Under the Radar

241: Farewell, Feed Wrangler


00:00:00   Welcome to Under the Radar, a show about independent iOS app development. I'm Marco Arment.

00:00:05   And I'm David Smith. Under the Radar is never longer than 30 minutes, so let's get started.

00:00:10   So it was a bit of a sad day. Well, sort of sad. In some ways, extraordinarily glad and

00:00:15   happy, but in some ways sad. It was sad for my customers, I suppose. So last week, I announced

00:00:23   the sort of, I guess, the end of life, the sunset, the shutdown, whatever kind of words

00:00:28   you want to use for it, of one of my, sort of, probably, I guess, my second or third

00:00:34   oldest product, which is Feed Wrangler. So back when Google Reader announced that they

00:00:41   were going to be ending Google Reader, I had been in the process, actually, of building

00:00:48   an RSS syncing service. They hadn't announced it yet. And then, you know, Google announces

00:00:53   that this is something that they're going to do. And of course, it's like, well, this

00:00:55   is perfect. I mean, I just have this golden opportunity to kind of jump in here with this

00:01:01   thing that I'd already been building and sort of coincide with Google Reader ending. And

00:01:07   that became a Feed Wrangler. It was a product that I worked on for, I guess, I think it's

00:01:11   about nine years old at this point. And it sort of had always been, yeah, it's a long

00:01:17   time. I had no idea it was that old. I mean, like, if you would have asked me, like, how

00:01:20   long ago did Google Reader shut down, I mean, yeah, that seemed like a long time ago. That

00:01:23   seems like ancient history in internet terms. But to say, oh, this product that you've been

00:01:28   running is X years old, that's a very different feeling, I guess. Yeah, I don't think I've

00:01:33   ever run anything for nine years. Except like my blog.

00:01:37   >> Sure. It's like your blog, maybe your Twitter account, I don't even know. Like, nine years

00:01:44   this has been running. And it's been running through all kinds of other of my products

00:01:49   in terms of, you know, in terms of Pedometer++ and Widgetsmith and WatchSmith and all my

00:01:53   other apps. Essentially, the majority of my app businesses sort of came after this. And,

00:01:57   I mean, there was a period where Feed Wrangler was my main thing. I worked, it had an iOS

00:02:01   app, I actually made a podcast client for it called Pod Wrangler. And it was a product

00:02:07   that I worked on for a long time. But the thing that was tricky for me is it's the main

00:02:11   work behind Feed Wrangler was web development. And as time went on, that became less and

00:02:19   less something that I was an expert in, less and less something that I wanted to devote

00:02:23   time to, and just less and less of sort of something that I had interest in. And so over

00:02:28   time, Feed Wrangler kind of slowly worked its way into maintenance mode. And I think

00:02:34   even maybe two years ago, in Feed Wrangler, if you're a subscriber, every year, a week

00:02:40   before your subscription is about to renew, I always send you an email saying, "Hey, just

00:02:45   letting you know next week you're going to get a charge for your subscription." And usually,

00:02:51   mostly I'm just giving people a heads up so that if they're not using it and they wanted

00:02:55   to cancel, I'm giving them an opportunity, which is in some ways probably bad business,

00:02:58   but I always felt good and appropriate as something that I appreciate when services

00:03:04   do that. And so I will do it myself. And in that email, I always have a little like, you

00:03:09   know, paragraph at the top kind of with what's going on, new features, if they are in the

00:03:14   service or whatever. And about two years ago, in that I started telling people, "Hey, Feed

00:03:18   Wrangler realistically is in maintenance mode now. It's not something that I'm focused on.

00:03:22   I sort of will keep the service running. I will keep it up as best as I can. But it's

00:03:29   in maintenance mode. There's no new features. It's just I'll keep it ticking over." And that's

00:03:34   how it had been for about two years. And then a few months ago, it came to the point where

00:03:39   I just decided it's even maintenance mode is sort of too much. And not necessarily in

00:03:47   the amount of time it took to me, but I think it was too much in terms of the fundamental

00:03:56   awkwardness of running a server-oriented system is that servers go down and things happen

00:04:03   on the internet. And when I'm the only person responsible for them, when they go down, it's

00:04:08   my problem. And sometimes it's things that I can solve. And sometimes it's things that

00:04:13   I can't solve. And either way, it's my problem. And it can happen at very inconvenient times.

