Gaurav Mantri's Personal Blog.

Pulling The Plug On Cloud FileXchange

We at Cynapta have decided to pull the plug on our Cloud FileXchange service :(. Though the service would be up and running for some time but no new work will be done and over the course of next few days, we will gradually start shutting the service down.

From my blog post last year:


We gambled and unfortunately we lost!

What Went Wrong

Well, two things went wrong:

No Money

First, when we started building the service we set some targets for us both in terms of time and money. While we made good on time and were able to build and release the application, unfortunately we ran out of money. Our hope was to start earning some money from this service but were not able to do so. We could have continued working on the service by cutting some (actually a lot) corners but that would have been unfair to my team. I personally think if we had taken that path, we would have gone for a downwardly spiral journey and in the end we would have still stopped this service but then I would have lost the faith and trust of my team and that would have been a great disaster for me.

When the team was brought on-board, they were made aware of this so when we started to think about it there were no surprises for the team. They were mentally prepared for this thing to happen.

Perceived Product Value

Second, we had high hopes from this service and genuinely thought that there’s certainly a need for a service like this however after we released the service, there were a few things we realized:

  • We found it extremely hard to convey the value proposition. I’ve always believed that the best product is the one where you don’t have to explain the product. Folks should be able to just “get” the product. I think I failed there. Even interacting with our users on one-on-one basis, I was not able to convey how our product could be useful.
  • Another thing we realized is that while the service is really great at what it does but it lacked the stickiness we hoped for. By stickiness, we wanted our users to have immersive experience when using the service however we realized that there’s a huge disconnect which would make your experience as a user not so great. For example, if you were creating a download link using Cloud FileXchange you would have to use some other tool to upload the files first and then come to this service to share the files. I think this was the main reason for the lack of adoption of this service.

Thank You Users

I would also like to thank our users who signed up for beta and tried Cloud FileXchange and provided us valuable feedback. I really appreciate all the help you have provided and would like to apologize if our decision to shut down this service has caused any inconvenience to you.

Thank You Team

Obviously this post is incomplete if I don’t thank my team. You believed in my vision and made everybody’s vision so thank you for that. Also thank you for keeping me sane with your realistic feedback and coping with my antics in the office (I’m a BIG drama queen :)). I’m sad that we won’t be able to work together on these ideas anymore but I’m glad that we found a decent exit for you!

What’s Next

I would be lying if I say I’m not disappointed. I’m a bit disappointed that this thing didn’t work out the way we hoped for but then I always believed in “Shit Happens! Let’s Move On!”. One thing I’m certainly not is disheartened. Now I know what didn’t work so I have some work cut out for me.

I still believe in the idea of Cloud FileXchange and you will see a new service coming up in next few months from Cynapta. The service I’m building will hopefully allow you to have an immersive experience. Not only you will be able to manage your cloud storage completely through this service but also the service would include all the goodness included Cloud FileXchange. So stay tuned and remember these 2 words – Cloud Portam (Portam is a Latin word which means Gateway).

As Aronld would say “I’ll be back” :).



[This is the latest product I'm working on]