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Episode 88 October 24, 2017 | 26min

How to Shut Down a Digital Product

Our co-founders discuss good and bad ways to pull the plug.

Show Notes

How do you pull the plug on a product people love? This week Paul Ford and Rich Ziade talk about good and bad ways to shut a digital product, from giving people a path to export their data (good) to writing a blog post entitled “Our Incredible Journey” (bad) (very, very bad). Topics discussed include AOL Instant Messenger (RIP), communities around software, Rich’s experiences shutting Readability, and Paul’s experience pinpointing the fundamental ethos of the web: “Why wasn’t I consulted?”

Rich Ziade: Welcome, kids, to the very latest episode of Track Changes, the official podcast of Postlight, a digital product shop here in New York City. We build all kinds of cool — there will be no ads, just a disclaimer, just this one — and it’s a sponsored content ad. We are Postlight, a digital product studio in New York City. We build, design, architect all sorts of amazing apps, platforms, web apps, mobile apps, just about anything you need. We’re a product studio. We do it all. Give us a shout at [email protected] Paul, what did you think?

Paul Ford: That was pretty good, but you forgot to tell everybody who you are.

Rich: See, the humility at play is just something. It’s just something. My name is Rich Ziade, the co-founder of Postlight. And sitting across from me:

Paul: Paul Ford, the other co-founder of Postlight.

Rich: It’s just no ego, dude.

Paul: No, none.

Rich: It’s just no ego.

Paul: You’re really just a flawless human being. So listen: we’re gonna talk about, as, as we are recording this, news has come that AOL Instant Messenger is about to be shut down.

Rich: Right.

Paul: And, I mean, it’s been around around 20 years. It’s an old product.

Rich: Mmmm hmmm.

Paul: And I don’t think this took anyone by extreme surprise. And there are a lot of other options in the marketplace.

Rich: Sure.

Paul: So I’m sure there’s still people who count on AOL Instant Messenger.

Rich: Well it’s worth noting, I mean, there are probably millions of people who use it, right? Not even people who count on it. I mean, there are people out there, uh, and I’m gonna, I’m gonna discriminate against age, because as you skew older, you tend to change stuff up less.

Paul: That’s right.

Rich: And uh…they’re using it. They’re definitely using it. That’s just how it goes. My mom is still using Yahoo Mail for its notes functionality.

Paul: Sure. I mean, there’s…people still pay for dial-up AOL.

Rich: Oh yeah. It’s tens of millions of dollars in revenue, if I’m not mistaken.

Paul: Mmmm hmmm. Still a big part of their business, right?

Rich: Sure, sure.

Paul: And tied into their Verizon acquisition and on and on. But clearly AOL gets bought by Verizon, years go by, and they’re like, hey, enough with this.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: There are other options — and I’m gonna assume in particular that, like, WhatsApp, not even Google chat, but like, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger have now been —

Rich: Just dominating.

Paul: That’s the death now, right? Like, you can’t compete against WhatsApp if you’re AOL Instant Messenger.

Rich: No. No. No, no, no, you’re done.

Paul: So that got us thinking, we were talking about the right way to shut things down and when things get shut down, how people should behave, and sort of all that stuff. So you know what I love, my personal favorite is when a company, like, a mid-sized company, like a startup in particular, has some product that people like, but then it gets bought by Google or Facebook or somebody big.

Rich: Mmmm hmmm.

Paul: And often the acquisition is only tangential to the product itself, like, ‘we want the talent,’ or ‘we’re gonna incorporate this into our big ad product,’ or whatever.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: And then that post comes along, and it says, “Our Incredible Journey.”

Rich: [laughter] Well, I mean, pause on the post. I mean, look, what’s the background for a post starting like that? It’s…internally, inside that company, they, nobody took them by the ear and said, “You’re coming to Google,” or wherever. This is a celebration.

Paul: Oh yeah.