00:04:19   It can happen when I'm trying to be focused on something else. Or it just, you never know.

00:04:26   And over time, I think the cognitive load of having that running in the background was

00:04:31   diminishing my ability to work on my other projects, to give them the attention they

00:04:37   needed. It was being disruptive in a way that I didn't like both personally as well as professionally,

00:04:42   where I never liked the thought that if I'm going on vacation, I always have to bring

00:04:48   a laptop with me no matter what, because I never know when a server's going to go down.

00:04:53   I hate that. I hate that feeling in the back of my head that I can't just leave work at

00:04:58   work. Like Widgetsmith, which has way more users than Feed Wrangler. By several orders

00:05:04   of magnitude, more users. Just runs itself. I have nothing to do with it. If I go on holiday

00:05:10   for a week, there's just no new features were added to Widgetsmith, but nothing bad is going

00:05:16   to happen. Whereas this, with Feed Wrangler, I've had the exact, one of my early experiences,

00:05:22   maybe two years into Feed Wrangler, was the actual literal experience of I went on holiday

00:05:28   to a cabin in the woods with my family. This is when we all thought you were dead, right?

00:05:32   Yep, exactly. Everyone thought I was dead because about 30 minutes after I went in,

00:05:37   this cabin in the woods has no cell reception, no internet, no nothing. It was lovely, glorious.

00:05:43   Except 30 minutes after I got out of cell reception, Feed Wrangler went down and it

00:05:47   like went down hard. It was one of these things where something bad happened to the master

00:05:54   database and that was it. It was completely broken. It was completely broken for three

00:05:59   days because I had no idea. I was blissfully unaware. I was in the wilderness and this

00:06:04   was great. Then I come back, as I'm driving back from the cabin, and all of a sudden my

00:06:10   phone explodes with messages and things. It's the lovely thing where it starts off that

00:06:14   people are annoyed and kind of grumpy at me that the service is down. Then it gradually

00:06:19   transitions into "Are you okay?" and then it becomes "Has he died? Is he in a ditch

00:06:25   somewhere?" Eventually it becomes a eulogy for you. "He was a good man." "He was a good

00:06:31   man, but it's too bad his service is down." I remember that because all of us, all your

00:06:37   friends, we were texting you like, "Hey, is everything alright?" Just so you know this

00:06:40   is going on. Eventually, "Hey, are you okay?" I was one of those people. I remember. We

00:06:45   started talking to each other. "Hey, have you heard from Dave? Do you know where Dave

00:06:49   is?" I've had that experience. I've had the actual experience of the thing that has been

00:06:55   gnawing in the back of my mind for years. It's like, one day, you never know when it's going

00:06:59   to happen. Feed Wrangler is very stable now, but you just never know. I had one recently

00:07:04   where there was a bad server migration that took Feed Wrangler down for six hours. It

00:07:10   was just one of those, "Well, it happened at a very inconvenient time for me." It was

00:07:14   at 9.30 at night, which in some ways was even worse because I was about to go to sleep,

00:07:19   but I hadn't gone to sleep yet. If I'd gone to sleep and I just woke up and it had happened

00:07:23   or something, like, "Okay, that's unfortunate. It's been down for 12 hours, but okay." But

00:07:27   this one was like, "Nope, I'm just staying up all night trying to get things fixed."

00:07:31   And so, anyway, Feed Wrangler has reached a point where it decided, "It's too small

00:07:38   a part of my business to justify the cognitive load that it has and the space that it occupies

00:07:45   in my mind. I need to shut it down." And I think once I reached that point, it was very

00:07:51   freeing. And it's almost like, usually, I think you know that you've made a right decision

00:07:56   when you agonize over it, you go back and forth, you think of the pros and the cons.

00:08:01   For me, if you're me, you make five spreadsheets thinking about all the different aspects of

00:08:05   it. But once you actually get to the point, you're like, "Nope, it's time." And it felt

00:08:09   amazing. It felt like, "Yes, I should have done this probably two years ago when I put

00:08:13   it in a maintenance mode. I should have just said, 'You know what? I'm going to focus on

00:08:17   the parts of my business that are growing, that I'm excited about, that I'm engaged with,

00:08:21   and not this kind of legacy thing that isn't very exciting to me.'" And so I reached that

00:08:27   point. And then it was just like, now then became the really tricky part, which is sort

00:08:31   of the next part of the show, is kind of, how do you actually shut something down? But

00:08:35   anyway, that's sort of the journey that brought me to the point where I needed to shut it

00:08:40   down.

