The other day, Xmarks CEO James Joaquin spoke on his blog
about what led a successful, very popular startup to the need for closure. In addition, he also talked about what can be done in order to save the company. James noted that Xmarks already has some interesting offers from various companies, large and small. In general, there is a fairly significant chance that the synchronization service for bookmarks, passwords, browsing history and other data will remain afloat. True, this requires several supporting factors, the main of which is money.
The amount that would be sufficient for the normal operation of the company, and therefore, the service itself - 1-2 million US dollars a year, which is not so much for such an interesting startup, agree. True, so far the required amount cannot be collected.
James argues that, nevertheless, his company is already only a temporary phenomenon, it will either be absorbed by a larger company, or vice versa, reduced several times for survival. Of these paths, only the first one will please the users, since in the second case, the Xmarks service will have to become paid. You understand what it means - very few people will work with such a service, even if the subscription price is minimal, especially for domestic users.
Currently, the number of Xmarks users reaches several million, and the company hopes to create another service, of an advisory nature, based on the millions of bookmarks stored on users' favorite sites. It will be an advisory service, not an advertising service (of course, if such a service is still able to be created, having overcome financial difficulties).
And the complexity is significant - currently, the main source of funding for Xmarks is AdSense, and it does not allow not only to receive profits, but even to cover expenses. So, hosting and providing a broad communication channel takes about 8 thousand dollars a month. But there are still employees of the company who need to receive wages, right? And AdSense does not even cover purely technical costs.
As a result, if someone buys Xmarks and leaves the service free - he has a future, and we all will be satisfied. But if there is no takeover, then the company will have to shrink, become a very small organization that would provide only Xmarks work, without any hope of creating something new, more interesting. In the second case, the service will be 100% paid, which, according to James, guarantees cutting off 98% of users. The remaining 2%, in his opinion, would be enough to provide technical needs, plus providing financial remuneration to the company's employees (or, better, a service - it will be the only one).
In general, it remains to hope that Xmarks will be bought by someone like Google, leaving the service afloat and free (or at least the basic functionality will be left free). Otherwise, the convenience of Xmarks will go down in history.