"It’s been a long road and we feel that we have come a long way in solving this problem. We are elated to announce the next step in this journey"
"It’s been an immensely exciting journey and we are humbled by the support we received along the way."
"We look forward to this transition as the next step."
"As of today, we are no longer enrolling new users. "
"Existing users can continue to use our service until ..."
"We want to do whatever it takes to make any transition as smooth as possible."
"We have worked hard on our product and feel that our vision aligns perfectly with ..."
god I feel sorry for the poor saps still in the grind.
I'd be more honest =)
Yeah, sure, they worked hard, but in the end they get a big fat F for the end result.
Services don't last forever, but I'm not gonna congratulate someone who runs around in circles for 3 years purporting to deliver a product of value, and then gives up when offered a better deal for themselves.
They didn't build a product, they built a nothing. It's like reverse vaporware, and I won't respect it.
If you just made several mil I honestly doubt you're thinking about making the "transition as smooth as possible". You're thinking "should I buy a Lambo or a Ferrari?"
They probably got a memo from Dropbox saying "now that we own your ass, here is a press release that you'll publish asap"
I've noticed that these days I avoid all free services and, when the information is available to me, will pick the lifestyle over the vc backed company.
Next time I buy a tool, I'm going to look for something I can hold in my hand (metaphorically speaking), and use until I decide not to.
Maybe there's a middle ground? If someone provided me with a VPS but made it really easy to self-host applications from a curated list, I'd be all over that.
Then you connect to your services via any thin client (just thumbprint on any terminal anywhere and you're logged in). Any screen, any device, anywhere.
You should be able to tell XYZ service to work with your photos as stored on Amazon S3. Or stored on, what's that other company, starts with a D...?
It's by far the cleanest sunset I've ever used.
Startups like this are lying to us, straight in the face. Simple as that. And we believe the bullshit they say every time. It's written so almost explicitly in the startup "literature". Growth. They are not building real products that are supposed to solve problems for people, they build make-believe products that are supposed to lure people in. Because that's how you prove your worth these days - by number of users you can get on board.
I apologize if I hurt someone who doesn't start the company just in order to bullshit his/her way to acquihire year or two later. Maybe you're honestly building a real product to solve real problems and you actually care about your users. But then again, to quote Nick Fury, "things like this give me trust issues".
I'm still waiting for someone to solve the "punching through the Internet" problem. This way I could express what I really feel, as a user, about taking "a toast" for the "next chapter" of your "immensely exciting journey".
At least the service its prices are sustainable. Or premium.
not saying jake won't take the money and run if offered it, or shut down exposure, but given that it looks like he's fairly comfortable after collegehumor and his investment in tumblr, chances are lower that he's looking to offload exposure/elepath. but who knows.
What does buying saas really give me that a whole server doesn't?
Obviously one needs to be a Unix hacker to make it do anything but I've got that covered.
I'm the CEO of Picturelife and I wouldn't dream of rolling over like this so easily. We have thousands of customers and just killing our service would be such an assault on their trust.
All these services you mention are just taking the easy way out. There's a long road ahead for us and we'll going to keep making the product and experience better for people, no matter what.
I'm sorry, but I don't believe you. If someone waves $10M in front of you, you're going to take it. I think that's ok and I don't think it's (exactly) giving anyone a "bad name" (in the moral sense). It does mean that I'm going to be hesitant to put my photos into a startup again.
Are you willing to put out a guarantee? Are you willing to refund 100% of the money I paid in the last year if you sell and the service is shutdown? I'm betting there is some kind of legal instrument available to me, as a user, to soften the blow when this inevitably happens.
But in general I can tell you that we really are driven by much more than money here. A few times we've gotten to consider the idea of having a small financial outcome, and we keep coming back to the same thing: if we all became millionaires and then went out to start another company, what would we do?
If we're being truthful with ourselves, it's still doing Picturelife. There's just not another idea we're passionate about, and working on something we're not passionate about sounds like a terrible, terrible time. So we're just not going to take any easy roads here. If it ever gets tough, we're going to toughen up. When things get really good, we're going to dream bigger.
Maybe it's that we've all been around the block a bit -- both of my co-founders have already had great companies (OMGPOP and Threadless) -- but we really don't want to be doing anything else.
We love our customers, we love our work, we love the challenge. Selling out for 10M to Dropbox frankly sounds like a shit time to us, and we wouldn't do it.
Everpix looked really great, and I was very close to signing up, but then they shut down. I'm glad I didn't just to see them shut down.
I know you say you wouldn't roll over so easily (which is great!) but it ultimately comes down to whether you have a viable business, which Everpix clearly did not. If I sign up for Picturelife, will it survive without outside investment or some miracle? Is it on a stable trajectory?
Thanks for any insight you can provide. Your service looks great :)
Because you - like me - will probably be happy to be bought out for sums of money over a certain number. (let's say, 1 billion). And unless you have a fairly hardcore contract with me, I'm not willing to bet your service won't be wound up by the acquirer.
So my pictures are on my hard drive and an external drive.
I have a half-written blog post from a few months ago (proof: http://note.io/1lde2HC ) that tries to address this. My idea was that every SAAS startup should start with an exit plan for its customers that would be legally viable in the case of acquisition, being shut down, or any other scenario. Basically a set of software tools and policies that are clear from the get-go, so you aren't waiting to see what they'd do in that case.