00:08:41   Yeah, every time something goes wrong with one of my servers, literally every single

00:08:46   time, it doesn't happen very frequently, which in some ways makes this problem worse. Because

00:08:52   every time something goes wrong with my servers, this is like a once in a six month kind of

00:08:57   thing. And so when it happens, every time I'm just like, "Oh, why am I still running

00:09:02   servers? How can I get myself out of the server business, or at least reduce my server needs

00:09:07   significantly, or reduce the number of things that can break in a catastrophic way?" And

00:09:13   I've actually been brainstorming this for a long time, for the last few months. How

00:09:17   could I involve CDNs and other stuff to make stuff more static and move some of the dynamic

00:09:24   stuff client-side? Stuff like that, that could let the app still work in a large way, even

00:09:31   if stuff is going badly on the backend, and reduce the number of backend servers I'm

00:09:35   dealing with in the first place. Because I'm with you. I've been running servers ever

00:09:40   since the Tumblr days. That was 2006. So it's been a long time. And that whole time, I've

00:09:49   basically been on call, in case anything goes wrong. I'm the one who's on call for almost

00:09:54   that entire time. And so it is that certain level of just kind of constant stress. I used

00:10:00   to go upstate to visit my family up there, in a place where there's no internet service.

00:10:06   And now there is, fortunately. But it's the same thing. No cell coverage. The house I

00:10:11   was staying in had no internet for a long time. And so I would just check my email before

00:10:17   I crossed into the no-covering zone, and just kind of hope it would be okay for the next

00:10:22   few hours. And I'd wake up the next morning, drive down to the diner in town that had Wi-Fi,

00:10:28   park my car outside, make sure everything's still up, and then go back to the house. It's

00:10:33   an awkward thing to have that as a constant level of stress in your life for years. And

00:10:39   so to be able to remove that, that's a big step. And in this case, too, when you're

00:10:45   going to shut something down, I think all of us, indie developers, every indie developer

00:10:51   I know, we don't take pleasure in taking something away from people who are using it.

00:10:58   We want to serve our customers as well as we can, for as long as they are our customers.

00:11:03   And you don't want to leave people out of luck. Leave people with nothing that might

00:11:09   inconvenience them or make their job or life harder or less pleasant in some way. And so

00:11:15   in this case, though, I think this is the perfect thing to shut down because there are

00:11:19   a handful of alternatives out there that all do basically the exact same thing, and moving

00:11:24   between them is super easy. And so it's not like, you know, when Google Reader shut down,

00:11:29   one of the reasons why it was a bomb in the industry is that there wasn't anything else

00:11:32   that did that. And so everyone had to kind of scramble and figure out what the heck are

00:11:37   we going to do now for this need. Whereas for you shutting down, everyone basically

00:11:42   like picks a different icon in their RSS reader app, because like, every RSS reader app out

00:11:47   there supports multiple sync engines. So everyone just picks a different one now and migrate

00:11:52   through, you know, export, opml, migrate stuff over import there. And that's it. And you

00:11:56   even set up a nicer one, which I'm sure you'll talk about. So like that, to me, like, that's,

00:12:00   this is the perfect thing. Because it's like, you know what, I don't need to do this anymore,

00:12:03   because these these three or four other people are doing it. And that's fine. And they're

00:12:06   doing a good job. And so I don't need to be in this market anymore.

00:12:08   Yeah, and I think it's, it is so it is, it is so difficult to sort of separate the various

00:12:18   parts of making a decision like this, because there's the, like emotional attachment part

00:12:25   of the, this is something I made, this is something that I worked on for almost a decade,

00:12:30   in terms of, you know, I've, it has been a part of my life for, you know, almost as long

00:12:35   as one of my children, like, it's, it's, it's, it's a huge part of me emotionally. And it's,

00:12:40   you know, it's gone through some great times, it's had some rough times, like, it's, there's

00:12:45   an emotional connection to that. And there's obviously a financial aspect to it that, you

00:12:48   know, in shutting this down, I'm closing the door on a potential stream of revenue for

00:12:58   the for the business, there's kind of the, like the reputational risk or the potential

00:13:04   risk or loss that you have in terms of shutting something down, even if you do it in as best

