Updated – August 13th, 2018
Since this announcement, we've received an outpouring of support from the community. Thanks so much to everyone who has offered to help and made a donation. Although there are some solutions being discussed that might let Brili live beyond December 18th, none have been solidified yet. Given the uncertainty, we have switched to sales of only monthly Brili Extra upgrades and cancelling existing annual subscription renewals. For now, the apps remain available for download and new user accounts can still be created.
If you'd like to make a donation to help fund Brili's maintenance, you can do so here.
As you might be aware, the Brili system relies on Google’s Firebase service for its main database. We used the latest software development kit (SDK) version when our product was developed in 2015, but Firebase stopped supporting our version some time ago and soon will disable it entirely.
What’s the issue?
On December 18th 2018, Google will disable the 2.x version of the Firebase SDK that Brili uses to connect to its real-time database. This will effectively make Brili inoperable on all devices.
Why can’t we upgrade to keep Brili working?
Many people don’t realize that Brili resulted from years of mostly unpaid time and hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment. In fact, we’ve already had to perform several of these kinds of “invisible” (and expensive) upgrades just to keep the system functioning this long.
However, despite our very best efforts, we have not been able to get the product to a point where it’s generating enough revenue to cover much more than its basic hosting costs, let alone to recuperate our investment. Making money with a high-quality app that protects users' privacy and doesn’t bombard them with ads is a lot more complicated than most people think.
We knew from our users that Brili Routines were helpful, so when it became obvious that Brili Inc. wasn’t becoming a thriving business, we were still happy to keep the service and customer support going in our spare time as long as hosting costs were covered and nothing came along to force a major upgrade.
Regrettably, the next forced upgrade has arrived and we simply don’t have the operating budget to execute it.
What’s going to happen next?
Unless there’s a miraculous change in circumstances, we will begin a graceful shutdown process on August 1, 2018.
- We will start by
disabling new user registrations, removing the app from app stores andceasing the sale of annual subscriptions in favour of monthly subscriptions. AllAnnual subscription auto-renewals will be cancelled.
- Barring any unforeseen circumstances, existing users at that point will be able to continue using Brili until Google turns off our Firebase SDK version on December 18th, 2018.
- At that point we'll wind down our other servers and look for the best way to make things right for any annual subscribers who won’t be able to receive the full year of service they've paid for.
In any event, we will be keeping Brili users updated as the situation progresses.
Although I’m saddened that Brili is coming to an end, it has been a tremendous learning and growth experience, not to mention a lot of fun. I would like to thank all our users, recommenders, colleagues, startup support organizations and family members for their kind support of Brili over the past several years.
It has truly been a pleasure.