The Failed App

photo credit: Jon Ottosson – Unsplash
Perhaps it was an app ahead of its time. Its vision involved taking on one of the big social networks, by allowing users to control and retain direct ownership of their content, while also hosting a community around the sharing of that content. I’m not naming the app out of fondness for it.

For whatever reason, it never gained enough traction to justify the expense of its continued existence. Thus, its backend was shut down, and its development ceased. The life of many apps do go down that path sometimes.

The app’s original version was fairly basic, but perhaps a little too ambitious to take on an encumber the in its chosen niche. Some of the community has remained loyal to the vision, if not to the developer themself.

I still see myself as a bit of a lurker when it comes to most of the online communities I choose to follow, and, despite things not working out, for that app, I still follow its developer, and that’s paid off a bit. The developer kept working on new ideas, and has even had an award-winning app following the failed one.

Persistence, when seen in action like this, is very inspiring. It must have been more difficult towards the end of the failed project for the developer to focus on working on the app, knowing that downloads had plateaued(it was free to use, but also had paid extras. The sad, but understandable decision was made, based on performance of the app’s sales, and its popularity waning, to put it out of its misery.

This seemed to be a case where the unpopular choice didn’t work out, but I’d hardly say it was wrong. I had made the choice to watch the developer, in order to catch when their newest project was nearing completion as well, since they’re very good at transparently communicating about their own development process. I’m really looking forward to a new set of characters and community growing up around “whatever’s next”. The latest project seem promising, and it’ also due to it going after an area of usefulness that many similar apps have fallen short of capturing.

We’ll see. 🙂

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