Back in 2006 I invested $499 in a Lifetime ‘Mixed Grill’ hosting package from Joyent. The company was pretty young then and they used a series of lifetime package deals to raise capital. The deal on offer was very clear. You can still see the original product page on web.archive.org. It says: “How long is it good for? As long as we exist”. Joyent still exist, of course, but this morning I had an email from them saying that this hosting product was coming to its ‘end of life’ and my hosting service will be shut down on 31st October.
Back in 2006 paying $500 for a lifetime account with a new startup hosting company was a risky thing to do. I didn’t know if the company would exist in a couple of years time. But that’s the way investment works. You take some risk in order to get some reward. And with this particular type of investment, our return was to be a lifetime hosting service.
Sorry, Joyent, just because your company is bigger now, and (presumably) doing well, doesn’t mean you can suddenly break a clear deal with your early customers. There are quite a few of us. Hopefully Joyent can be made to see sense. I find this pretty incredible to be honest, and it’s depressing to see a company that seemed to start out with really good values sink to such cynical behaviour.