00:13:09   a way as possible, and I tried as did everything I could to try and do it in as clean a way

00:13:13   as possible, is like it is potentially going to annoy some people. And those annoying that

00:13:18   annoyance could have consequences. It may or may not, but this is certainly something

00:13:22   that that that is worth thinking about. And I think even moreover, there's even the thought

00:13:27   to have, it's like, it's the kind of thing where it is always difficult to make a decision

00:13:32   that you can't easily undo, that there isn't an alter, like, you can't just change your

00:13:37   mind and switch back. It's, it's like, once I shut down feed Wrangler, it's pretty much

00:13:43   gone. Like, it's not the kind of thing that is, you know, if I if I change my mind in

00:13:47   a year and want to do it again, like, I could sort of try and resurrect it. But, you know,

00:13:51   it's a one way decision in a lot of ways. And and so it's, it's, but I think at the

00:13:57   from the flip side, and the thing that I think I feel good about having gone through this

00:14:00   experience is it's just another little encouragement of the it's like, no, it's okay. Like, I'm

00:14:07   over over waiting and over indexing on a lot of things that aren't ultimately serving me

00:14:13   or old only aren't serving my business and probably aren't serving my customers. Like

00:14:16   if you were a feed Wrangler customer, I hope you got the service that you were hoping for.

00:14:21   But it is not the best feed, feed syncing system out there. Like there are way better

00:14:25   ones. There are way better systems for doing this. Because I've been in maintenance mode

00:14:30   for two years, I've been focused on other things like widgetsmith is my focus right

00:14:34   now. Like and fair enough, it's by far the most successful thing I've ever I've made

00:14:39   and probably will ever make. And so that's where I should put my attention, not into

00:14:43   see into a service that is kind of just plodding along doing its thing. And I think there's

00:14:48   a freedom in saying, you know, it's like, don't, it's like, it's in very much, it's

00:14:53   it's very similar to, I suppose, like some cost fallacy kind of thinking where it's so

00:14:57   easy to keep it going just because well, I can and it doesn't take that much effort.

00:15:02   But it's there's a powerful difference. It's sort of in the same way when you think about

00:15:06   with pricing with something where there is a something transformative that happens when

00:15:11   it goes from something costs being cheap and something being free. Like if I have to pay

00:15:16   10 cents for something, I think about it differently than if it's just free. You know, if I'm

00:15:22   walking out of the doctor's office, and they had a little, you know, had a little candy

00:15:28   there, right? And that candy is free, I might grab it, that candy is 10 cents, I'm probably

00:15:33   not going to get it. Even though it's just 10 cents, it's not a big deal. It's that small

00:15:37   incremental difference. And there's this but the transformative nature of zero versus anything

00:15:44   is something I think I'm more aware of now. And in this case, it's like, even though it's

00:15:47   taking a very little amount of time relative, you know, in whatever I work, however many

00:15:52   hours I we say was, you know, 40 hours a week for 48 weeks of the year or so is probably

00:15:58   about what I work. And even if feed Wrangler is taking a fraction of that, is there was

00:16:03   a huge difference between a fraction and zero. And I think the more I realized that difference,

00:16:08   kind of the more empowered I feel and the kind of it gives me sort of confidence to

00:16:14   push back against all those earlier things of all the costs or the potential pitfalls

00:16:17   or the dangers of shutting something down and feeling much more comfortable about just

00:16:22   sort of diving in and saying, Nope, it's not serving me anymore. I don't think it's a good

00:16:26   choice for me. And just running with that feeling.

00:16:30   We are brought to you this episode by Sourcegraph. So you've hired a brilliant developer, that's

00:16:35   great. Now you have to get them onboarded. If your company is growing, onboarding new

00:16:39   developers will be a common occurrence, but it's a big undertaking each time. One of the

00:16:44   biggest challenges for new hires is to get up to speed with the project their new team

00:16:47   is working on. This can be tricky if the code bases your developers are working on are already

00:16:51   large. Thankfully, Sourcegraph makes it easy to move fast even in those big code bases.

