Tom MacWright

Placemark is going open source and shutting down

also on

The company and product side of Placemark didn’t work out. Some fantastic, friendly people used it, but I couldn’t find a way to make it work as a sustainable bootstrapped startup. Building it was incredibly fun. Failing to find success and sustainability was pretty hard but it’s okay.

Here’s the plan:

  • Today I’m turning off signups to
  • Placemark is free for all existing customers until January 19, 2024, at which point the servers will be shut down.
  • Later in January, I’ll release the full source code to the site. This might take a little while. It’s a big application.

Building Placemark was an incredible experience. I learned a ton and got to know a lot of new people in the process. I’m really proud of what it turned out to be, even if the business fell short of my goals.

I built, coded, designed, documented, marketed, and ran Placemark. It had paying customers who used it for real-world purposes. It shipped, and it was a real business. With luck, it’ll become something as an open source project – either maintained, or used as inspiration and fuel for future projects. I’m happy to create more value than I capture.

There’s more to write about what I learned, but for now I just want to say thanks to everyone who gave it a shot, and all of the people who were supportive along the way - special thanks to Gabriel Coch, Aaron Boodman, Jeff Frankl, Brian Lovin, Adam Krebs, Prerna Nadathur, and many others. Also thanks to Steve Krouse and Val Town, where I’ve been working on making coding more carefree and simple.