Happy Ending To The Joyent Lifetime Subscription Story

Earlier this month Joyent announced that it would pull the plug on legacy “lifetime” hosting accounts. Now a long lost co-founder of the company is stepping up to honor the agreement.

Back in 2004 Jason Hoffman and Dean Allen founded TextDrive, which was a more traditional hosting company. In 2005 Joyent bought TextDrive, bringing Allen and Hoffman into Joyent. But according to Watts Martin: “Dean Allen left Joyent years ago and has, from all appearances, given up computers entirely.”

In the early days of TextDrive, Allen and Hoffman offered lifetime subscriptions. Those subscriptions were honored after Joyent acquired the company, and Joyent even offered a similar deal after the acquisition.

But Joyent is now out of the shared web hosting business and the infrastructure required to support its legacy hosting members is aging. Hence the companies decision to finally end those accounts, much to many customers displeasure. Those customers had supported TextDrive/Joyent in the early days and felt like investors in the company.

Today Joyent announced that TextDrive is returning, and according to Stacey Higginbotham at GigaOm, Allen is back at the helm.

“I knew fully well at the time [Joyent bought TextDrive] that one day it wouldn’t be possible to support lifetime subscriptions anymore, and I knew when the day came that it was no longer possible I would step back in and take care of those people,” Allen told GigaOM.

The new TextDrive will still be hosted on Joyent’s infrastructure, but on newer hardware and will be considered “a separate hosting provider.”

Correction 5:47 EST 03/04/14: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Jason Hoffman as the co-founder of both Joyent and TextDrive. He is only the co-founder of TextDrive.