July 6, 2020

Time to pivot!

Vlad Calin @vladcalin

... and how early user feedback is a life saver!

After talking with some potential customers, I realized that the problem I had and I was sure a lot of other people have, is not actually that popular.
As an indie developer that is a full stack developer at his day job and is comfortable with all stages of product development (frontend, backend, devops), I always like to have total control over the applications I deploy, but I really hated lacking observability over what I deploy: enabling logging, monitoring and alerts for a few Docker containers for a new project I was working on was not worth the hassle, but I still hated not having them.

So I wanted to create a platform to fix exactly these issues: deploy Docker containers with logging, monitoring and alerts. I thought there are a lot of people out there wanting that.

What I wanted for Amethyst Platform to become was to be an alternative for Kubernetes. I kind of despise the complexity of Kubernetes and the fact that it has a pretty steep learning curve and a lot of moving parts that need to be managed together to get something useful. I thought more people were like me and wanted an alternative to the big giant that is growing quickly year by year.

But I was wrong. I sent some emails to a few indie hackers, and some of them were kind enough to reply and offer me very valuable information:

  • most indie hackers don't want absolute control over every thing. They would gladly give up control at the very early stages to be able to iterate faster (a "duuh" moment, but I had to be told this to realize it)
  • most people don't use Docker for everything like I do. I am a very small demographic of the target market, and if I target just my demographic, I won't have enough customers to sustain a business.
  • Kubernetes, even if it is very popular in some developer communities, it will be long until it gets very popular in the indie startup space. And it will be a long time before people will look for alternatives, especially that most clouds are offering now managed Kubernetes clusters and their offering are improving rapidly.

These being said, I am pivoting Amethyst Platform to something new, in another direction.

  • Instead of focusing on offering more control, I will now focus on assume more control from the user, so that the process from the user's perspective is simplified.
  • Instead of focusing on Docker, I will now focus on code and repositories (under the hood, Docker will still be used, but the users don't really care, as long as it works).
  • Instead of focusing on replacing Kubernetes, I will embrace it. I already know how to use Kubernetes and I will leverage it to build the platform.

If you made it this far, let me think what you think!

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