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Mailmask shutting down

2021-05-03This post is over 2 years old and may now be out of date

(2 minute read)

This post was originally published at https://msk.sh/blog/mailmask-shutting-down.

I started working on Mailmask about a year ago, just as the global pandemic was kicking off. I had always wanted a service like Mailmask for myself, that let you generate unlimited temporary email addresses on-the-fly so that you could more precisely hide your real email address from spammers.

Mailmask was also my first real attempt at bootstrapping an online business from scratch. Over the years I'd built up a heap of failed attempts but by least year I finally had the know-how and self-belief to push myself all the way to completing it.

I spent 3 months coding the initial version as well as getting a professional logo designed, followed by some scrappy marketing. I even setup an Indiehackers profile to publicize progress.

Mailmask finally launched in May 2020. Over time 1000's of people signed up and I even got a few paid users! This was a real validation of the problem as well as my solution to it.

Around the same time I was also working on crypto/blockchain projects, both professionally and in a personal capacity. Starting in the summer of 2020 onwards, DeFi started to really take off and since then there has also been a crypto boom over the winter heading into early 2021. NFTs have arrived and now we might also be up on the cusp of the next generation of scalable blockchain Dapps. I dove head-first into all of these exciting developments from the get-go, leaving little time to work on Mailmask.

I've realized that I can't do everything. Moreover, my interest in maintaining Mailmask has waned given that there are now decent alternatives out there that accomplish the same.

With this in mind, Mailmask will cease operation on May 1st, 2022, i.e. a year from now.

This is enough time to ensure all Premium users get what they paid for, i.e. a full year's worth of Premium service. It should also be enough time for everyone to migrate to another service. After this date the Mailmask website will be sunsetted and the database will be deleted (no user data will be retained).

Note: Mailmask will continue working as normal for existing Basic and Premium users. New user sign-ups and subscription upgrades have both been disabled.

In terms of alternatives to Mailmask I highly recommend SimpleLogin - their feature-set is on par with Mailmask (if not better) and they seem to be more actively maintaining their service. I may look into an arrangement whereby the Mailmask accounts and aliases can be taken over by the SimpleLogin team to ensure no interruption of service to existing Mailmask users. However, this will depend on their desire/willingness to work with me on this so I cannot yet make any promises in this regard.

On a final note, I'd like to thank everyone who has and is still using Mailmask, the people who gave me useful feedback, the people who wrote positively about it and recommended it to others, and in particular all the Premium users who signed up for the paid service.

Thanks again for being with me on this journey.

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