SporeStack was my fourth Bitcoin accepting service online. Two of them made no money at all. One had a single customer whom I refunded in full when I discontinued the service.
Needless to say, I was very happy when SporeStack had customers in its first week.
I wanted to have something big enough to live off of and small enough to keep under the radar and not pay taxes on. It's probably still small enough still, not quite big enough to live on though. I've also been very deliberate about not taking on investment or sharing ownership. I largely envisioned a world where people run their own microservices and get paid accordingly, offering a service with a one person scope.
As it is now, I am sadly paying taxes on SporeStack. It's also clear that it has some potential. It has done very, very well for how little time I've put into it (at least, compared to most startups that I've seen).
The key design of prepaid ephemeral servers is very modern and I think very relevant. But the whole stack you'd build on SporeStack also involves a lot less black boxes than what you'd build on AWS. There's a lot of great cloud providers out there, but most of them tend to build very complicated services (that often do work very well) as suggested use products that mesh together. This makes changing providers a lot more difficult as you get locked in to one provider's idea of a loadbalancer and another provider's idea of a DNS API. With SporeStack, I am providing the lowest component you can reasonably work with -- a server. No more, no less. And it's not that I want everyone to have to know how to make a good nginx loadbalancer on their own, but I'd rather have these built on top of SporeStack and not be all on the ground floor. And being on top of SporeStack, they will be built with very open and simple standards with less "magical glue".
And I do, ultimately, think that self-hosting and ownership is best. I think renting is a good business for the owner and often (certainly not always) a bad long term prospect for the renter. This is why I recommend people buy cars outright, and not lease them or finance them (if at all possible). Now, hosting is a bit trickier because you do need a lot of things that you can't find as readily available around the house. And home hosting has tended to be based off of one-box-wonders and had significant downfalls.
The model that I have in mind for SporeStack is also ideal for hosting on your own hardware. In fact, I'd say it's more ideal for self-hosting than anything else out there today.
So some day I would like to open source all of SporeStack and have more people benefit from its design. Until then, I do want to run a successful business. And I don't want to make the wrong move first. I do think that for many, hosting with a provider makes more sense than hosting your own gear. Especially for people who like to live at coffee shops and with a backpack. But, if you have a home and an office, maybe some day it will make sense to "go backwards" and host it yourself.
Now with this said, SporeStack is still a step forward. It will be much easier to port from SporeStack to your own baremetal, at least say than any other provider I've heard of. There are some caveats with this. SporeStack doesn't try to act like what's easiest now, but easiest in the long run. Ephemeral design is really tricky. But when you get it handled I believe it is much easier in the long run, if you do it right.
Anyway, I'll be investing more time in SporeStack now. I'm going to register it as a business. There will be some changes with it to make it not just competitive for "anonymous bitcoin vps hosting", but among hosting providers in general.
SporeStack will never be the cheapest or easiest host to use. However, if you want to have a georedundant website with servers that replace themselves automatically, you've come to the right place.
And SporeStack is still, a year later, the only host I know of that offers servers through an API without accounts. There's so much talk of autonomous corporations in the blockchain. But where will they go? Where will they be hosted? SporeStack will likely be the home of real autonomous corporations, doing real things. It sounds like sci-fi, but so did Bitcoin ten years ago.
I'll likely setup an IRC server for SporeStack and try to connect with my community a bit more.
As always, you can send me an email if you have any questions. sega01 (you know the drill) go-beyond.org