Build a paid (?) potential, professional, public Pod Provider

Dear all.

we might not yet be fully mature, but our products seem stable enough to provide a professional community-based Pod Provider service.
I will be happy enough to serve our community with taking this role.
Michiel, Alain, Yvo and me have founded - Open Collective for this purpose.
we want to work on a grant and sponsorship base, we do not want to get rich but we want to professionalize our outcome (the specifications) and provide a current version, that is updated regularly.

to achieve this aim, in a first step, we have created a landingpage at that allows us to analyze the traffic (potential google analytics services ?question mark?).

unfortunately I cannot attend the Solid Symposium.

if we say “when the product is for free, YOU are the product” (as I have read in several places now) this post serves the purpose to gather opinions, what the community thinks, if we take the public open source codebase and build a (paid?) service out of it.

it`s a heck of a goal - I know - but on all 3 instances I provide we have > 3500 users and on we have > 50.000

do you think it is time to build a public, stable instance ?
happy to start this discussion here on the forum.
2024-04-19 @ewingson


I think it’s great that you’re doing this, and I definitely wish there were more competitive POD providers in the ecosystem. As an App Developer, my number 1 problem when recommending my apps to anyone who is not familiar with Solid is the Pod story. As you mentioned, there are many free providers out there; but I don’t think there is any I can personally recommend. And I think making it paid is also a good idea, it’s always nice to know that the service backing up your personal data has a sustainable business model.

But with that comes some responsibility, and in particular I think open source is not there yet in the UX department. If I look at this like someone who knows nothing about Solid, I’m not sure I’d be willing to pay for any of the existing open source solutions. I would expect something more in line with Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. (or even Nextcloud!).

analyze the traffic (potential google analytics services ?question mark?).

I think there are some privacy-respecting alternatives to Google Analytics that are probably more in line with your values, such as Fathom.

what the community thinks, if we take the public open source codebase and build a (paid?) service out of it.

Both NSS and CSS are MIT licensed, so there shouldn’t be a problem there (although it would be nice to get approval from the maintainers before proceeding).


Alain is a (the) maintainer of NSS, so hopefully he is aware of this :wink:

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You need to analyse some businesses and find a/some use cases. The usual software product stuff. Maybe look into the The Data-Centric Manifesto perhaps? A reimagining of the way companies arrange their data, sounds very Solid. But to do anything business related with data your doing to have to get SOC2 accredited. Why businesses? They have money and are willing to spend it if they see a use case that aligns with their business.

I can’t see private people paying for a Pods (hell, I’m still holding out paying for cloud storage!) unless you can make cheap(er) cloud storage and even then, you’d need to build client apps to actually use it: Solid integrates with nothing right now. You’d have to be very picky as there are A LOT of performance problems with the whole Pod concept too.

But good luck. People trying to do real stuff with the Pod concept is how the idea(s) move forward

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