Rich: Somebody just made a lot of money, and it’s an incredibly validating thing to have a big fancy company acquire you.

Paul: Especially if you’re young, right? A lot of these founders are pretty young.

Rich: Exactly. So…

Paul: And they’re like, “Oh my God, I’m gonna get — I can buy 50 drones.”

Rich: Right.

Paul: Right?

Rich: And…exactly.

Paul: Which is the unit of currency for young startup founders, is purely drones. [laughter]

Rich: It’s drones.

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: And so it’s success, for many it’s the pinnacle of success. And so there’s a checklist, and they’re like, “Oh, I can’t wait to tell everyone the good news.”

Paul: Yeah! [laughter] Aw, here we go!

Rich: Right?

Paul: And it’s also, it’s such an incredible, “An Incredible Journey.”

Rich: Ohhhh! It’s…yes.

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: Yes.

Paul: “A new path for WizzleCorps Industries,” right?

Rich: That’s right, that’s right.

Paul: “We have agreed to work with — “

Rich: “Join the ___ family.”

Paul: That’s a good one, too, yeah, I love that. And it’s just —

Rich: You could just say, let’s use Google for a minute.

Paul: It’s often Google.

Rich: It’s often Google, sometimes it’s Facebook.

Paul: Right. And you go in and they promise you, “We’re gonna leave you alone, because you are the best ever.”

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: They always promise that.

Rich: Yeah. Out of fairness, some actually do.

Paul: Yeah, they do.

Rich: I’m gonna call one out. Pinterest left Instapaper alone.

Paul: Right.

Rich: It still functions, it still works, which is very nice.

Paul: Right, actually, Mozilla and Pocket, in the same zone, right?

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: You can still use Pocket, and it works right inside of Firefox.

Rich: You can see it is strategic, and standing up on its own.

Paul: And you have to assume that the product teams that are working on those products…even, you know, they’re probably connected more to the host organization, but they’re still able to think their own thoughts and do their own stuff.

Rich: Which is cool, and very thoughtful, because you have…in many cases, millions of users, and this is an observation, by the way. I’ve seen through watching this happen in other places, users, your users own your product. The time they have spent on your product is not just for their own benefit and utility. The time they have spent is, as they see it, actual investment in your product, and when you don’t bring them into that conversation and you give them that news all of a sudden, you have, in many ways, betrayed them.

Paul: It’s not just about shutting down. Like, people get emotional about the….features you offer, the roadmap, the…logo, if you change it.

Rich: Anything. Anything. Yeah, if you, it’s happened, right? Some product manager’s like, “Yeah, we’re gonna move that button. It’s stupid.” And just the, the wave comes in on them, right? “What have you done? Change it back.” I mean, it’s the New Coke, right?

Paul: Right.

Rich: Scenario.

Paul: My formulation here is the fundamental question of the web was, “Why wasn’t I consulted?” Right?

Rich: Yes. Which is, by the way, a landmark article.

Paul: Right, OK, so if you search “why wasn’t I consulted?” that piece will come up. It’s from about five, six years ago.

Rich: Let’s not be too humble here, Paul Ford. It was written by Paul Ford. It landed. And you know, I don’t get palpitations, generally, but I read it and it was revelatory.

Paul: So the argument is that the web is essentially [laughter] a medium for customer ser — you know why I wrote that? Because I had that idea and I was talking about it, and Anil Dash, I was working with Anil, and he was like, “God, I’m gonna write that up. That’s good. You keep saying you’re gonna write it up, but I’ll do it.” And I was like, “The hell you will!” [laughter]

Rich: And it came out. I also sense that you wrote it in, like, two hours.

Paul: Well I did.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: I did. It was exactly, a couple of the pieces that I’ve had the most success with have been written very, very quickly.

Rich: Yeah, yeah.

Paul: And that one was just a sense of frustration with how people were perceiving and talking — because you go out, and I see both sides, right? Like, you’re right. The user is the owner. That is the…whether that’s real or not, that is the understanding of the user, and no one has been able to successfully change that.

