Dustin Curtis has made a bold promise that his blogging platform and content will remain available on the web “forever.” Svbtle’s chief executive hoped that this guarantee would demonstrate its commitment to the online presence of users, while also helping to gain new ones.
“One of the biggest downsides of investing time and energy into using a new startup’s service is the nearly inevitable fact that, at some point, that startup will likely be acqui-hired and shut down, transitioned into something entirely different, or even completely fail,” Curtis wrote in a blog post. A consequence of these events is the loss of data from millions of users or untold hours spent transitioning to a new service.
With the “Svbtle Promise,” the company will let you continue to publish new content as long as you’re paying $6 per month. Additionally, it promises that should an acquisition be made and “negatively impact the service,” Curtis and his team would do everything in their power to ensure that the site would remain standing and you could still use it.
“We are a small, profitable company with low costs that are covered by paying customers. And while we hope to continue growing, we also hope to maintain a sense of dedication to how we treat our customers’ and users’ data. These promises reflect how we want our own content to be treated. In that way, both the Svbtle service and its customers’ interest are aligned. We like it that way,” reads part of the Svbtle Promise.
Curtis told VentureBeat in an email that he had always been planning on making this promise but was spurred into action after hearing from users that data durability was a concern for them: “I decided to make the forever promise official and public right now.”
He declined to state whether Svbtle had been the target of an acquisition, but that “the potential for an acquisition or an ‘exit’ of any kind is indeed one of the reasons we made this promise public. Those transactions tend to kill startups, and we want to make sure it doesn’t kill Svbtle.”
The company said more features are coming later this year, such as design customization and support for a service for companies that is “dead-simple” and is a “complete solution.” It’ll also working on establishing an efficient network that will better pair readers and writers to help spread ideas and content.
Svbtle started in 2011 as a way to offer users another option to publish their content — Curtis said he was tired of using services that were “incredibly slow, contained endless lists of unnecessary features, had egregious security bugs, and which required me to be heavily locked in to proprietary networks with little sense of my own identity.” Its launch came about around the same time as Evan Williams’ Medium, which has seen quite a bit of success, including most recently raising $57 million and also opening up a publishing API, WordPress plugin, and adding new content partners.
Updated at 4:55 p.m. on Monday: This post has been modified to include statements from Dustin Curtis.