019 MBP (not just Safari) - restart required!

SPA web hosting

... or MPA web hosting

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