Breaking off infrastructure as standalone product

So I built this thing

It’s basically just some infrastructure for my main product but I decided to release it as a standalone product. Kind of AWS style.

It’s free right now. We’ll see if it gets any interest. Maybe if it it does I’ll slap a price tag on it.

Anyhoo if you’re a mandrill user let me know what you think!

Also if you want to help a brotha with a retweet, that would be much appreciated:

I posted an audio clip / blog post with some of the background story:

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Nice idea - I actually had need of this about 6 months ago, but built my own quick and dirty monitoring (much simpler than yours but just enough for me).


  • Inbound marketing - guess I would have searched on “Mandrill Monitoring” or similar.
  • Mailchimp (company behind Mandrill) have an integrations directory - wonder if Mandrill has similar or you can get a mention in their blog?
  • At the point of putting in an API key I am all like “Whoa there… who are these guys,
    where is the contact info? What can they do with that API key? Why is it free, what are they getting out of it?” Given whats on the site so far I wouldn’t do it. Suggestions :-
  • Explain who you are along with physical address etc.
  • Address the question and explain how to setup API key with limited access (assuming that the vast array of options in the Mandrill API keys > “Only allow this key to use certain API calls” does allow you to sensibly limit what it can do.
  • Charge (even if you do still have a free tier). Then its obvious what you are getting out of it!

Excellent feedback! Will make those updates!

Interesting to hear that you actually had this same problem :slight_smile:

By the way, do you think this is something you would have paid for? Let’s say maybe $10 / month? I’m guessing probably not since as a developer you could build it yourself, at least that’s how I tend to think about things :slight_smile:

Thats a hard one - honestly in this particular case I would have probably just have built it because

  • Could fit it in with existing uptime/status pretty easily (basically check pages called by pingdom).
  • Simple needs - like the by tag idea you’ve got but didn’t need that for this project.
  • I am tight and this particular project not really paying its way so reluctant to invest.
  • Am a developer so it would only take an hour to do, right? Right? 4 hours and min $400 in opportunity cost later…

However if I were running a big successful SaaS business this might be worth a LOT.

Thought for you - have you thought of doing <shudder>Outbound marketing - you know actually email/calling and flogging this? (obv if you go this route then need to set prices accordingly)

How about buying a list of sites using Mandrill?

Done with the FAQs. Good call on that man.

I hear you about pricing - I would probalby think about it the same way personally :smile:

Outbound - haven’t thought too much about it yet. I’m not like full on committed to this thing as a stand alone product. If I get a ton of interest that will change. But for now it solves a problem I had in my main product so I’ll just let it serve that purpose.

But ya that would be the way to market it if that’s what I was gonna do!

I did get an RT from the Mandrill twitter account which I was afraid might blow up my servers, but I don’t think it ended up referring a single signup :smile:

That’s a pretty brilliant service. The FAQs are a nice addition.

I know a lot of folks end up running “shadow apps” to manage the app they’re actually selling - I wonder how many more may themselves have commercial applications?

Thanks Chris! Appreciate that :slight_smile: I think ‘brilliant’ is a bit of a stretch but I’ll take it :smile:

‘Shadow apps’ - now THAT is a cool name.

Ya that’s a good question. Would be interesting to see if someone did a bunch of research on how many businesses are doing that. AWS is the main one that comes to mind off the top but I’m sure there are a bunch of them.

I wish I could take credit for “shadow app” but I read it someplace back in the “Web 2.0” days.

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