I want to preface this post by saying that I did not want to make this decision.
With a project of this scale, comes costs. Between server costs, Cloudflare, Google Workspace, and other costs, I was spending almost US$100 every month keeping this passion project alive (I won't specify how much I've spent overall, as it varied). With no revenue stream from this project, I was losing money. At the time, I didn't mind, because I enjoyed the project and assumed it had a positive future.
What went wrong
As I stated earlier, I started Astral as a passion project in my senior year of high school. I had a lot of free time then, which was incredibly lucky for me, because many students don't. Due to that, I was able to work on Astral alongside my main job without any issues. After I graduated, I was working more, which meant less time for Astral.
Being a team of one is hard. Sure, I had some friends help out on our Discord server, however I still did all of the work of creating the platform and advertising it (foreshadowing!) and pretty much everything else that was needed for the platform. Nothing against those who helped on the team, this was entirely my fault as I never assigned anyone to do anything since I was focused on coding.
Cue getting ready for college. If I wasn't working or giving myself a break, I was getting ready and packing for college. Given for me, I would be driving 15 hours away from home to college, so I had a lot to do. Astral was pretty much in a dormant state; Able to work fine on it's own, with features planned but no set dates. During my first few months of college, I was working on Astral little-by-little, and the latest feature was added on November 4th (at least according to GitHub). Since then, I haven't done any major work on Astral. When it comes to building projects, movitivation is key. I was motivated to build Astral, but between school, life, and work, my motivation slowly died.
In the early days of Astral, I was talking with some individuals (who will never be named) who later turned against me and my team. I had trusted these people and they had given me the initial motivation to create Astral. When these individuals turned against me, it caused a heinous amount of drama that affected the mental health of me and my entire team. I have since put this drama past me, and I sincerely hope they have put it past them as well. Their actions have not influenced my decision here.
I stated earlier some foreshadowing with advertising. If I'm being honest, I have no idea how to advertise. I'm just a developer who tried to reach too broadly. I only launched on ProductHunt, and it was during the dry period of Astral. Sure, Astral made it to #3 Productivity of the week, but that means nothing compared to the usage.
The Future of Astral
I'll be blunt. From the analytics I've seen, Astral doesn't appear to be widely used, if used at all. If you do use Astral, I'm sincerely sorry for how you and your server may be affected by this decision. The money I've been spending to keep Astral online has outweighed the userbase.
Therefore, on January 13th, 2023, I will be shutting down Astral's servers. This is a decision that I hadn't taken lightly.
I do plan on re-opening Astral later on, however taking a different approach and offering different services (still in the Discord space).
Is Astral for sale?
No, at least probably not. If I get an offer double or more of what I've spent creating this, from a reliable source, only then would I consider selling. The codebase is a complete mess, so I wouldn't want to sell that if no one can understand it.
Will you release Astral's code?
For now, no. As I stated earlier, the codebase is a complete mess. While I am a full advocate for free open source software (FOSS), I simply cannot open the codebase yet.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to email me at jack [at] astralapp [dot] io, or ask me in our Discord server.
I would like to thank everyone who has used Astral, or helped in any way. Thank you for your support.
Until next time,