Why I created scrt.link

Why I created scrt.link


3 min read

It all started with the idea to send private messages (in a fun way). Messages that don't persist. Think Snapchat, but without giving away your user data. As with all ideas, after some research you realize - it's all there on the web: The first setback. Luckily, I wasn't satisfied entirely with what I found. Yes, all these products (onetimesecret, yopass, privnote, privatebin, etc.) are great. They all have something to offer and are inspiring in many ways: Some have great privacy or security concepts, others have great UI. However, I wanted the combination of all the good features. And, most importantly, I wanted the tool to be fun. UX might be the area, where I can add value.

The idea grew into a project that could be summarized as "Sharing secrets as a service". Like all side projects, the beginning is easy. In fact, the prototype was online after one weekend: A domain, a fully functional website, database, even the logo was there.

That's when you enter phase two. You start thinking about your project all the time: This feature would be fun, that part should be refactored - oh what about monetization - I want to cover the costs for the infrastructure. Wait a second, I need user accounts for that. Hm, now shouldn't I add terms and a proper privacy policy? Did I choose the right framework to start with? These thoughts are the reason, side projects hardly ever make it beyond the prototype :) I guess, thanks to the pandemic, I stayed focused: Three months later I felt comfortable to post the project on producthunt. Not that I expected much - I just wanted to get some early reactions. That's basically where we are today.

Status quo

The current status of the project:

Scrt.link is a tool to share sensitive information online: End-to-end-encrypted messages that are shared with a one-time link. There are 3 secret types you can share (secret files are in consideration):

Text: This is the standard mode. It's the preferred way to share passwords and similar kind of secrets. The recipient has the option to copy the secret.
Link: Think about it as a URL-shortener where the generated link only works once.
Neogram™: Digital letter-style message that automatically burns after reading. Use it for confidential notes, confessions or secret love letters.

There are browser extensions available for all major browsers and (free & paid) user accounts for power users and/or supporters. There is a Twitter account.

At the point of writing 778 secrets have been created. 42 upvotes on producthunt. 1 paying customer.

What's next?

Since I created this project out of curiosity and with the only intention to learn something, it has been a great success. I've became knowledgeable in previously unfamiliar areas (backend, database, privacy, marketing). I'm still very much in love with this project and I believe it has value, maybe even potential to grow. However, looking only at the numbers, one would consider it a failure, leading to the conclusion that my time is better spent elsewhere.

I'd be happy for ideas, thoughts, wisdom, …

Best Chris

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