When we started thinking about making a product for tablets, phones and even the TV last fall, we confronted a tricky and risky choice: do we dive in and build something new, or stay the course and focus on our existing web service? After all, Vodpod is a thriving site with over 1M registered members and is visited by millions of people every month.
We decided to take the risk and build an entirely new Showyou, an app we launched on Wednesday, while also maintaining and continuing to run Vodpod. And that couldn’t have been done without a great team, and without collaboration with lots of other people.
Let’s start with the team at Remixation who have been nothing short of marvelous. Scott and Spencer — co-founders of Remixation and crack Ruby coders — became crafty iOS developers in 45 days, building most of the Showyou client. Phil delved into iOS to whip out the iPhone version of the app, while mastering Node.js for our video importer. Kyle built most of the back-end services and infrastructure, including setting up a noSQL DB for the first time (Riak) and falling a little too much in love with Erlang. And Justin, who joined us as the lead UI designer in just mid-January and did not one, but two full passes on the UI for both the iPad and the iPhone /iPod Touch apps in just 60 days. Remarkable.
We were extremely lucky to collaborate with the team at Moving Brands. They pushed us to think hard about what our app stood for, to make that the core of the identity of the app, and to apply that throughout every element of Showyou. With them, we were able to make something fun, simple, usable and yet very visually distinctive.
We had a fantastic group of about 60 beta testers who used the app and sent us lots of great feedback. We made dozens of changes to the app based on their notes and ideas, and we can’t thank them enough.
Marisa Lam of Techmarket and her friend Marjaneh Ravai helped us to launch Showyou and get it in front of more people than we could have done on our own.
Finally, none of this would have been possible without the fantastic support of TrueVentures. If you are an entrepreneur interested in making a great product and a real business, there is no better early stage investor. Phil, Jon, John, Puneet, Tony, Toni, Om, Shea, Adam and Christiaan — the whole team is world class and they truly do love entrepreneurs.
We send a particular shout out to Toni Schneider, who has a big day job, but has found time to be a fantastic board member. He was there at literally every critical juncture, gave us awesome product and strategic feedback throughout, and Showyou would not have gotten made without him.