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IPStat - RIP :(

I was confronted with this when I tried to log in to my IPStat account today. IPStat was a counter service that gave me aggregate stats my blog readership, One of the dangers of using any service is of course what you do when it goes way.

One of the first questions we were asked at the startup I first worked at was "What happens if your startup fails and is no longer around?"
My first project was in some sense the answer to that very question. (Just to be clear I wrote the 1.X software versions of the LKM.:))

The question clearly extends beyond just startups of course. Having a good plan, or even good messaging, for your users and partners if you go out of business or decide to discontinue service is something everyone should think about. Its hard to get right or do without angering people, but its a responsibility every manager should feel, and there is a genuine business reason: generating as much goodwill as possible does ultimately pay off.

I feel really, really bad for IPStat. It has to hurt to go out of business, and maybe my over-active imagination, but it looks like there's real pain behind that error message.
But it would have been great if they'd come up with a migration plan for their users to another counter service. It's a little thing, possibly impossible in their circumstances, but would've left a less bitter taste for most users.

Off to catch a plane to Mumbai now...


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