Roast a Startup Graveyard idea

I've been thinking lately about preserving landing pages of my failed startups. It would be nice to have an URL I can link to in my portfolio, blog posts, and conversations. It could be a simple static landing page with a notice about the shutdown.

Would you want to do the same for your startups you are about to shut down?

I would like an archive of screenshots for all my websites.

But for me there's never a defining moment where I shutdown a site. It's more likely that I stop developing a site and eventually something breaks the page. By that time it's too late to take a screenshot.

So I guess what I'd rather have is something that periodically takes a screenshot of my sites. Then it's even useful when the site is still active. For example I'd love an archive of screenshots of all the iterations the WIP homepage went through. Even when WIP is still alive (and I hope that will be for a long time!), a service like you describe would still be valuable.

Would I pay for it? I think so, but only if I feel certain your service will outlive mine. I think that's the tricky part. You can promise the service will stay around, but that's different from a guarantee.

If you somehow can guarantee it, then yes I'd use a service like this. Especially if it continuously takes screenshots and is clever enough to throw away the near duplicates.

Providing a (paid) self-hosted service might be a way to guarantee the service stays around. Especially if it's self-contained, and easy to deploy and maintain.

Thanks, Marc! This is super helpful. Very good point regarding the tendency to keep projects without attention instead of shutting them down.

Regarding the periodic screenshot-ting idea — what is the main purpose of having those screenshots? Is that mostly for sentimental reasons or to use them for some other reason?

I think with a subscription fee it would be possible to make that project profitable and sustainable. Such service can also provide a way to download the archive of all assets at any time. At least that will guarantee that no snapshots/screenshots are lost. Periodic screenshots can also be automatically emailed to the site owner.

I do really like the idea, I have exactly the same problem. When I shut down an old project, a white page and a short message about it usually remains. I have already thought about making a static html page, where I can simply add some screenshots (but I haven't gotten around to that yet). Just to show what I have been working on and for my personal portfolio. A pity, actually. - In short, thumbs up for the idea of me. But the point with the longevity of the service (as Marc already said) is a very important one from my point of view, because otherwise the service doesn't make much sense.

Thank you for your reply, Marco. I'll think about the ways to guarantee the logevity of the service.