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Hi, I'm Ferran Barba


#1

Hi, my name is Ferran Barba and I’m a web developer and entrepreneur from Barcelona (Spain).

I’ve been freelancing for all my professional life until two years ago when I started developing a tool for my own needs and later started selling it: http://teampasswordmanager.com. Now it’s (almost) my full time job.

I’ve always liked the idea of bootstrapping so I’m glad I found this forum. Like others here I’m also in the BoS forums. I hope I learn here as much as I learned there (still learning, in fact) and I also hope to contribute as much as I can.


#2

Hi Ferran. Welcome to the forums!

Like a few other members on here, your product is a self-hosted web app. This is something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. Would you mind providing some insights as to why you went the self-hosted route, whether you think it’s still a good idea, or whether you think you should have gone the SaaS route, and whether you’re getting a lot of support requests w/ regard to servers, installation, etc.


#3

Thanks!

Just this afternoon I was listening to your podcast and I heard your talking about taking or not the self hosted route.

My product stores passwords, which is a very sensitive information. So, if I were to buy it I’d want to be in complete control of it. If someone else hosts your data, you lose this control. So, this was clear to me in the beginning. Also, my target customers (web designers, developers, IT professionals) have no problem installing PHP web apps. This is also very important. I still think it’s a good idea, even more so after the PRISM affair and related stories.

It’s true that it makes the sales cycle a little longer (and sometimes it breaks it), but it’s the price you pay. To alleviate this there are several solutions (which I do not offer yet):

  • Host the app on your own servers or have a partner do it (like Helpspot).
  • Provide installation services.
  • Have the app update itself (this is the route I’m going to take - having to manually update the app is also a big hurdle for current customers).

I receive several requests regarding this, but my audience is fairly technical so it’s mainly a matter of sorting out incompatibilities or installing missing components.

Sometimes the decision of going Saas or self hosted is difficult. In understand your concerns in your case (Uberdeck). Maybe you should offer a self hosted version highly priced (like Github does) and see how it goes.


#4

It’s one of the options I’m considering.

Thanks!


#5

You could also provide your app as an ‘appliance’, e.g. you deliver not just the software but a 1U server as well. This at least makes sure that you can work with a known hardware and software configuration.

The drawback is that it typically only works for ‘enterprise’ products like Github, where the licensing costs are non-trivial already.