No lock-in

I think I've previously written on my desire to not be locked-in nor to be in "lock-in" business model (whatever its mask may be). I've designed Nido and MemOfSim from ground up with this committment. But as I was asking Orchestrate.io on what they mean by "zero lock-in" it dawned on me that I've never explained it either for my customers.

Definition

No lock-in for an end-user app (web, mobile, desktop, whatever), for me, is defined by three things:

  1. You can always simply take your data and go home.
  2. Your data is in a standard format that can be processed by other applications.
  3. There is no other impediment (e.g. encryption) to data being read and used by you or your agents (fancy way of saying other apps)

Bonus points if the backup of your data can be made incremental and automated so it's not all or nothing and only when you remember to do it.

Nido's case

This is why Nido does the following:

  1. It allows you to explicitly export the video messages from it through iTunes and save it wherever you wish.
  2. The video messages are recorded in QuickTime though I now realize that I should have simply defined them in MP4 envelop format - I will fix this in the next version.
  3. There is no encryption, messing with data streams, etc. done by Nido.

So if your kids are leaving you a bunch of messages on Nido, you can rest assured that all those messages will always be accessible by you even if you were to back them up and then delete the app.

As a bonus, those users that are using Dropbox for message interchange automatically have all their messages backed up on their PCs and in cloud under their own control.

Memoirs of a Future Simulation

Our new service Memoirs of a Future Simulation (no, the name is not a joke) is about gathering and ordering our digital past. For the obvious reasons it has to keep the data on our servers even though we try to keep it at the minimum (e.g. we don't store user's photos or videos but serve them from their origin - it's both cheaper and less invasive). That said, the service will allow users to:

  1. Export all the data and the metadata we have collected on them.
  2. All the data will be in JSON format and, obviously, not encrypted in any way.

For now there will be no open API though this is definitelly in the plans so that automated backups can be performed.

So as I said - no lock-in. For real. The moment the apps or services no longer give you enough value, you just quit them and take away your data. This is what I want from the services I use, this is what I will always do in the services I design.

Author

Ivan Erceg

Software shipper, successful technical co-founder, $1M Salesforce Hackathon 2014 winner