00:16:58   Developers know that knowledge is most useful when it's findable. Centralization is helpful,

00:17:02   but given the fact that most companies store knowledge in at least two different locations,

00:17:06   how do you make knowledge accessible to those that need it? As a code intelligence platform,

00:17:10   Sourcegraph gives developers what they need to drive their own learning over time and

00:17:14   in different situations. Teams without Sourcegraph need to rely on asking colleagues or reviewing

00:17:19   out of date documentation, which is cumbersome and time consuming. But with Sourcegraph,

00:17:24   every developer can search across millions of repositories to find specific code, saving

00:17:28   time for themselves and everyone else. So when questions do come up, you know it's the

00:17:32   big stuff that's worthy of the extra time. Sourcegraph was created to make developers'

00:17:36   lives easier. And today they work with leading companies across every industry, including

00:17:40   three out of five of the top tech companies. Plus PayPal, Uber, Plaid, GE, Reddit, and

00:17:46   Atlassian, and so much more. Visit about.sourcegraph.com to learn more. That's about.sourcegraph.com

00:17:54   to find out why some of the biggest tech companies in the world use Sourcegraph and to see what

00:17:58   it can do for yours. Or just click the link in the show notes to let them know you heard

00:18:02   about them from us. Once again, about.sourcegraph.com. Our thanks to Sourcegraph for their support

00:18:07   of this show and Relay FM. So I think you're doing largely the right thing here. You know,

00:18:12   as I said earlier, you know, you're leaving your customers with a pretty easy migration

00:18:18   elsewhere. And I think you're fortunate in the sense that this is not always possible.

00:18:22   In fact, in almost every case I can think of, shutting down some kind of app or service,

00:18:27   usually there is not a direct replacement that, you know, it's like if you're moving

00:18:32   from S3 to a different block storage kind of thing, like, okay, everyone uses the S3

00:18:36   API for their block storage platform, so that's easy to move between. But moving between apps

00:18:41   for services usually does not work that cleanly. This is a very unique situation here, and

00:18:46   I think you've made it even easier.

00:18:47   Yeah. And I think that was certainly something that I decided early on that I wanted to put

00:18:52   in the time and energy to make this transition as absolutely easy and seamless as possible.

00:18:59   Essentially, it's one of those things that I'm not sure I strictly had to do, that I

00:19:03   think there are easier approaches that I could have taken. I mean, all the way up to the

00:19:07   most extreme version is just like I announce one day, it's like, I'm done with this, and

00:19:10   I just pull the plug and that's it. Like, I could have done that. That probably wouldn't

00:19:14   have been a wise choice. That may have been difficult and caused lots of issues for me.

00:19:18   But the approach that I decided to take instead, I think it was essentially the version of

00:19:24   I would rather this be as painless as possible for my users to the degree such that I can

00:19:32   sort of stop thinking about it the soonest possible. I want to do everything I can to

00:19:37   just make this smooth, easy. Everybody's happy. So they might be a little sad in terms of

00:19:42   it's going away, but not sad in the sense that they feel like that I took advantage

00:19:46   of them or was doing something kind of shady or problematic.

00:19:50   So the approach I took with this is, so Feed Wrangler, I announced that it's going to

00:19:57   shut down, but it isn't shutting down until March 1st of next year. That's the day, essentially,

00:20:01   that the one-year anniversary of the last person who was ever charged for a subscription.

00:20:08   So every person who has paid for a subscription to Feed Wrangler is getting their money's

00:20:12   worth. And obviously, if your subscription was going to renew on March 2nd, then you're

00:20:17   getting an excellent deal because your subscription will be essentially a bonus year for free.

00:20:23   But for most people, they're getting, I guess, on average, six months free. And that

00:20:29   was just sort of much, much simpler than trying to work out any kind of—the last thing I

00:20:33   wanted to go down was issuing partial refunds or some kind of system to prorate people's

00:20:40   accounts that they've paid and things. And the reality is the servers are up, they're

00:20:45   running, the costs aren't crushing such that keeping something going for this is

00:20:49   too problematic. I mean, it's all hosted on Linode, which is relatively cost-effective

00:20:52   for the kind of scale that I'm running here. So I decided to do that. And it's like,

00:20:58   that should hopefully just eliminate a whole host of potential problems of people who feel

00:21:01   like they are being cheated out of something. It's like no one was cheated out of anything.

