SaaS To-Go

I am building a startup, Tap, a place to build awesome tools and produce content.

There is a very reasonable concern of potential Tap members that once they build up a collection of content, and for whatever reason want to leave the service, have no way of continuing to use that content.

I've tried to address the concern in a few ways:

However, these options haven't fully satisfied the concern. For one thing, the options are limited to people with experience manipulating data or building software. The completeness of your independent-Tap-experience is correlated directly with the skill you have to develop it.

The feeling that Tap's current solution is inadequate has led me to a different way of thinking. I'm referring to it as "SaaS To-go". You heard it here first.

The idea is pretty simple: while you use Tap you're building stuff that can be taken with you when you leave.

To start, every Tap account can export their collection (or part of their collection) into a static website. The static website is packaged as a zip file containing a folder with all the site files. That zip can easily be uploaded to any number of static website hosting providers. See our guide on how to upload to some of the more common services available (some for free).

Going forward I would like to continue to expand the range of outputs available.

Some ideas:

Many services out there produce artifacts: design software, image manipulation, invoice generators etc. What I'm aiming to do with Tap is a little different. Members build collections of content and data, then put those collections to use, inside and outside Tap itself (both, while you're a Tap member and after you leave).

The difference is subtle: SaaS To-go is about leveraging as much of the original experience as possible independent of Tap the company.

Other Notes:

Another popular option to ensure there's no lock-in and also provides a life-after-death solution for the service is an "open-core" model.

I've considered it. There are two things preventing this at the moment: availability of my time and service integrations. The first is pretty clear. I'm bootstrapping Tap, one person (apart from Santa) writing all the software, marketing content, documentation, running support, keeping the servers running. I also have a toddler, farm and another job.

For the time-being I've decided against it for a few reasons: