Wednesday 25 April 2012

Goodbye Product

Dear Product,

It’s likely you’ll be sold. Your owner will hand you over for Money and/or stock and that will leave me facing a decision. Do I stay with you or remove myself from you?

If I stay then I expect your new masters will start off by claiming that you’ll keep your own identity. They even claim you’ll remain autonomous. Perhaps for a while this is true, but it doesn’t last. At first the changes to you start off small. A small logo here and a tag line there; each crammed in somewhere that it shouldn’t be. That space wasn’t designed for that element. Someone likely crafted over that whitespace and now it’s been trumped by assertion of their ownership of you.


If I stay then I expect eventually your new masters will step up your transformation. Maybe they’ll start requiring that the I change the way in which I login to you with their super shiny “ACME Co.” logins. They tell me that “It’s all about my seamless experience”. How kind of them.


If I stay then it’s not all bad, because for a while your new masters may show you love and attention. You may get that feature you’ve been waiting for, you might even get a facelift. If you’re really lucky you’ll continue to thrive and those around you will remain enamoured with you.

If I stay I fear that at some point, when your master grows bored of the money you make, or worse, the money you’re not making, you’ll be left for dead. The team of people that once kept you groomed and free of bugs, will slowly move away. They themselves losing the connection they had with you because of your masters demands and nuances. They’ll find new products to love, searching endlessly to replace the connection they had with you.

If I stay I know that eventually you’ll be alone. No one will love you and you’ll start becoming more and more out of date. One day you’ll awake and find yourself redundant.

If I stay I fear that all the time I’ve shared with you and all the data that I’ve fed to you will be for nothing. You’ll be disconnected.

I know neither of us know how this will turn out, but statistically speaking you don’t stand a very strong chance of remaining the thing that I use. So I hope you don’t mind, but I can’t stay. I have to go.

If only I could’ve fed you some or more money in the first place. Perhaps the temptation of a big windfall to your creators wouldn’t have been so strong and you wouldn’t have been sold.

It’ll be a shame to leave you but that’s how it has to be. I was hoping you’d join the few products in my life that appear to have creators that value their products more than their wallets. I was looking forward to introducing you to pinboard, basecamp, dropbox and a few others but that’s not going to happen now.

I wish you all the best, you’ve been great.

 product.empty_data() product.delete_account() del(product)