the end of an era

GoZuus has shut down as of May 31, 2019

As previously announced in December 2018, GoZuus has shut down. The following is the announcement originally posted here.

After nearly a decade in operation, GoZuus is ceasing operations on May 31, 2019. This is a bittersweet decision for us, but it’s ultimately the best choice for our users. After this date the service will no longer be accessible and all user data will be destroyed.

Why is this happening?

In short, the GoZuus product is old, and the business it was built for never materialized. It hasn’t received updates in several years. While it mostly runs itself, the two of us who created it have our own family and work obligations now. If something were to happen, we wouldn’t be able to do resolve problems in a timely manner. It’s time to turn it off and move on.

Why now?

The GoZuus codebase is years out of date and can no longer receive security updates. It is fragile, and it runs on a dedicated server that is expensive to maintain, difficult to upgrade, and for which replacement parts are no longer available. It’s liable to break irreparably, and we’d rather provide a graceful transition plan than wake up one day and inform everyone their data is gone.

Can you open-source GoZuus so we can run it ourselves?

You don’t want to. The frameworks it is built upon are years out of date. It was built during a different era of development practices. You’d be better off starting from scratch.

The codebase and source repository also contain security keys that would expose other groups’ information, so access can’t easily be provided to any one third party.

What should we use instead?

We haven’t kept up with this market, so we don’t have a clear recommendation. If any current users find something suitable and would like to share, please let us know at support@gozuus.com and we can update this section.

In terms of best-in-class alternatives for specific components:

What happens to our data?

Administrators have export tools for the member directory. Email subscription lists can be recreated from those. We recommend selecting new tool(s) and migrating this data to a different system before the end of the academic year. On May 31, 2019 all data will be permanently erased and backups destroyed.

If you need help getting additional data out of the system we can try to help, but we won’t be able to do much in the way of custom work. Unfortunately this is a multi-tenant SaaS application, so it won’t be possible to provide a copy of a single group’s database.

Where did this thing come from anyway?

GoZuus was built by Elliott Wood and Kevin Mann between 2008 and 2010. It was an attempt to build a business around a tool we had built for our own fraternity while students at Georgia Tech in 2004 to 2006.

We originally planned to charge $1/member/month for the tool. That didn’t pan out, and we lowered it to $99/semester hoping to drive adoption. We also briefly experimented with a partnership and advertising based approach. In 2011, realizing that none of these avenues were going to create a sustainable business, we turned off the billing system but opted to keep the product running for the groups that were using it.

It was a different era – social media was still in its infancy, mobile apps and smartphones were a brand new concept, and web apps were clunky. The world has moved on, better tools are available, and so it’s time pull the plug on this one.

We thank you for using the tool all these years, and apologize for the inconvenience this transition will cause.

Elliott and Kevin
The GoZuus Team