On Wednesday a website called Shutdownify.com went viral on Twitter. The site supposedly allowed tech startups facing a shutdown to craft an automated notice about their imminent demise. Shutdownify itself announced that it was closing shop. But the site is 100 per cent fake.
The domain for Shutdownify was only registered on Wednesday and has no other posts than the one below. It’s unclear what the person or persons who set up this website are trying to accomplish with this stunt. I’ve reached out to the operators of the site to see what they’re actually promoting or whether it’s just a work of art to skewer Silicon Valley startup culture.
The announcement of Shutdownify’s closure (which, again, is totally fake) appears below:
It is with tremendous regret that I must announce the shutdown of Shutdownify.
I founded Shutdownify after recognizing an unmet need in the market. Startups that were ceasing operations, whether because of financial distress or an acquisition, faced an unenviable problem: They had to replace their entire site with a shutdown notice in a very limited time window.
These notices, typically written in extreme haste, often failed to cover even the most basic questions a visitor to the site might expect to be answered, such as “How will current clients be affected?” and “Is the shutdown effective immediately, or may I still use the service for some period of time?” Additionally, a lack of transparency about why the site was shutting down had the potential to cause unnecessary confusion and frustration among users.
Shutdownify sought to alleviate these problems. We became the world’s first “Shutdown Notice as a Service” company, offering clear, concise, templates tailored to the needs of more than three dozen industry verticals. In as few as 10 minutes, a startup facing an imminent shutdown could use Shutdownify to post a well-crafted shutdown notice on their website.
We knew when we started Shutdownify that its business model was risky, since many of our clients had already run out of money and were in the process of dissolving their companies. We naively assumed that acquisitions and acqui-hires would make up for it. We were wrong.
It is a stinging irony that we now must use our own product to post this shutdown notice. Shutdownify’s last meal is its own dog food.
I’d like to thank our users for allowing us the chance to serve you during what was often a very difficult time in your professional lives. I would also like to thank our employees for their dedication and our investors and advisors for their support.
Shaun Gallagher, Shutdownify founder
I’ll update this post if I hear back from “Shaun.”
This article originally appeared on Factually, Gizmodo's blog for setting the record straight