I’ll be danged if I can find it but someone tweeted to @CodePen the other day something like: “Is it worth it for me to go PRO? Or are you going to up and shut down one day like so many startups do?” It was a hard question to answer, and not because I’m not sure what the answer is.
It was hard because saying something like “Don’t worry, we aren’t going away” is a weak and lame answer. Like I looked up how to respond in Corporate Social Media for Dummies!
So instead of a lame answer, I made a note to write up my feelings on the matter. This is that attempt.
CodePen isn’t a fly-by-night operation. My plan is to build a business by building and maintaining a good product that is useful to people – and do right by those people.
There will be bugs. We’ll screw up sometimes. But we’ll always be working toward a better product and a better business. One that the Archiveteam doesn’t need to worry about.
I know the only way to prove this is by proving it over time, so day by day we’ll be doing that. But I can tell you this isn’t some new revelation for me. Over many years I’ve focused the things I work on. I’ve stopped working on so many projects and have avoided picking up any new ones. I outsource as much as I can. Long-term work on a just a few things is what feels right to me. I wrote on The Pastry Box “Mediocre ideas, showing up, and persistence.”
Don’t get distracted by some other idea and prance away to that tomorrow. Keep doing it until you’ve done everything you set out to do and everyone and their mom knows it.
Persistence is kinda my thing.
You’re excited about it now, but what happens when the passion fades and you get bored of a project? Historically that tends to not happen to me for the things I work on that I care deeply about. But I suppose it could, in which case I would take care that the project is in good shape to be sustained with minimal effort and otherwise in good hands.
What if you sell it? There are no plans for that and I can’t see it happening anytime soon. It could happen someday though, and my top priority would be ensuring a healthy future for it. I have been a part of an acquisition before with Wufoo and now, many years later, Wufoo is still going strong.
I was compelled to finally write this as I read Protecting Against Link Rot While Embracing the Future by Tim Murtaugh on A List Apart. Tim lays out a plan to keep embedded code demos healthy in the event that CodePen were to go away. He is 100% right and I’m glad A List Apart is approaching things in that smart future-proof way. It was just weird to read about the theoretical demise of my own project when I feel so strongly about it’s own future-proof-ness. So here we are =).