00:21:05   Everyone got exactly what they paid for. And in fact, most people get paid, got more than

00:21:10   they paid for. So I decided to go ahead and do that. And then the second thing I did is

00:21:15   I wanted to make the actual process of getting off of Feed Wrangler even easier. And so like

00:21:19   you said, with RSS syncing, at its core, anybody can get an OPML file, which is just this file

00:21:26   with a list of all the feeds that you are subscribed to. And I can generate an OPML

00:21:32   file. And you've been able to do that from day one in Feed Wrangler. So if you wanted

00:21:36   to leave Feed Wrangler, that's probably what you would have done. But I was like, I thought

00:21:39   I could do better. And I wanted to make it so that it's kind of like as one click as

00:21:44   possible. And so I ended up reaching out to Ben at Feed Bin, which is, in my opinion,

00:21:52   the best RSS syncing platform of the lot. It's someone who I, you know, it's like, it's

00:21:58   a platform I'm moving to. It's the one that I think has the longest kind of legacy of

00:22:04   consistent improvement and just has all the great little features and things in it that

00:22:07   I kind of I always wish I'd gotten to in Feed Wrangler, but didn't have the time, energy

00:22:13   or focus to work on. It's like, he's been doing all these things for years. And I was

00:22:17   like, great, this is who I want to go to. And I just went to him and said, Hey, I'm

00:22:21   going to be shutting down Feed Wrangler. I would love to move people to Feed Bin. Is

00:22:27   that something that, you know, that you'd be interested in making sort of seamless and

00:22:31   you know, and he was totally on board. He's like, this is, you know, you have to see,

00:22:34   you know, it's a good marketing opportunity for him. And he said, Yeah, absolutely. And

00:22:37   he'll he went sort of the extra mile in terms of building out a kind of one click migration

00:22:43   that isn't just the opml file, which is what in some ways I was thinking he would sort

00:22:46   of start with where you, you click a link in here and it would, you know, generate the

00:22:51   opml file automatically. So you're not like downloading an XML file and uploading it over

00:22:55   there. It's like if you could kind of do it more directly, but he went beyond that. And

00:22:59   even it imports all your start articles and even sort of tries to sync your unread status

00:23:05   to the degree that that's possible. Just using the main Feed Wrangler API, you know, so essentially

00:23:11   it's like he pretends to be a client, just like an RSS, you know, like reader or unread

00:23:17   or any of the RSS clients, NetNewswire, he's a pretends to be one of those to Feed Wrangler

00:23:22   and just tries to sync the position as best he can. He's not going to be 100% because

00:23:27   the nature of RSS is that, you know, IDs change and we have slightly different versions of

00:23:32   what a particular article is or make it confusion, but it's like, it can get you to like 99%

00:23:38   of exactly where you left off to the degree of like the unread status of your articles

00:23:43   in your main inbox. And, you know, he just went ahead and built that. And I think for

00:23:47   me, as soon as I that way, that path became something that was viable. I was like, this

00:23:52   is perfect. Like anybody who sort of wants the easy way out, who just wants to just click

00:23:59   a button and then now they're on a different service, they just have, you know, he clicks,

00:24:03   you can click there and then you just, you sign up with Feedbin and all your stuff will

00:24:07   carry over and then you just go into whatever your, you know, your actual client is that's

00:24:11   going to read that and log in again. And I talked to her from several customers who said

00:24:15   it took all of maybe one or two minutes to do the migration. And it's like, I didn't

00:24:21   have to necessarily do that. But I think there is definitely something beneficial of really

00:24:27   taking care of customers in terms of you only go, you can go crazy with it probably, but

00:24:32   you really, moreover, it's like that effort of trying to really make this process forward

00:24:37   is ultimately, I did it for me, just as much as I did it for the customers. Because it

00:24:43   means that I can feel great about this. I've had nothing but positive reactions. Like I

00:24:48   was a little nervous when I announced it was going to be shut down, like, how are people

00:24:51   going to feel? Is it going to be grumpy? Am I going to have, you know, hate mail and dealing

00:24:56   with that for days and days? And it's like, nope, everyone who was, you know, all I've

00:24:59   heard was people who were like, thank you for the service. I'm sorry, it's going away.

