Awesome news! FreeMesa.org is NOT shutting down. Brian Freecycled it!
Recently you received an email from Brian stating he was shutting down FreeMesa.org. I received that email too, and after reading it through, it made perfect sense. About 12 years ago, I was also balancing a new marriage, new baby, long commute, and 'the day job' with an online business venture of my own. So Brian's story was like a 'flash back' for me.
When I discovered FreeCycle, I loved the idea. However, as a web developer, I was shocked at how poorly it was implemented. My entrepreneurial mind started racing with ideas about how it could be improved, but other opportunities kept me busy. More importantly, I had not solved the membership problem. No one would register until I had many others registered. It was a classic 'chicken and egg' scenario.
Sometime later, I discovered FreeMesa.org and registered. It was a dramatic improvement compared to FreeCycle and had a large membership. I was very impressed.
Several weeks ago, I realized it was time to look for a new business project. Only 2 days after that, I received the 'FreeMesa is shutting down' email from Brian. My first reaction was 'No! What a shame!'. Then I realized if I were to take over FreeMesa.org from Brian, it would instantly solve the membership problem, and I would have a new project. I reached out to Brian, and we struck a deal. FreeMesa.org is NOT shutting down!
However, things happened so last minute, that in the chaos with the 3rd party server hosting provider, we lost about 3 weeks of data. So, any activity during that time is gone, and will need to be added again. We apologize for this, but it was out of our control. In the near future as we finalize the migration to new servers, you may see some additional downtime, and there may be some technical issues that arise. We ask that you help us out by sending a detailed email to support@FreeMesa.org if you find any issues.
Our plan is to simply maintain the existing site while we focus all our resources on creating a brand new web interface from scratch. We don't have a specification written yet, let alone a timeline, but I am guessing it will take 3+ months to reach our first production release.
Most people think all you need is a good business idea to succeed. That is simply NOT true. Any seasoned entrepreneur will tell you; 'Ideas are EASY. Execution is HARD.' What Brian has achieved in the face of the strong 'Network Effect' advantage that FreeCycle has, is amazing and a huge credit to his skill, determination and commitment to the FreeMesa community. We look forward to doing what ever it takes to ensure those efforts are not lost.
Having 'been there and done that' 12+ years ago, to me it is a given that 'behind the scenes', Brian's wife has been incredibly supportive too. Brian may not respond due to the same time contraints that brought on this transition, but I am certain they would both enjoy reading notes of thanks and appreciation. Please direct those to ThankYouBrian@FreeMesa.org.
As the path forward becomes more clear, we'll be sending out newsletters to keep you informed and to solicit your ideas and suggestions.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.