Rich: In fact, it represents success.

Paul: That’s right.

Rich: If someone has decided to take the leap and emotionally invest — and personally invest in your product — that means you’re doing something right. You’ve created something that resonated and actually affected someone in such a way, where they feel like their time is worth it. Um, a great sort of signifier of this is that, like, badass user who loves to go into the support forums.

Paul: Oh yeah.

Rich: And just like, “Oh, let me show you, real quick. You just move this here, pull that over there, and reboot, and you’re done.” And they love it.

Paul: You know where you see that is Excel.

Rich: Oh, Excel!

Paul: Microsoft Excel’s user community is the most passionate ever.

Rich: Oh, it’s, it’s —

Paul: Because the thing —

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: I think it’s actually, Excel’s a programming language. It’s a system. Like, it’s a whole system for seeing the world and breaking it down into little cells of data.

Rich: It’s an — by the way, let’s pause on Excel, it’s an incredibly impressive piece of software.

Paul: It’s a majestic piece of software. It’s one of the best pieces of software of all time, and they’re also, the number of people who use it is vast, and the things that they do with it is vast. So if it’s pulling off, like, 0.1% of those people are inclined to help others?

Rich: It’s…

Paul: You have millions of people.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: And then there’s a whole, Stack Overflow did this too, where there’s a little hierarchy as to who can be the most helpful.

Rich: Mmmm hmmm.

Paul: And get the most points for their helpfulness.

Rich: And it’s a way of sort of express — not only expressing their love for the app, but also showing off and really establishing their status within that community, which is ama — you create a community around your project, where humans are gathering around your product? You’ve done something amazing.

Paul: You have.

Rich: You should be very proud of that achievement.

Paul: It’s hard to be proud though, because status, hierarchy, and dominance starts to play in, and instead of working on your product, you spend all this time, you know, dealing with human personalities.

Rich: Yeah. That’s right.

Paul: That can be very stressful.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: But back to “Our Incredible Journey,” right? Like, I think you made a very good point there. The user owns the product, but suddenly, I have a…sort of cynical thing I like to say, which is that one of the best things you can do on the web is create a family around your product and then sell it, right? Like, you create that sort of beautiful —

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: Sense of ownership and connection and then —

Rich: Sure.

Paul: You’re like, “And by the way, we’re part of the Google family now,” and people who own it are like, “I’m not part of the Google family.”

Rich: Exactly, exactly.

Paul: And it’s a really tricky moment, because suddenly they’re powerless. They had power. They were using your product, sending emails…

Rich: That’s right.

Paul: They might’ve even been interacting, like, with engineers and customer support directly.

Rich: Mmmm hmmm.

Paul: And now it’s all different, and they can feel very betrayed and very angry.

Rich: That’s exactly right.

Paul: And the communications there are almost impossible to get right.

Rich: The, it’s a very, very…

Paul: You’re gonna take heat no matter what.

Rich: Well also you’re in outer space. You just sold your company.

Paul: Right. Suddenly —

Rich: Your ego is just pouring out the windows.

Paul: Your checkbook has zeroes in it.

Rich: You’re the man. Or the woman. You’re just the shit!

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: Right at that moment in time. So —

Paul: And also it’s hard, I think, especially again when you’re younger, you expect everyone to be really excited about your amazing success.

Rich: Exactly.

Paul: This has worked out so well, and it can work out for other people, it’s just, it’s your turn!

Rich: And you’ve, you’re gonna, you’re gonna fulfill that promise of giving $10,000 to St. Jude’s Hospital.

Paul: Right, and you’re never gonna let down the users. I mean, they may never get to use the product again, but you would never, you know —

Rich: No.

Paul: They should —

Rich: You still care about them.

Paul: But they should understand how important they have been to getting you to this amazing point.

Rich: Oh, that’s exactly right. You know what’s infuriating to the users, is the thank you.

