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Summary:

This is the risk of falling in love with free services. We’ve written positively about I Want Sandy and Stikkit in the past, two simple but effective productivity web apps. The company behind the apps, Values of n, has announced that both services will go offline […]

This is the risk of falling in love with free services. We’ve written positively about I Want Sandy and Stikkit in the past, two simple but effective productivity web apps. The company behind the apps, Values of n, has announced that both services will go offline for good on December 8.

This isn’t your typical “startup ran out of money” story. Rael Dornfest, the brains behind Values of n, accepted a fulltime job with Twitter. Rather than pass the web apps on to someone else or keep them going under Twitter’s roof, the services will just go away, leaving their user base high and dry.

While I’m happy for Mr. Dornfest and I’m looking forward to seeing how Twitter improves with the infusion of his technology and expertise, this should serve as another wake-up call to all who rely on free services by small companies. Often labors of love built during off hours, there’s nothing to stop developers from moving in other directions on short notice.

Did you use I Want Sandy or Stikkit? How will you replace these services in your life? Read further analysis on GigaOm.

  1. I have been using Sandy quite a bit and it was sad to see her leave. I am looking at remember the milk for now.

    I don’t understand why they would halt the service altogether.

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  2. [...] linking to an interview with Guy Kawasaki. Guy admitting a mistake he made a few years ago when asked to [...]

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  3. This is a great shame. Sandy has been a wonderful way of making notes while away from my desk. I too am surprised the service has been killed off altogether; I would have paid for this one.

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  4. WHAT!?

    Well, this ruined my morning. I Want Sandy is such a fantastic service for reminders. I’ve tried everything (the closest I’ve gotten is the Remember the Milk plugin in Gmail), but nothing compares to actual emails as a reminder. I actually didn’t even have to use any of the other features because that one worked so well.

    I understand it is his intellectual property, but it seems kind of selfish to shut it down like that with such a dedicated user base, and not do anything about it.

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  5. It kinda sucks – I use remember the milk, but tried it out when I saw the announcement about IWS and Twitter. No bother to me really, but I liked what I saw of it so a shame for it to go.

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  6. I really like how I Want Sandy integrated with Twitter. I guess I’ll have to move to Remember the Milk.

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  7. I think I’m going back to Backpack for now.

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  8. wow! I’m depressed! I want sandy was so helpfull to me. Althoug, I use ical + actiontastic in my daily basis. I want sandy was my connection work home “out there”. I’m so sad! And it worked perfectly

    by the way it would be nice to see an article about actiontastic.

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  9. Technically, Values of n was purchased by Twitter, mostly to get Rael on board. Twitter has stated they may integrate one or both of those products into Twitter sometime in the future.

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  10. Keith, true, but I don’t think we’ll ever see either product looking much like they are now. And I’m sure each had plenty of users who do not have Twitter accounts and had no plans to get one. Right now, I don’t think the knowledge that a little bit of Sandy may pop up here and there is much comfort to those that relied on the service.

    From the closing post:

    While Twitter has no immediate plans to incorporate Sandy or Stikkit’s feature sets into its core product, those who know our apps well may notice familiar-feeling bits and bobs appearing in your Twitter experience.

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