About Cory and Future of Surreal CMS


#1

Ok…I don’t know if this issue has been raised before but I would like to get some insights.

So where I work my boss has raised this issue a couple of times…whenever I choose a software to use, he’s always curious to know who owns it and for how long have they been around. He asks this just to be sure that whichever software he invests in will always be there. He had some experiences in the past where some companies (not software though) abandoned the support for the equipment he had and he had nowhere to go.

Anyway, so here is my question on behalf of my boss. @cory we know you are pretty much the only one behind Surreal CMS. And yes, you have shared in the past that Surreal has been around for over 10 years now. My only worry is that what would essentially happen if all of a sudden something happens to you? I don’t know if you have a team of people or if you work with other people to power this software. Some form of assurance is needed that Surreal CMS and its support will be there even when you won’t be around or maybe when you won’t be able to. It’s kinda important to have these answers now more than later.

Second, for curiosity purposes…and here I would love to hear from other members too. What are potential Surreal CMS competitors (if any) and please don’t mention WordPress. Is there any other CMS that does kinda the same as what Surreal CMS is doing? @cory you would have to forgive me for asking this question…hope you understand where am coming from. The only CMS I could think of that may come close is PageLime which was also acquired by Surreal some years back.

Would appreciate your insights.


#2

He asks this just to be sure that whichever software he invests in will always be there.

This logic is flawed. If a company is “too small”, they fear the bus factor. But if a company is “too big”, they ignore other problems such as the risk of acquisition. Many SaaS services have been absorbed and shut down because Apple, Facebook, Google, et al purchased them solely for talent or IP.

There’s no guarantee with any company, large or small, that they’ll “be around” forever. Even owners of wildly successful companies can lose interest and walk away. Who knows what the future leadership (if any) will choose to do.

If the economy took a turn for the worse and sales slowed down, would MegaCorp™ be more apt to keep Surreal going than a founder who’s devoted over a decade to it? They’d probably shut it down if it wasn’t “profitable enough” for them. To contrast this, I can scale Surreal down and maintain profitability even with only a handful of customers.

Would you really be better off if MegaCorp™ owned Surreal? Would you receive the same care and attention that you’re getting in this reply right now?

you have shared in the past that Surreal has been around for over 10 years now

Thirteen years now — without a single penny raised or borrowed from investors.

Some form of assurance is needed that Surreal CMS and its support will be there even when you won’t be around or maybe when you won’t be able to. It’s kinda important to have these answers now more than later.

I’ll humor this, despite the fact that I’m really good at not getting hit by a bus.

There’s a contingency plan for Surreal so it can continue if something ever happens to me — like an alien abduction. (I already told you I’m really good at avoiding buses, so it would have to be something way more interesting than that.)

I won’t disclose details for privacy reasons, but it benefits my users (by continuing the service) as well as my family (by continuing to provide them income as I explore the galaxy). There’s even a fallback plan that involves Surreal being open sourced, should the need ever arise.

What are potential Surreal CMS competitors (if any) and please don’t mention WordPress

WordPress isn’t a competitor. I’m not really sure what it is at this point — I’ve never really liked it nor do I recommend it. It has a much wider scope than Surreal.

Direct competitors would be:

  • CushyCMS - they beat Surreal to market by only a few months, but it doesn’t look like the service has been updated in years
  • SimpleCMS - seems to be a side project from a couple of guys who were hostile towards me after I reached out to them about an error on their comparisons page (then in 2017 they sent me an email asking if I wanted to buy SimpleCMS, after which they backed out)
  • PageLime - acquired for this reason

These are the long-lasting ones. There are a few that came and went in between, and there are some new ones on the scene too. Unfortunately, most appear to be half-baked prototypes or a raw WYSIWYG editor wired up to a form-based CMS.


#3

Thanks Cory. That was a satisfying answer.

I haven’t tried it yet…but for someone who build their site using WordPress, or Static Site Generators or any other CMS … Can they still use Surreal? If they wanna get the WYSIWYG editing experience…

Also, why do think there are very few CMS that just offer editing experience? As opposed to those who govern how the website should be built to be able to edit it? I mean Surreal for example…doesn’t care how the website was built… As opposed to WordPress and all these other CMSs.


#4

Database-driven sites, such as WordPress, won’t be editable via Surreal. Pages generated from a source that result in static pages (e.g. via Eleventy or other static site generators) also won’t work because the source is local, meaning the changes you make in Surreal afterwards will be overwritten the next time you generate the site.

Also, why do think there are very few CMS that just offer editing experience?

A full-page WYSIWYG experience isn’t the easiest thing to do, which is probably why you see so many markdown-based CMSs and generators. :man_shrugging:t2:


#5

That’s actually really good to know, thanks. :slight_smile: