This week my employer, Bonn-based startup doo announced that they must discontinue the development of our planned product and had to let go of all associated teams.
Given the dynamics of the IT startup world, it wasn’t that much of a shock. There are different numbers for success rates out there but even the best ones don’t exceed 30% probability.
What surprised me much more was that apparently there is not enough demand in the market for the product we were trying to build: an end-to-end encrypted, distributed file storage and collaboration tool. At the point of writing, there is only one competitor that I do consider to be on-par with my expectations of security/cryptography: Tresorit. But even they, although they have a product with very high security standards and a good (though not outstanding) user experience, don’t seem to be able to get the required traction. People don’t seem to care about their data.
One year after Edward Snowden publicized the massive intrusions of the Five Eyes states into our personal lives - and also their close cooperation with other intelligence services like the german Bundesnachrichtendienst - everything is the same as it was before. True, a few nerds may have cancelled their Facebook account or installed GPG, but still we have been unable to communicate the situation to the vast majority of the population. So: more crypto, please. We need better IT products.
Having said that, I’m now free to look for new challenges and opportunities on which to hack on. Luckily, skilled developers are in high demand and my broad range of experiences makes me versatile enough that it shouldn’t be a problem to find interesting projects, so I’m much more excited about what’s to come than worried about unemployment.
During the coming month, besides writing job applications, I hope to work on some open source software projects, make a lot of music and also find time and inspiration for some more blogging. One thing I’ve been contemplating was to write a series of posts entitled “The Big Continuous Integration Shootout” wherein I present a number of CI systems, their strengths and weaknesses and where they are best employed. If you have any comments on that, please drop me a line!