What do you do?

We are the company behind the Socket Runtime, the first and only open-source runtime that allows web developers to build apps for any OS - desktop and mobile, using their favorite front-end libraries. In doing so, Socket opens the door for them to build Peer to Peer (P2P) apps, eliminating the need for a centralized cloud; servers aren’t required, and it even works when users are offline.

We provide tools for comapnies of all sizes to manage the entire life-cycle of Peer To Peer apps.

Why should I be interested in P2P?

Cloud gets more expensive, more complex, and less reliable with growth. While P2P gets less expensive, maintains the same complexity, and becomes more reliable.

Today, hardware is ubiquitous. Apps can connect directly to each other, and round trips to the data center are less important. However, Socket Runtime still lets you use all the usual browser APIs, like Fetch, so you can incrementally introduce as much or as little P2P and local-first as you want.

Isn't the Web a "low-friction" way to try new things?

If you're talking about a web page, and you have a short domain, sure. The Web is great for web pages! But if we're talking about software. It's not. Web Apps (not web pages), require a complex sign-up and sign-in verification process, often leaving people wondering where their personal information ends up. It's impossible not to require this if you're building a SaaS product, because opening up your product to any random user means becoming vulnerable to abuse that can have run-away costs. Consider the steps for trying a service.

  1. Enter a URL
  2. Consent to cookies/etc.
  3. Sign up
  4. Opt-out or opt-in to options
  5. Provide your personal information
  6. Provide your email (Maybe pick a username)
  7. Maybe enter your credit card.
  8. Enter your email URL (ie, gmail.com)
  9. Sign into your email service and find the verification email.
  10. click the link or copy the verification code.
  11. Confirm (maybe enter your new credentials, maybe enter the code)

No consider the steps to trying software.

  1. Enter a URL
  2. Consent to cookies/etc.
  3. Click download
  4. Double click the app to open and install it.
  5. Open the app.

Do people still download software?

According to Statista, cumulative Apple App Store developer earnings amounted to 320 billion U.S. dollars as of January 2023. That's just Apple Store. Consider the popularity of VSCode, JetBrains, Figma, Photoshop, Also, consider the popularity of projects like Electron, Tauri, Capacitor, Phonegap/Cordova, etc.

Isn't the web’s distribution/update model is the simplest?

Today visiting a site means being forced to download tens of megabytes of data and software onto your computer, much of it with the intent of exploiting you in some way. Software can be downloaded in a single click and can be smaller than a website. Also, almost every platform provides OTA (Over the Air updates, EVEN APPLE!) These are small incremental updates.

What data is sent back to Socket Supply Co.?

None. For full disclosure, when your apps query for updates we know what OS, you are using. None of your behavior, usage patterns, or any other data is ever collected. Nothing is ever linked to your account or shared for marketing purposes. If software updates are disabled, no data is sent back at all. Our apps don't collect telemetry information! Enough people are watching you over your shoulder already.

Why migrate away from cloud platforms to edge or decentralized systems?

Edge networks and decentralized p2p networks offer a different set of tradeoffs compared to cloud platforms. Distributing a workload to end users enables a new class of applications that have specific advantages around latency, data sovereignty, cost-efficiency, and connectedness. For existing applications, some of these make sense to run fully centralized, some make sense to run fully decentralized, and some make sense to run as a hybrid between the two. We help developers in all these cases by offering access to the cloud, edge, and decentralized systems together in a consistent, accessible tool.

How effective are distributed networks at hosting the long tail of rarely-accessed content?

In networks like BitTorrent, rarely accessed content becomes unavailable as the few peers hosting that content drop offline.

Although it is possible with Socket Runtime to write packets into the network that survive for long periods, this shouldn't be considered reliable long-term storage. Our paid product enables developers to build hybrid networks. In hybrid networks, developers can choose to keep a centralized copy of all content. This keeps rarely accessed content always available. For popular content, a distributed swarm of users' devices also assists in distribution, reducing the cost of serving that content from a central location.

How is Socket Supply Co. funded?

Venture capital and product sales. Our investors are Castle Island Ventures, Galaxy Digital, CoinFund, Peer VC, and 100 Acre Ventures.

What's your connection to "Web3" or crypto-currencies?

We don't have a direct connection to either. Although it could be said that Socket Runtime is the first platform that satisfies the strict criteria for building a 100% decentralized web.