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The Costs of Bookmarking

I spent some time this morning working up my Pinboard expenses, and since I know this stuff is of interest to entrepreneurial types who are considering running their own service, I thought I would share the numbers here.

Some context to help make this information more useful:

  • Pinboard is a service with about 15,000 active users (defined as people who get up in the morning and actually make the little lights on our servers blink). I am sure there is a more optimal way to run a service of this size. However, since the numbers you see on the spreadsheet represent real American dollars that I pay out of my own pocket, there is at least some amount of effort put into being frugal.

  • The 'hosting' category covers a number of servers, from opulent production machines to little tiny computers that host source code or the site status page. You'll notice that I host with a whole bunch of people. Some of these represent great deals I got on individual servers, others are efforts to evaluate or maintain relationships with various hosting companies. And there is 'Joe's Datacenter', which has such an awesome name I just had to do business with them (and have been very happy).

  • In August I moved the site from the unsavory DigitalOne to LeaseWeb, so there is a spike in costs reflecting the overlap.

  • Some of the hosting services bill monthly, trimonthly, or annually, so the amount of money I spend in a given month on hosting may not correspond to the amount of hosting I get.

  • The spreadsheet does not include generic costs of self-employment, like paying my own health insurance or tax prep. That stuff is amply documented elsewhere; please remember to think about it when considering going into business for yourself.

As you can see, not counting my labor it takes about $2k a month to operate Pinboard. If you have any questions about this stuff, please feel free to ask me on Twitter (@Pinboard) or by email.

—maciej on September 11, 2011



Pinboard is a bookmarking site and personal archive with an emphasis on speed over socializing.

This is the Pinboard developer blog, where I announce features and share news.




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