This guy bet his career on Jamstack, where is he now?

A few people have asked me what I think about Netlify distancing itself from the term JAMstack, since to a small group of people I am “The Jamstack guy”. My opinion on netlify distancing themselves was always essentially “meh, I don’t care”. A big reason for this attitude is it has always been clear to me that Netlify used JAMstack as a marketing term. Over time its meaning became “something that can be hosted on Netlify”, I actually would jokingly tell people this when they would ask me “so what is the JAMstack really?” I was never really happy with how the term was stewarded.

With peace and love Netlify.

This isn’t some Anti-Netlify piece by the way, they seem like a fine company, as fine as those can be… Plus they did a lot for the Jamstack. I ran JAMstackPHX, the official Netlify Blessed JAMstack meetup, and they were always great to interact with. It did however feel a little interesting as I tried to build my brand on these terms. I bought and and I was going to give in person workshops about the Jamstack before the whole Covid thing happened. But the meetup felt like it was Netlify’s. It was JAMstack.

That sometimes made me feel uncomfortable about trying to build my agency around the name Jamstack Consulting. I felt like whenever they changed the definition or dropped the term I would have to as well. Mostly though Jamstack evolved in ways that benifited me. I wanted to take on clients who needed SSR based capabilities, and the tools I had been already using where capable of it. I profited greatly too on that pivot for the meaning of JAMstack. Aside from that obvious point of bias, I also think it was a good choice. I will get into that later, but it should be stated I think SSR is Jamstack.

Inextricably Bound to Netlify.

Anyway… That left me inextricably bound to Netlify in a way. A company who was using JAMstack to market the way I was building things mostly built with Next.js* a framework owned by a Netlify competitor. Dicey

I would often question if I should try and get Vercel to sponsor my meetup. But since my other two sponsors where Gastby and Netlify it felt weird to ask. It kindof felt weird to even talk about Next at my meetup. Nothing Netlify did made me feel this way, other than give me money. Still, the term felt like it was theirs, the meetup felt like it was theirs, it was just strange. Especially when I was encouraging many of my clients to use Vercel after I completed their Next site.

This is a good thing.

So back to my original point, how did I feel when Netlify started to distance itself from the term? I guess the answer is good. I had long stopped running my meetup after it shut down during Covid, I wasn’t using their platform, the framework I use was owned by a competitor. The only thing I was using that connected me to them was the term JAMstack. Something they might try to re-define as Gatsby sites after they aquired it.

I think seperating themselves from the word is good for the community, and they should be commended for being nice enough to do it.

I also love that the community immediatley says fuck capitalism when it grabbed it.