Paul: Oh yeah, you guys got us here.

Rich: Thank you so much, you have, you got us here.

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: Thank you so much for your —

Paul: We couldn’t have done it without you.

Rich: Your commitment and support.

Paul: And you might as well give up!

Rich: Die in a burning fire. [laughter]

Paul: So this is the thing, right? Like, you’ve shut down a product.

Rich: Uh, yes, I have shut down a product.

Paul: I think we should —

Rich: It was late in the game. The proper shut-down was a year ago, for Readability.

Paul: That’s right.

Rich: Less than a year ago. And I think it had…it was effectively, I don’t want to say abandoned, but more or less left alone for a few years, and I’m sure the popu — the population wasn’t such that, uh, there was a whole uproar.

Paul: But I think —

Rich: There was a point where if I had shut it down at that point, it would have been a little more emotional, but…

Paul: So Readbility, it was an API that people could use to turn web pages into cleaner text, and it was apps that had a reading view. It was a little like Instapaper, a little like Pocket.

Rich: Actually, you’re raising a good point. The API side of it, there was pain.

Paul: There was pain, right?

Rich: There was a fair amount of pain, because people were relying on it to run their apps. You had apps scrambling to replace it.

Paul: So you had this piece of infrastructure, and it was very expensive to run, and you were paying out of pocket to run it.

Rich: For years.

Paul: For years.

Rich: For years, because I didn’t wanna…and honestly, there was no, it wasn’t like, OK, I’m, I’m angling for the upside here. There was not gonna be much of an upside. I just felt an obligation, frankly, to the, the people that were relying on it. Like, some of my favorite apps were using it.

Paul: That’s right.

Rich: You just didn’t wanna…pull the rug out from under them.

Paul: But nonetheless, I mean, the nu — it was expensive. It was running as hot as a regular startup, at different points.

Rich: It was expensive. It was a lot of calls. In the billions.

Paul: In the billions, and we talk to different pe — just, the things that you’re looking for, you’re looking for someone to adopt it, you’re looking for someone to buy it or even sort of take it off your hands.

Rich: yeah.

Paul: And you know, we’d started Postlight at this point, but you still had Readability, and we tried, we went down those paths, and it just, like, couldn’t gel. There were options, but everything sort of felt sticky, and everything that looked like it could materialize felt like it could be a real betrayal.

Rich: Needed a clean break.

Paul: Yeah, and it wasn’t like — it wasn’t, it was never the kind of betrayal where you’d go, like, well, I need to consider this betrayal. It was like, “Ugh, God, I don’t want to do that.”

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: And so then we had to sit down and figure out how are you going to shut down Readbility, and really what it took, what, probably about six months…

Rich: Planning took a while, and then —

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: There was the communication plan.

Paul: That’s right.

Rich: Which was…

Paul: This was a product. Like, shutting down Readability in such a way that people could make sensible decisions about the software that depended on it.

Rich: Yeah, this was trickier because — I think if it was end-users, it would’ve been, like, you know, 30, 45 days.

Paul: Well we did shut that down too, right?

Rich: Yes.

Paul: But they —

Rich: But that we gave it, like, if you looked at the calendar, it was, like, a month before we blasted the end-users.

Paul: That’s right. But we also —

Rich: For months, because —

Paul: But that had warning. We had warning. We shut —

Rich: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But that was more, like, we gave them tips on how to move it to Pocket, or Instapaper, or whatever.

Paul: So focus on — I think that’s key for people, right? We didn’t just say, like, “Sorry, it’s over.” We said, “Here’s how it works.”

Rich: Yup.

Paul: Do we give them a migration? We gave them the ability to export their stuff.

Rich: Yes. That was always in there.

Paul: Yeah. So that’s what — we pointed them to it, and said, “Here’s how you get your stuff out.”

Rich: Yup.

Paul: And then we said, “Go over here to Pocket, Instapaper, these others, these will provide a similar experience.”

