Posts Tagged ‘SaaS’

Cancelling Basecamp? They issue refunds!

I was really impressed by cancelling my Basecamp account – they have an interesting refunds page. Keep in mind that it wasn’t Basecamp that I didn’t enjoy using (I love the entire suite); projects that I had used it for were pretty much over, so I just wanted to export the data, verify it was good, and then stop using it. Most of what I do can be done quite easily in OmniFocus, OmniOutliner, and Evernote (and there is Google Drive for collaboration). Chat has mostly been outsourced to Slack.

Anyway, long story short, I opted to cancel my account recently. I was pointed to the refunds page. I learned this:

If you forgot to cancel Basecamp a couple months ago, and you haven’t used Basecamp since then, we’ll give you a full refund for a few back months. No problem.

Wow. So I emailed their support, and it turns out they can provide refunds for up to six months if you didn’t use Basecamp much (yes, they also do partial refunds). This is amazing. I’m not sure how confident any other SaaS company is when it comes to refunds, but this puts the customer first, and Basecamp gets it right.

Next time I have a project, I will signup at Basecamp, with confidence.

FathomDB: Database as a service, in the cloud

A lot of people are into the whole cloud computing scenario these days. However, no one has talked about offering DBA-like services in the cloud, all automated, so that startups don’t have to get their own DBAs.

Enter FathomDB. They are poised to offer databases as a service (maybe they’ll charge per database – so you can in theory run both WordPress and Mediawiki, if you prefix wp_ and mw_ in your table creation, for example). They are using MySQL. They’ve also taken the worry of running a database out – they will backup, they will setup (so you don’t have to issue GRANT commands :P), and they will also monitor your databases for you.

But what really takes the cake? The fact that they will also offer performance advisors. This totally reminds me of the MySQL Enterprise Monitor (aka Merlin), offered in the cloud, with advisors.

No word if they’re actually running Merlin, or what kind of MySQL builds they’re running. They have a FAQ that I suggest you read, pricing has not been released, but I think this stuff is totally cool and has a future. I mean, you can run your database using their services and EC2, and if you need to do load balancing (Proxy, anyone?), or replication, they’ll set it up for you.

Its going to be real useful for startups, that are already embracing the cloud and going the EC2 way. This is just yet another service, they’ll probably pay for. Because scaling your database, sometimes, isn’t the easiest thing to do.

Can’t wait for a beta invite. If I get one, I’ll give it a twirl and tell you how it went.

Note: This is a Y Combinator company, I first read about this in TechCrunch, and apparently, there was some mention of this during their cloud event last week, where Lew Tucker, Sun’s VP and CTO of Sun’s cloud computing initiative was at. I however don’t know anymore than what I’ve seen online, and lack any other insider knowledge.