#1 2022-01-01 06:08:10

ds
Founder / Developer
From: Freiburg, Germany
Registered: 2016-06-15
Posts: 343

The future of GeneralSync

GeneralSync's future is uncertain because of commercial difficulties. As a result, annual licenses are replaced by a free renewal option. You can support the project with feedback or monetary contributions.

I'm sad to inform you that I cannot continue to maintain GeneralSync in the current form for much longer. As you might have guessed from the development slowing down, the project has struggled for quite a while to attract enough users to sustain itself. That said, I'm grateful for the positive feedback and interactions I have had with you all. I also want to explicitly thank the majority of personal users for not abusing the name-your-own-price model! Implementing that was a bit nerve-wracking, but it turned out to be a very rewarding experience.

With that out of the way, let's talk about the future. The most imminent change already occurred: it is no longer possible to purchase the cheaper annual licenses for GeneralSync. Instead, it is now possible to renew a license for free, just by clicking a button every 30 days. Holders of existing annual licenses do not even have to do that: while I have to cancel subscriptions up for renewal, their license codes will continue to be accepted. These changes make sure that GeneralSync remains an affordable alternative to cloud services for now – monthly licenses are affected by substantial transaction fees, after all.

On the other hand, these changes of course hurt my income even further. If you want to support me, you can do so by wire transfer / standing order (SEPA):

IBAN: DE67 1001 0010 0937 9391 00
BIC: PBNKDEFF
Account holder: Dirk Steinmetz

Thanks in advance to anyone considering to voluntarily support me. smile
To be clear: You will not receive anything in return for transferring money to the account listed above, and thus also will not receive any invoice. Contributions are not tax-deductible as charitable contributions.

The next steps are less clear. I don't want to completely abandon the idea of a decentralized synchronization tool, but it is clear that the current model is not sustainable. At the moment, it looks like my only reasonable option is shutting things down in an orderly fashion. But some of you might have ideas or resources I have not considered: If you have suggestions on how GeneralSync or its ideas could live on, tell me about it! You can reach me via email or here in the forums.

Thanks again for being on this ride with me, and one potentially last time:
Happy Syncing!

#2 2022-01-02 11:19:19

SuffolkPunch
Member
Registered: 2019-04-27
Posts: 14

Re: The future of GeneralSync

Dear Mr Steinmetz,

I'm very sorry to hear this.  I do urge you to try to keep it going in some form.  I would be happy to increase my annual subscription, but, from what you say, the  running costs per year / # subscribers is likely to be unattractively large!  Would it be possible to out-source some of the software engineering to unpaid enthusiasts?

Martin Whitehead

#3 2022-01-02 13:29:22

ds
Founder / Developer
From: Freiburg, Germany
Registered: 2016-06-15
Posts: 343

Re: The future of GeneralSync

Thanks for your feedback!

SuffolkPunch wrote:

I would be happy to increase my annual subscription, but

While a long-term continuation of the project as-is would indeed be unlikely, any amount helps to open a better path than letting the project die immediately (which would likely be the most sane decision I could make, but I am somewhat of an "unpaid enthusiast" as you put it tongue ).

That said, You should not get billed for annual subscriptions anymore. If you are willing to support me, wiring money to my account (either one-time or even better as a standing order) is likely the best alternative. Compared to license payments, direct contributions incur significantly less taxes and transaction fees on my end.

SuffolkPunch wrote:

Would it be possible to out-source some of the software engineering to unpaid enthusiasts?

Certainly. If you or others would be willing to join in, it might become viable to attempt to pivot into a more open-source direction. That said, software development is only a very small part of the issue. The most expensive parts for maintaining the status quo are support (good end user support is crazy time-intensive) and legal things around the project.

Other essential components to have success in that direction are thus that (enough) people pay voluntarily (so the product can be free, which simplifies legal things and makes some community interaction possible without liability issues) and that there is a community to take the support burden off my shoulders. Both aspects are measured by this "future of GeneralSync" campaign-of-sorts: I hope to be able to gauge the chance of a community forming around GeneralSync from your responses, while also checking whether people are willing to financially contribute to the project when using it is effectively free.

Board footer