Rich: Well one of them had it built in.

Paul: That’s right.

Rich: You could import Readability. The other, I forgot which is which, but other, someone had written a tool.

Paul: OK.

Rich: Like a third-party, like, just some fan, just said, “Hey, here’s a tool, drop your…Readability whatever it gave you, like an RSS feed or something.”

Paul: So the people who using, like, Readability apps to read content that had been filtered through Readability —

Rich: Had an easy transition.

Paul: They had a transition, they had a path, they had notifications, they got an email.

Rich: They got an email.

Paul: And it had data in it, and it was pretty clear, and I would say, like —

Rich: You know what we also did? Readability was a reading queue, like Instapaper.

Paul: Mmmm hmmm.

Rich: I think we, we pushed an article.

Paul: That said —

Rich: To the top of their list.

Paul: Right.

Rich: That said, “We’re shutting down.” Or something like that.

Paul: So I feel that that was clear, that was above board, it gave people lots of warning, and they had control over their own lives. Nobody was paying for this.

Rich: No.

Paul: Right? So this —

Rich: But you felt like —

Paul: They were the owners, not us.

Rich: Well exactly. And look, what you had in, in Readability, and you just didn’t know how people were using it, they’d have hundreds of articles in there, it’s like, “I’m gonna get to these on my, in my…when I head to Mexico for vacation — “

Paul: It’s their bookmarks.

Rich: I’m gonna…yeah. But the articles were kept natively, locally, and all that nonsense. So you felt like, “Hey, let’s make it easy for you.” And that was a, that was a little bit of a process, and mind you, again, the population was not big at that point. It wasn’t too painful.

Paul: But let’s be clear, it would’ve been a lot cheaper and easier to just pull the plug and see what happens.

Rich: Yes.

Paul: Like, the money that was being, you had to spend not just the money for hosting and dealing with the platform, but then you had to spend money to solve this problem.

Rich: Correct.

Paul: Do the communication, send out the email, so…

Rich: Correct.

Paul: Again now, they’re the owners.

Rich: Yes.

Paul: So it’s a weird thing, because you’re spending all the money, but if you, if you blow up that ethos, you create a lot of bad vibes, just a lot of badness in the world.

Rich: And it’s not purely pragmatic. Like, you care about, you can, and you should, I mean, you don’t have to, care about the users that, uh, used your product.

Paul: We were conscious of it reflecting negatively on Postlight.

Rich: To some extent, yes, yes.

Paul: No, it wasn’t…Readability was yours, but you’re the co-founder of Postlight, and it was gonna kind of like…

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: This startup that you had that was winding down.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: So…and then the API was a different and more involved process.

Rich: Well, I mean, it wasn’t involved for us. What was involved was, yeah, it takes about five minutes to transition your bookmarks from one place to another.

Paul: Right.

Rich: As a user. You’re gonna have to push an app update. You’re gonna have to —

Paul: That’s right.

Rich: Write new code…

Paul: If your reader app that lets people have, like, a magazine-style experience while looking at the web, relies on Readability, you would have to then put a new app in the app store.

Rich: Right. And there were other options out there, but that’s a pretty annoying, like, if you don’t know the app update process, you gotta submit it to Google, they have to approve it, review it, approve it, and then you can push the update…

Paul: So this is tricky, because we were able to do the work on the consumer side.

Rich: Correct.

Paul: Because when I say we, like, Postlight employees were jumping in and essentially, like, Readability was almost paying them as one of those complicated things that happens when you’re all working together. But…but if we had shut this down out of the blue, all these other people would —

Rich: The app would literally break.

Paul: The app would, your app on your phone would break, you’d never know it was Readability.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: And here, instead of one company saying, “Hey, this is shutting off,” you had almost infinite dependencies, all these people were gonna have to do some work.

Rich: Yeah, and…and…

Paul: And we gave them options, too. They had ways forward.