00:25:02   I understand why. And thank you for making the migration straightforward. And it's like,

00:25:06   essentially, that's what I bought by going down the road of doing a little bit of the

00:25:10   extra work, having the existing service linger around for long enough that no one's feeling

00:25:15   crushed, no one's feeling like I'm putting them out. And it's like, I just kind of like

00:25:20   that the price of that was that extra work. And then now, I could just move on. And I

00:25:24   can stop thinking about feed Wrangler and it linger around in maintenance mode, just

00:25:27   like it has been for, you know, whatever, another 10 months now. And I will feel a little

00:25:34   less urgent in terms of if it happens to go down for a few hours here and there. I feel

00:25:39   a little less bad about that than I would have otherwise, because most people are getting

00:25:43   it for free and everyone understands that it's going away. And I've given everyone

00:25:48   a great opportunity to move to somewhere else that is even better and putting them into

00:25:52   a better place. And so, like overall, I just feel good about this. And I feel like it was

00:25:57   long overdue, but definitely worth doing. Yeah, I think you've done this in the best

00:26:02   possible way. I would even say that if anything, people should take away from this lesson that

00:26:08   you don't actually need to do this quite this much for your customers some of the time.

00:26:12   Absolutely. In this case, again, I think in this case,

00:26:14   you had a lucky situation in that it was fairly easy to migrate people off, you know, in the

00:26:20   relative sense. You know, if I wanted to shut down Overcast, I don't. But if I wanted to

00:26:24   shut down Overcast, you know, there's like OPML export and stuff I could do. But like

00:26:29   you mentioned, like RSS feeds have this whole issue of like OPML files can export the list

00:26:34   of feeds you're subscribed to, but there is no standard consistent way that everybody

00:26:39   would support or is even possible to uniquely identify the items in the feed to represent

00:26:44   like which items have you read or not read or anything like that. That's a much harder

00:26:48   problem. And it's not really a good solution to that.

00:26:51   So like for me to like just stop running Overcast and give people a way to, "Hey, you know what,

00:26:54   here, I'm going to make a deal with, you know, Castro or whatever to export your feeds."

00:26:59   Like that, I think, would go over very poorly because it would work very poorly because

00:27:04   there isn't really a good way to do this. And not to mention the fact that like your

00:27:09   usage pattern in different apps is different, whereas in this case, like most people were

00:27:15   not using your website. They were using the API in an app. And so because the API works

00:27:20   basically the same way, like I moved off of feed wrangler a couple months ago, like when

00:27:23   this was becoming apparent, this was probably going to be the direction you were going.

00:27:27   And I didn't even notice, like the next day, I just stopped. I forgot that I had even done

00:27:31   it because everything was basically the same. But yeah, so if anything, I would say like,

00:27:39   you know, don't bend over too far backwards. Like don't spend months shutting down something

00:27:44   or, you know, don't run something well after the point where it's financially viable for

00:27:50   you to keep running it solely because you feel an obligation to people to always continue

00:27:54   doing everything forever. Because, you know, the obligation you have to people ends at

00:27:59   the point where you are losing money or spending way too much time on something like that.

00:28:02   At that point, your obligation is is fulfilled, and you should take care of yourself first.

00:28:06   In this case, it happened to work out that you could you could do both. Yes.

00:28:09   And I think that's absolutely right. And I certainly don't want to give the implication

00:28:12   that you need to go, you go all the way down the road that I went. But I think it was,

00:28:16   it's like I was buying something with that time. And for me, thankfully, it wasn't very

00:28:21   much time. And most of the work Ben was doing it feed bin for the migrator, because it works

00:28:26   out well that he has the motivation to do that, because the better the migrator is,

00:28:29   the more likely it is that people will move to, you know, that will be the place that

00:28:33   people go. And also, but it's just being thoughtful. And it's like being in there's two sides of

00:28:40   it in this in this conversation is like being thoughtful of, is this serving you? Is this

00:28:45   something that is a product or an app or whatever it is? Is this something that should continue

00:28:50   to exist? Or is it reached that process over that to that tipping point and no longer is

00:28:55   worth your effort? And if that's the case, you know, be a little ruthless with that.

00:29:00   Understand that it's it you're going to be you're closing opportunities to yourself by

00:29:05   the number of things that are weighing down your sort of weighing you down from your past.

00:29:10   And then once you cross that point, be kind to be thoughtful to your existing to your

00:29:14   customers, take care of people, and then move on. And when as long as you've sort of done

00:29:18   a reasonable job of taking care of people, and not just like sprung it on them in a mean

00:29:22   way, then more than likely it's going to be fine. And you're sort of preparing yourself

00:29:26   for richer opportunities in the future.

00:29:29   Well said. Thank you everybody for listening. And we'll talk to you in two weeks.

00:29:34   Bye.

00:29:35   [BLANK_AUDIO]