The Future of 6Wunderkinder
Auf Wiedersehen Wunderkit and Hello Wunderlist 2
Two months ago we shared an incredible Wunderlist milestone with you. That day was special for us, we were truly moved by the feedback we received from you. For us it reinforced the success of Wunderlist and set a clear path for our future. This year we’ll launch Wunderlist 2 and say “Auf Wiedersehen” to Wunderkit.
Some of you will be really surprised, while others may have already predicted this. So let us tell you a bit more about what happened – and why Wunderkit will remain in beta and will not be developed any further. Saying goodbye is never easy, especially when we are having to say it to Wunderkit, a product we worked so hard for, but now and forever our heart belongs to Wunderlist.
Since launching, Wunderlist has achieved incredible growth. It has been downloaded more than 5.5 million times and has almost three million users, who in just under two years have created more than 100 million tasks. A stellar performance for an app that was initially built as a test product. Before we go too much into the future and introduce you to Wunderlist 2, let’s start at the beginning – August 2010 to be precise, when we founded 6Wunderkinder.
Our productivity rollercoaster
We started with the mission to create a product that would reinvent project management. We called it Wunderkit. We knew upfront that it would take us a long time to build the product, so we decided to start with a little appetizer to show everyone what we were capable of. That appetizer is the Wunderlist you know and love today. We launched it in November 2010 on Mac and Windows and it was popular, surprisingly popular, right from the very beginning. We then rolled it out to iPhone, iPad, Web, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone, which increased our users even further. It started as a side project, but a really successful one.
All the while we were experiencing the success of Wunderlist, we were working on Wunderkit behind the scenes. The goal was to create a new way to manage your work and personal lives, yet more comprehensively. We wanted to completely merge private and business projects, allowing you to organize your tasks, add notes, create projects, work collaboratively, comment, plus a few more things. In theory pretty straightforward... Yet, in execution it wasn’t.
Since Wunderkit launched in February earlier this year, we have had good sign up rates, almost 400,000 within the last six months. However, the magic of Wunderlist was missing and engagement was not meeting our expectations. We simply weren’t getting the traction we wanted. What’s more you, our users, started to raise concerns. Concerns we were also faced with. Much like you we discovered bugs, scaling challenges and usability issues, which lead us to get frustrated with our own product. Not ideal. So we decided to rethink it.
Back to the drawing board
Our whole team went back to the drawing board. We went through all of your feedback, and we clearly recognized that there was one key issue – complexity. Something that we never wanted. Of course the concept itself was much more complex than Wunderlist, but it lacked what we are known for – simplicity and joy of use.
We looked at the good and well... the not so good. We did some tweaking, and then we started to redesign Wunderkit completely. We worked for months (and months!) to come up with a beautiful simple approach that met our expectations, yet we simply couldn’t reach a point that we were satisfied with. These ideas, concepts and designs never saw the light of day or made it into your hands.
A balancing act
We continued to undertake the balancing act between Wunderlist and Wunderkit while our users and team were growing increasingly frustrated with Wunderkit and the lack of updates to Wunderlist. We put our heart and souls into our products, and if they don’t meet our expectations and more importantly yours, we know we are doing something wrong. The period between Wunderkit’s release and now has probably been the hardest time we’ve experienced at 6Wunderkinder, as a team and individuals.
It became increasingly clear that we could no longer focus on both products. We needed to say goodbye to one product or risk both, not really a situation we thought we would be faced with when we started on this journey. We set out to merge personal and business productivity with Wunderkit, yet along the way it got too complex for our users and what we didn’t realize is Wunderlist was doing exactly that and seamlessly. Of course it seems obvious now as our users were with Wunderlist right from the very beginning, but it took us months of analyzing, reworking and heartache to come to this conclusion.
Knowing this, we had to deal with failure and the fear that comes with it. We regrouped to find the true reason we do what we do and what motivates us each day. What it came down to was that we all wanted to build a product that improves the lives of our users, by helping you to accomplish your goals. And that hasn’t changed. It’s even stronger now.
A new Wunderlist is coming
So, here’s where we are now in our journey. We love Wunderlist and we believe in its bright future. We want to continue to build on its success by delivering a truly impressive product that will again have a positive impact on your lives. Say hello to Wunderlist 2.
Now our future is clear, Wunderlist 2 will be launched later this year. Infact we are currently readying it for beta testing. We are incredibly happy with what we’re doing and feel extremely confident we are back on the right path.
We know you want all the details but for the moment we can’t say too much. However, we can tell you that it will combine the very best features of Wunderlist and Wunderkit, along with some of the most requested features according to you, our community. Also, we will move from Titanium to completely rewritten native applications on all platforms that sync with a brand new cloud service in the backend. Allowing us to bring Wunderlist to a stage where we can accurately scale and release new product updates every four to eight weeks.
In the end, we want to say thank you. Thank you to our team, our advisors and to you, our loyal users. Now, with your support we look to the future and are focused on the delivery of our best product yet – Wunderlist 2.
PS: Our Founder and CEO, Christian Reber, has also written a personal blog about our shift back to Wunderlist.
UPDATE (Thursday, 6 September 2012): If you are a Wunderkit user please do not worry, your data is to remain safe and available for some time yet. We would also like to assure you that in the near future we will provide you with a service to import your data into Wunderlist 2 or directly export if required. You will be notified as soon as the data import/export service becomes available and until then it is business as usual.