Rich: And again, worth noting: the API was entirely free. We did not legally or…

Paul: Terms of service were very clear about this.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: You could’ve gone in with a big red button or a big —

Rich: Absolutely.

Paul: Switch, and been like, [powering down sound from a sci-fi movie] that’s it.

Rich: Yeah, because you needed to, like, let’s say you went bankrupt or something.

Paul: Right.

Rich: You couldn’t have people chasing you after that. So we, it was in the…in the do — in the terms of service: “We can shut this off at any time.” That just was in there, because we just didn’t know what could happen to us.

Paul: Yeah, to protect yourself. But at the same time, the ethos was, “Don’t shut this off.”

Rich: And we gave them months. I don’t think it was nine months, or six months. I think it was three months, or something. Four months.

Paul: But it was — it was enough time to solve the problem.

Rich: Go update your app, go change, and there were other options out there. Readability’s a very good parser, but there are other good options out there.

Paul: Mmmm hmmm.

Rich: I don’t know, to match exactly how it worked, but…there were good options out there, so you can, you can fix it. And that was it. And look, I think…the goal here’s not to talk entirely about Readability, but —

Paul: No, but I think the case study —

Rich: The process —

Paul: We’re closest to, and it worked.

Rich: And it worked. There was some sad…out there — oh, by the way, the post. There was a post. It was brief. I think I wrote it under my personal Medium account, not Postlight’s.

Paul: Mmmm hmmm.

Rich: And I didn’t wanna do the, I think it was two paragraphs. I was like, “This was a fascinating learning experience. Appreciate the support. And thank you.” [laughter]

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: And that was it, and that was all it needed to be, to be honest. Nobody want…I mean, maybe there’s some curious people out there, but nobody wanted to hear the story.

Paul: Honestly, it’s OK for it to be none of their business, right?

Rich: And I —

Paul: But what —

Rich: Assume they’re not interested.

Paul: Here’s what you focus on: you focus on the fact that the users are the owners, and they’re about to lose it.

Rich: They’re about to lose it.

Paul: And so you have to give them a path for either dealing with that, emotionally and intellectually, if there is no replacement.

Rich: Right.

Paul: Or say, “You might wanna go over here and check this out.”

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: And I do think that people…understand that.

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: They understand that, OK, there is a weird kind of economy here, where even though I’m not paying anything, I feel very invested in it, but I never got my checkbook out, I never went to these people and was like, “How do I keep this going?” So the fact that this is conclusion is —

Rich: Correct.

Paul: Is an understanding of one of the ways that the web works.

Rich: Yes.

Paul: Sometimes…sometimes things go away.

Rich: And…I don’t think you need an “I’m sorry.” I mean, I’m sad. Thank you —

Paul: Thank you.

Rich: Thank you’s important. It’s, when you say, “Thank you for your support,” usually that means money.

Paul: Right.

Rich: Like, kind of associated with nonprofits. But if it’s a free app and people have just committed their time and energy towards it, even though it’s giving something back to them, that’s what most co-founders get wrong, or founders get wrong. I gave you a service, you didn’t have it before, it was just a net-positive for you in your life, and now I’m taking it away, so don’t complain, because it was never, never cost you money, and it was free. So don’t complain. I think that’s the mindset for a lot of people, and I think what people don’t realize —

Paul: It’s a very easy mindset to get into when you get that big check, too.

Rich: Oh boy.

Paul: You’re just like, “Oh! Hey! Whoa!” You know? [laughter]

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: Boy, it’s, they, they, why did they expect anything anyway?

Rich: Exactly. Exactly. Well, I mean, it’s rational.

Paul: It’s just human behavior. And yeah —

Rich: It’s rational.

Paul: It’s where the weird cultural economy of the web smashes into the real economy, where you wanna pay a mortgage or have 50 drones.

Rich: Yeah. It’s free. What do you want from me?

Paul: So Readabilty, the whole thing was communication. Just tons of communication, respect, and letting go.

