This will not be a PlatformOS feature review. That will follow in upcoming posts which will step you through the experience. Instead, this is my sales pitch to the BC community, based on my experience so far with PlatformOS, and hoping to draw on whatever influence of persuasion I might have with my community.
And it is my community. Not that I own it, but that I belong to it. The BC community has taught me, learned from me, bought from me, sold to me. But it also has provided some of my closest friends. The community has, in many ways, made it worth the journey. Remember our gripe fests on LinkedIn? Our battle cries for the BC team to come down and face us? We’re such a loud, obnoxiously united community, that the BC team started coming to Adobe Max in fear. They even started pushing Magda to the frontlines to deal with us while Alexandru took cover. Such chivalry. Good times.
It’s been a common saying among us that our community is BC’s biggest strength. How many of us would have come this far without it? What a loss if we split up now.
I want to propose a mass exodus.
Not necessarily all at once, and certainly understood that there will be many great partners who find something else that works for them. I'm good with that. I get it, but you're killing my analogy. So for the rest of us, let’s get out of Egypt and go over to the Promised Land! Let’s go to PlatformOS!
PlatformOS is a land filled with milk and honey:
- None of BC’s limitations, all of BC’s strengths (PlatformOS doesn’t provide email like BC, but that wasn’t exactly a strength, was it?)
- Managed backend
- Powerful frontend
- Designed for a community
- Fantastic for any sized site, from landing page to Facebook replacement
- Fantastic for any sized partner, from independent contractor to large agency
To be fair, It is not fantastic for any kind of partner mentality. If you are comparing platforms by price, not opportunity, you’ll be frustrated here. PlatformOS has a usage-based pricing model. The pricing tiers have included usage limits, which will be sufficient for largely stagnant businesses, but you should expect that as your client’s web business grows, so will their hosting bill. I know. Super unreasonable.
There is a true, albeit temporary, caveat. They are still working on their admin UI. The cool thing with that is that partners are also working on building admins. Totally separate admins that can be purchased, or even used for free, like the open source one our Town Hall is spearheading.
Oh yeah, that’s the name of our BC Sandpile spin-off. Like it? I like the idea of having Town Hall meetings once a week. It sounds cool. I suspect, if possible, we’ll have our first meeting within the next week. We’ll be presenting the issue of the obvious joke in pOS, and beginning the process of lobbying the powers that be to select one of our better alternative names. These things shall not be tolerated! We’ll also share knowledge and questions to aid each other in shortening our learning curve.
At the moment, there are only a few BC partners in the community. That is intended. It’s a lot of work to onboard a community. These first partners are digging deep into the platform, utilizing their unique perspectives and skills to figure things out for themselves. They are also working with the engineers to discuss issues. Some of us are specifically working to prepare things for the next wave of partners. I’d personally like to have the admin done before you come. Oh, and the name change. It would be nice to get that done before Adam Broadway orders new business cards.
So, hey, that is largely my sales pitch. It’s centered around community. I can see that the product is good enough. In fact, it’s great! I have no question there. It just needs us.
A quick list of benefits.
Here are a few bullet points, summarizing the primary benefits of moving to PlatformOS:
- Love the BC community? We’ve already got partners moving to PlatformOS, and we’re starting a BC Sandpile spin-off, called Town Hall.
- PlatformOS is designed for a community. It’s literally one of the central concepts of the platform.
- It is designed to have a community marketplace. This is not an afterthought.
- You can build anything on PlatformOS. Don’t assume that statement means it’s difficult to use. It certainly means there will be a learning journey, but the basics of PlatformOS really aren’t hard. it’s just a beautifully designed system, based on the concept of web apps, yet so much better.
- Because PlatformOS is so flexible, you won’t need to decide on a vertical market based on what works for the platform. There are infinite opportunities for partners to carve out niches.
- Before speaking of the future of PlatformOS, let’s look at site builders like Duda and Webflow, which are products in a highly competitive space, targeting the massive market of DIY enthusiasts and semi-pros. As a natural result, that landscape will consolidate fiercely until it produces a few sophisticated market leaders. At that point, it will begin to segment into niche markets, which will start the whole thing over again until they are established as well. This is a huge opportunity for them. Not for you. DIY is a market disruptor. It means you will be fighting against the commoditization of your trade, as well as the instability of the platforms you choose. You will always lose this fight in the end.
- In PlatformOS, you won’t be fighting the DIYers any time soon. PlatformOS is in the realm of the web pro. It’s designed to allow creatives the tools and the flexibility they need to solve real problems. This means you can stop thinking of it as a product, and start seeing it as a tool that helps you do your job. Duda : iPhoto as PlatformOS : PhotoShop.
- PlatformOS has a well-known team, who are known to our community and have a track-record of success. Adam Broadway co-founded BC. He knows first-hand what potential it had, and what struggles it had under Adobe’s watch. He knows BC better than we do, and is prepared better than anyone else to empower this community.
- I can’t speak to the quality of their customer support with any kind of authority, simply because I’m connected too high up the chain. I’ve
been working directly with the engineers and with Adam Broadway. This gives me a great view of their team dynamics and problem-solving
abilities, but does little to answer the question of what traditional support will look like. I can say this, though:
- They want the community to be part of their decision-making.
- Their documentation is community-contributable via Github.
- The engineers care deeply about their product, and are quick to solve bugs.
- I can’t speak to the quality of their customer support with any kind of authority, simply because I’m connected too high up the chain. I’ve been working directly with the engineers and with Adam Broadway. This gives me a great view of their team dynamics and problem-solving abilities, but does little to answer the question of what traditional support will look like. I can say this, though:
Don’t think this is enough information? There will certainly be some more feature-rich reviews following this one, but I think I would be wrong to put those before the tremendous opportunity our community has with this platform.
If I overlooked something, let me know what I’m missing. I’ll dig into it. But I’m personally done looking around at other platforms. I know when I see it, and this is it.
See you in the Promised Land!