A faster, more secure and prettier Fetchnotes
Our team is religious in its desire to create great experiences. To further that end, we’ve been investing a lot of time in re-architecting what goes on “behind the scenes” so that we can focus on what faces you, our users, rather than having to worry as much about servers, scaling, etc. That required a lengthy re-write of our back-end, as well as taking Fetchnotes off-line a few nights this week (scheduled 12am-6am to hit the lowest point of usage). We apologize if you saw “Failpup” or experienced any hiccups during that time!
Skipping the technical jargon, we’re on an awesome new platform called Kinvey (fellow TechStars Boston alums!), and Fetchnotes is now faster, more secure and architected so that our team can focus on the things you see and interact with on a daily basis. We also took this opportunity to push some much-needed design love that our summer intern, Ryan Gonzalez, has been working on. One day, he told us he had been “fooling around with the CSS” and then surprised us with this:
Our reaction was a little bit like this:
We’re thrilled to be getting back to focusing on user-facing features, and we hope you notice a big improvement!
Fetchnotes + Sincerely: Making it easy to say thanks to Mom
A couple weeks ago, my mom sent me a fetchnote that said, “remember to #call your mom for mother’s day!!! #todo”. We noticed it wasn’t just me either: with Mother’s Day around the corner, tags like #mom, #gifts, #buy, etc. are getting a lot more activity. Since Fetchnotes is all about making your notes more useful, we wanted to figure out a way to make it easier to thank Mom for being awesome.
Through a mutual friend, we got connected with the folks at Sincerely, a company that is all about making it easy for people to give beautiful, thoughtful gifts through cards, personalized gift boxes, etc. There are two apps that we’re partnering with for the occasion:
Ink Cards make it easy to send personalized, physical cards right from your iPhone or iPad. You can add your own photos, or use their own designs. Sincerely is offering a free Ink Card to any Fetchnotes user through this link. I already sent one to my mom!
Sesame lets you send physical gift boxes to anyone in the world from your phone. They’re packaged around certain themes, ranging from cocktails to game night. Sincerely is offering $5 to any user via the discount code “FETCHNOTES”. Just download the app here, hit settings and click apply discount code.
Make sure to add this to your #todo before it’s too late for Mother’s Day!
Happy birthday to Fetchnotes!
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since Fetchnotes went live on the App Store and Google Play Store. At that point, it was just a basic idea for an app created by an army of students. It looked like this:
More tellingly, this is what WE looked like as a team:
Now, this is what you see on a note.
And this is what our team looks like:
Over the past year, we’ve helped over 65,000 people take almost 750,000 notes. We’ve seen our positioning change from an “easier Evernote” clearly in the note-taking space to a to-do app to something that plays right in the intersection of note-taking, task management and communication. We’ve even started helping people get things done too, and that’s a big part of our vision going forward. We’ve funded ourselves out of our pockets, karaoke fundraisers, grants and now real investment from a fantastic group of angels and VCs. We went through the TechArb program at the University of Michigan and then left college in order to join the prestigious TechStars Boston program in the fall. Now we’re based in downtown Harvard Square full-time in Koa Labs.
We’ve learned a ton about our users, entrepreneurship, and more than anything else, ourselves. People often don’t realize that behind the software they’re using on a daily basis, sometimes there’s a group of 20-something’s that are figuring out how to build a company. That takes more than code.
In a coincidence of amazing timing, today is also special as the first external hire we’ve made since establishing the core team. We’re thrilled to announce the addition of Giles Van Gruisen as the fifth member of our full-time team. Funny enough, Giles has actually had an account longer than some of our current team as he’s been a user since our beta. How do I know he’s not making that up? I found this email from him from January 23, 2012, after we accidentally sent an email out to our user base that said “this is my test bitches.”
Personally, I thought the message was hilarious and I’m (still) really excited to use the service!
Cheers for the good laugh,
Giles Van Gruisen
A Rhode Island native, Giles was visiting Cambridge a couple weeks ago and emailed me about meeting up to discuss some design feedback he had for the app. We went to Border Cafe in Harvard Square and I was blown away by the fact that he was 1) 19 2) came with mock-ups for a more polished interface and 3) had the level of experience I would expect of someone with a few years out of college already. He mentioned he wasn’t going to attend college and wanted to move to the Boston area, so I had him come back to our office to meet some of the people on our team. The consensus was that he was awesome, a natural fit (we still get to say no one currently employed by Fetchnotes, Inc. has a college degree), and later he came back to meet the rest of the crew. Yesterday we made him an offer, and today he accepted. Welcome!
To this year, and many more. If you’ve loved Fetchnotes so far, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Once Upon A Fetchnote.com
A few months ago, we received one of my favorite emails ever from a user:
My name is Fredrik and i spend my days as a novice developer and engineering student. Last year i made notetalking-webapp and for this i acquired a suitable domain for the app. It was called fetchnote, soon after this i discovered your business and stopped the little project. When school started again i got more than enough to do and multiple personal projects and forgot all about fetchnote.com. But a while ago i got a reminder about the domainname and came to think about your app.
As i dont need it anymore i can transfer it to you for free( as in free beer) because i like your business and think fellow startupweekend’rs (attended last year) should help eachother. :)
So the domain fetchnote.com is yours for free if you want it, if not it will expire summer 2013.
Right now its registered at a scandinavian company called proisp.no but if you help me i can transfer it wherever you want.
P.S Sorry for all the typos, i am norwegian and pretty hungover today.
Naturally our response was, “Um…YES! YOU’RE THE COOLEST!” Fredrik kept his word, and we’re now the proud owners of fetchnote.com. As a show of gratitude, we had our graphic designer Lulu Tang make him a thank you card. Rather than sending it via email, we wanted everyone to know how cool Fredrik is.
Fredrik, you’re the man. We hope your hangover is better :)
A New Fetchnotes For A New Year
With 2013 in full swing, we wanted to let you know about some great new features being released by Fetchnotes today.
We’ve always been about helping people stay organized and keep better track of increasingly busy lives. But no matter how organized we come, we still have to actually do the things we intend to do. You have to go look up the book or movie you saved to check out later, go get the items on your grocery list, etc. This often falls by the wayside, and we want to help.
Starting with a few categories — books, music, movies, groceries and links — we’re giving your notes an IQ boost. Just add your note and tag, like “#read Galapagos” or “oatmeal #groceries”, and we’ll do our best to find it for you. It even works for shared notes, so it’s a great way to help your friends and family out too! It’s live in the App Store now, and it will be in the Google Play Store later today.
We’d really love to hear your feedback on our approach at email@example.com. If you want to learn more about our vision, listen to us tell our story at TechStars Demo Day here. And if you’re an outstanding front-end developer or designer that believes in our mission, drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas to improve Fetchnotes. Even better hack something together to show your skills!
Happy Birthday Alex Horak!
Last December, we welcomed Alex Horak to our team at Fetchnotes with a blog post showing Notes the dog dressed up in lederhosen (Alex is from Germany). Just over one year later, we couldn’t be happier with that decision. From design to code to hustling, there’s nothing he can’t do and always steps up to the plate when it matters most. Today we’re wishing Alex a happy birthday from our new pup Tags, who, fittingly, is a German Shepherd. Credit goes to our awesome designer Lulu Tang for Tags’ new outfit!
From myself, Lulu, and the rest of the Fetchnotes crew, Happy Birthday Alex!
- Chase, Co-founder and CTO