We're working on some pretty major releases here so I haven't gotten a chance to finish the post (and publish a plan ourselves) but it's something I think about a lot.
It's a SAAS problem beyond the photo space.
You're not selling me a utility — you're selling me your fantastic product. Let me pay for it!
That's kind of the point of this thread, in fact. If you don't charge enough, then you won't survive, and your users lose. I would be uneasy using an important service without paying for it (but I do like the idea of my data living in my own s3 bucket).
Like I said, as we take another look at pricing (we are in the middle of it now) we will think about what to do on a more formal level.
Thanks for the feedback.
Speaking of your promise... What is "so easily"? Does it have 6 or 9 trailing zeros?
As for what's "So easily," it's not just about money. What I mean is this... if something's not working, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. What you'll see from Picturelife in the next few months is us hustling like crazy, putting out major releases and taking risks. "So easily" to me is trying one thing, seeing that it's not working, and then taking someone's offer to make the pain go away. It's like watching someone get dunked underwater and not fight to get free. If someone wants to get free, you could tell, because you'd see a lot of splashing and fighting to survive.
So "so easily" to me means fighting. And that's what we're doing, and that's what you're going to see us do a lot of from now and into the future.
Glad to hear you at least want to be in it for the long haul.
We support Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. And then imports from Dropbox, Facebook, Smugmug, Flickr, Instagram, Foursquare, and a few more...
It's a bit more complicated than that, though, and management always has the most control. For instance, it's because of this mentality we're not just shopping ourselves around for little exits -- and so offers like these never have to be decided on. We also chose Spark as a VC because we knew they wouldn't want a small outcome either. They invested in Twitter, Tumblr, and more. We, and they, are looking to build something big and meaningful. A VC like Spark is going to have a lot more patience than some other VCs -- and so it increases our chances of staying independent.
As for the OMGPOP question, I was never a part of it. My co-founder Charles Forman founded it and left the company a year before its sale... so he could start Picturelife with me and Jacob. As it turns out, 3 of our core team members were also at OMGPOP and later joined us at Picturelife, after the company sold to Zynga.
It's definitely makes me think twice about which service I use next.
Now I don't know what to do.
For photos, I am using Adobe Lightroom and organize files into folders by year/month/day/subject during import. Edited GoPro videos go to YouTube etc and originals/edits straight to Glacier.
This takes a bit of effort to set up but works great great.
I have roughly 600GB stored on Glacier and around 50 GB on S3 so far this year.
I am yet to spend more than $10/month.
Wait, you say, Google Drive is 9.99 for 1T!
True, I say, but on AWS you only pay for what you use. So you will realize real saving once you push past your first 1T in cumulative storage.
"Welcome to the age of the Great Guilds"
And then I open things with "ECED".
Personal cultural reference for those who are confused:
One thought I have is converting a sizable portion of old Canon CR2 raw files to adobe DNG since I've noticed that reduces filesize by roughly 20% for the files that I have. This isn't really a long term solution though and I'm actually kind of unsure of what to do. I keep hoping that I can hold out long enough until Dropbox's gb/price get's halved again. Then I'd likely be set for some time.
I really can't think of a cloud service for ~1.5TB of photos. Have you found anything that would suit your purposes?
I also use crashplan for offsite archiving of my photo library, but I really, really, like having the entirety of my photo catalogue accessible everywhere. Excessive, sure, but definitely nice.
With loom, I am hoping they integrate the jpg rendering of raw files into their photos views on web/mobile.
A benefit of Dropbox/Carousel (+ Lightroom locally), is I can fly through all 215GB via thumbnail representations without having to call the file explicitly. If there were some mechanism to offload storage to s3 or glacier, while retaining the nice UI afforded by the Dropbox/Lightroom clients, I would be all over that.
Granted, Lightroom/ACR still do a very good job of rendering RAW files, so the difference isn't that great without pixel-peeping, but it might be something you want to think about when it comes to switching formats.
I've since gone back to importing the plain CR2s as my on-disk RAW format -- in practice CR2s are more universally useable than DNG files since not everything can read DNG whereas since you can always go from CR2->DNG, everything that can read DNG is covered by CR2s.
I definitely had bought into the adobe dng idea of it being the superior format for compatibility, but didn't consider there might be situations where something could read CR2 better than dng.
There's also Syncany for a more client-oriented approach:
One of the advice I received was to batch export to JPG to have a small and easily sharable copy, and keep all the originals in Glacier or other cost effective backup that doesn't need to be accessed too often. I haven't done it yet but it seems to be a reasonable approach.
Loom had a lot of success since Everpix got shut down, now it's interesting to see which startup will fill their place.
https://www.dropbox.com/upgrade (consumer plans)
Dropbox: 200 GB / $200 ($1 per GB)
It's quite the difference
So far, they've refused: "Thanks for writing and we appreciate your position. Unfortunately, I am very sorry but I cannot offer you a refund at this time."
This is very disappointing.
"This app is in development mode and cannot accept more users. Contact the app developer and ask them to use the Dropbox API App Console to apply for production status."
I don't know.