2020-12-01 Alex Harley

Monthly update, November Edition

This is the second edition of our monthly update, and coincidentally the biggest month in Portabella history! Such an exciting time to be building a company that’s focused on privacy while the topic itself is exploding in popularity.


Page views


A reasonable month for us in terms of page views, two huge peaks from when we engaged on Hacker News but otherwise pretty quiet. For reference these weren’t even posts we made on Hacker News but from comments we made on popular submissions.

Sign ups


This month was a tipping point for us in terms of gaining users, with 64 sign ups we’ve hit a point where these are totally organic.


This brings our total users to 244. We’re still without paying users unfortunately, however we’re getting there!


Another metric we’ll be tracking in these posts from now on is our Twitter growth. Twitter is the best social media for us in terms of engagement so it makes sense to target our efforts there. We’ve slacked off a little this month, so we’ll have to get back on it in December.


New Features



The big new feature that we shipped in November is documents. We’re hoping for them to be like Google Docs, a place for realtime editing and collaboration. Additionally they can be used as a knowledge base for all things internal to your company.


Another huge bit of work this month was mainly internal, but has forged the path for great improvements in the coming months. The architecture of Portabella has always been a fat client and thin server. The backend for Portabella really does almost nothing, just acts as a proxy for the database and does some signature and authorization checks. That has meant that all our logic resides in the client, or frontend (what you see when you visit app.portabella.io).

What we’ve done is ripped out all that logic and put it into its own package, the @portabella/sdk. We haven’t published this on NPM yet as it’s still a work in progress and there’s only one consumer of it currently (the Portabella frontend). However we’d had interest from some big companies looking to integrate with Portabella so we’ll be releasing it soon.

Blog posts

This month we also decided to double down on content marketing and start writing more blog posts. We put out two (what we feel are) high quality blog posts (Cryptography in Layman’s terms and Password vs. Mnemonic login) that hopefully shed some light on various aspects of cryptography and building privacy preserving systems. Next up (before Christmas) we’ll be writing a post on why many companies aren’t privacy first or offering end-to-end encrypted solutions.

Thanks for reading

Thanks for taking the time to checkout this monthy update, we’ve got a lot of great things ahead of us in 2021 so stay tuned!

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