Service outages can be a good thing

Feedbin was down again this morning, but thankfully it’s back up and running now. This is the first time that I remember Feedbin having a prolonged service outage ever since I started using it when it was first launched.

The thing about service outages though, is that despite their interruption to your day, they can be an indicator of how effective the service provider is at dealing with it. For a service like Feedbin, it shouldn’t cause too much of an impact on a person’s day. It’s a consumer product, but what if you are a service provider for other businesses and organisations?

I remember Gitlab’s database outage a couple of years ago. They had a severe disruption to their service, but they dealt with it in the best way possible. By being transparent with the world and letting everyone know what went wrong, what they’re doing to fix it and finally a retrospective of what they have learnt from it.

Basecamp also had a severe outage not that long ago. Again, they handled it in the same way Gitlab did. By being transparent and learning from the disruption so that it doesn’t happen again. If you really want a deep dive in Basecamp’s service interruption they did a whole podcast episode on it.

Platform interruptions are mostly just a nuisance. As a consumer of both free and paid for platforms, I know that these outages are not that important and eventually, the platform in question will be up and running again. But for the service provider, they’re a great indicator of how good they are at getting back on their feet, and more importantly, how informed they’ll keep everyone during the process.

So even if a service provider does have a significant outage, it’s how they handle it that will be a factor on whether I sign up for it or not.