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Peter Cho for Manifold

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Developers need choice

Close your eyes and imagine this scenario for me. You’ve been hired as sous chef of a new restaurant. You walk into the kitchen and they say “We just signed a purchase order with DepotMart so here are your DepotMart knives and moving forward all of your ingredients will be from DepotMart and also here are some DepotMart brand shoes, shirt, and pants.” You say “but I’m used to my Wüsthof knives and I quite like the pants I’ve got and I wasn’t aware that DepotMart even sells groceries." They reply “too bad, procurement signed the contract, this is what you’re working with.. for the next five years.”

Now replace DepotMart with Microsoft, Amazon, Google, or any of the other major monoclouds. Companies who are beholden to their shareholders for selling Operating Systems, Retail, and Search, they are now responsible for giving you the tools and infrastructure to build your software.

Don’t get me wrong, the big box clouds have some pretty nice tools and stable, scalable infrastructure with interwoven components that work fairly well together. (and many of us are very happy to be entirely under the warm loving embrace of Jeff Bezos for all of our needs) But where will that put us 2, 5, or 10 years from now? Do we honestly believe that they will innovate of their own volition, when there is no competitive incentive to do so? cough*Railroads and Telephone companies*cough

On the flip side, companies like Mailgun live or die by whether or not they provide an amazing experience for transactional email. LogDNA only stays in business by providing stellar logging in the cloud. There are hundreds of developer services like this, companies who do one thing extremely well, who prioritize developer experience over all else.

That’s why we started Manifold.

We offer convenience to developers by letting them use one credit card and one account to purchase Postgres, memcache, monitoring, etc. You can integrate into Terraform, Kubernetes, Laravel, and you can invite team members and manage on a per-project basis. But those are nice-to-haves, they’re vitamins. What we’re really after is giving developers the freedom to choose, to choose amongst tools and services created by developers, for developers.. a flourishing ecosystem of companies that are dedicated to making your life easier and your code more effective, always innovating and pushing the boundaries of what is possible with software.

If you’re a developer, come try out the first handpicked batch of services! We’ve got RabbitMQ, Redis, Elasticsearch, all the essentials. We’re also going to be launching new services every month through the rest of the year, so if you don’t see anything you need yet, you assuredly will in the coming months. Added bonus, use coupon code DEVTO2018 to get $10 in credit to your account. Extra added bonus, if you email me your feedback on our product I’d love to send you some swag!

If you offer an amazing developer service, let’s talk! We are always on the lookout for companies who share our goal of making developers’ lives easier. Whether you’re an up and comer or been in the game for a while, we’re going to be launching tons of services this year and would love for you to join us.

!!! @manifoldco just launched!!! Super excited for this product. Go check that shit out: It's like Steam for devs.

— Randall Degges (@rdegges) May 3, 2017

When it comes to choice, as consumers we have access to the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, gamers have Steam (I can’t imagine a world in which EA or Ubisoft would have created Goat Simulator), but for some reason developers are still waiting for our Cambrian explosion. We’re still out here grappling with the choice between Microsoft’s MicroCache, MicroDB, and MicroCompute service or Amazon’s AWSCache, AWSDB, or AWSCompute service..

Hopefully we can build a future, together, in which developers have choice.

Top comments (4)

rhymes profile image

Hi Peter, thanks for the post.

Just a question, your homepage says "Manifold is the marketplace for independent developer services".

What's the criteria for "independent" ? Or is "indipendent" applied to developer not services?

I like the idea though, we use Heroku addons a lot but it would be great to use an external service in case someone decides to migrate an app outside of the Heroku ecosystem.

peteraldehyde profile image
Peter Cho

Thanks for reading, and great question!

When we say "independent", we mean services that aren't connected to any of the monoclouds like AWS, Google, or Microsoft. The reason we focus on the word "independent" is because a service like Bonsai Elasticsearch will only stay in business if they provide a great Elasticsearch experience. If they provide a subpar experience, they go out of business, because that's their entire business.

The bigger conglomerate clouds are able to leverage their other services as loss leaders, each individual service doesn't have to stand alone because it's being supported by all of the others. That means they're less incentivized to provide an amazing experience, and just have to "check the boxes" to make sure they provide the bare minimum.

Don't get me wrong, many of those services are great options, and developers love them! But we want to provide the same level of convenience as the bigger clouds, by bringing together all the independents who live or die by their specialty. We think in the long run, this will yield more innovation, less lock-in, and more happy developers. :)

rhymes profile image

I agree 100% and thanks for the explanation :-)

I feel like in the coming years there will be a sort of a reckoning on these services. We're not going to stop using EC2 or GCP or something but the AWS dashboard is ridiculously full of services I've never even heard about. I'm sure that don't all have the quality of the flagship products.

The same goes for the other big vendors obviously.

We're already creating application plugging different services, having them in the same place is a really good idea!

idanarye profile image
Idan Arye

I see you don't have any compute service? Is this because your customers usually run their compute locally?