Rich: Yeah, I mean, let’s end this with a handful of tips.

Paul: OK.

Rich: OK? I mean, some of these are gonna be more opinionated than others, but I think they’re good tips.

Paul: First of all, remember that your user is the owner of the product, not you. It’s great that you just made a zillion dollars and are gonna go work for…something horrible, but, uh, you should really, really remember that that’s not exciting to them.

Rich: We would love to work with Facebook, Google, Snapchat, Pinterest, and they are not horrible.

Paul: Absolutely. Absolutely. Amazon, too. Don’t forget. [laughter]

Rich: Oh! God, I love Amazon so much.

Paul: Of all of them, that’s the one, right?

Rich: When I’m, like, feeling empty on a Friday night?

Paul: How do they do it?

Rich: I just go in and buy…nonsense.

Paul: Sure.

Rich: And it lasts for, like, five seconds, and then I just go back to feeling empty. [long pause] Anyway, that’s not the point of this podcast. So: your user owns the product. Empathize with that user, and it’s a strange moment for you, right, because you think a wonderful thing has happened to you and the product.

Paul: And it can be hard to believe that that wonderful thing is not wonderful for everybody else.

Rich: Correct. Give them time — some tips: give them time. Give them steps.

Paul: Give them a path.

Rich: Give them a path, so things don’t break on them, if possible. Uh…

Paul: Let them export their data.

Rich: Yes. Keep it brief about you, your company, and how an enormous success this is.

Paul: Mmmm hmmm.

Rich: What a wonderful culmination — like, talk about it, I mean, you deserve that, like, but don’t write a long-winded essay about the journey and, and how you got there, and what an amazing outcome.

Paul: Well that’s the thing, that’s for you, it’s not for your users.

Rich: That’s right. Write that to the company.

Paul: Right.

Rich: Write it to your family.

Paul: Put it on Facebook.

Rich: Your mom is gonna be estatic.

Paul: Yeah.

Rich: Your mom might — yeah, I mean, she’s gonna be really happy about this. But your users are, their connection to you is the thing.

Paul: And all they wanna know is, can I use my data? Am I gonna lose something in this transaction?

Rich: Yes.

Paul: And they’re paranoid because, for good reason, even if you’re like, “Hey, no worries, we’re gonna support this thing.”

Rich: That’s right.

Paul: Remember when, like, Dropbox got that mail app. Everyone was really into, like, in line for using something, it was like, Mailbox.

Rich: Mmmm. AirMail, I forget which one it was.

Paul: Yeah, one of those, and then that’s gone. Like, those are, those are painful memories for people. [laughter]

Rich: Yeah.

Paul: They’re not fun, they’re like, “Oh yeah, you really…”

Rich: They’re not success.

Paul: No.

Rich: Yeah. End it with a thank you. They are why you were able to see that success.

Paul: So that’s us sharing some experience. Um…but…you know, it’s no fun to shut things down, even if they’ve succeeded.

Rich: Correct.

Paul: And it’s complicated, and there’s a way to do it.

Rich: Be thoughtful.

Paul: All right. Well, that is us. You know, we’re thoughtful people here at Postlight.

Rich: Just caring and empathetic, man.

Paul: We just want people to do it right, and…care about their users.

Rich: And look, if you want someone to care and empathize with whatever you’re going through —

Paul: You can pay us to do that for you.

Rich: And we are at [email protected]

Paul: And you could also go to iTunes and give us a good rating, if you’re so inclined. But we are listening, we read every email that comes in through there.

Rich: Yes.

Paul: And we are always looking for good clients with big problems to solve, and smart people who want to solve big problems. Come on, come on by, and we’ll maybe hire you. Product managers, engineers, product designers. I’m Paul Ford.

Rich: And I’m Rich Ziade.

Paul: And we’re gonna get back to work. Bye everybody!

Rich: Have a good week.

Paul: Bye.