inessential by Brent Simmons

How It’s Going with Glassboard

The Glassboard 2.0 launch counts as one of the best days in my career — we had way more downloads than I expected, and people liked the app.

I had setup an “inessential” board and posted the invitation code, so we were able to talk with people as they were checking out the app. Having that immediate contact with new users was energizing and loads of fun.

(The “inessential” board is still there. If you’d like to check out the app, get the iPhone or Android version and enter the invitation code rovhy. And post a picture or say hello.)

We also had some nice press and mentions. Jenny (one-sixth of Sepia Labs) spent a couple days at WWDC after-hours and people were eager to show her that they were already using Glassboard. Friends have said that they like it and use it, which means a lot to me.

The app was featured in Google Play for the last week, so we’ve been getting a ton of Android users lately. I’m proud of Nick Bradbury (Glassboard for Android author) and of our team.

Next Steps

While I can’t go into details, we’re working on a few things. The list is probably obvious.

  1. We’re working on making money. We have a plan — we know what to do — and now it’s a matter of making it so. I don’t expect any part of it to be surprising. The main things: we’re not going to start showing ads, and we’re not going to start trying to make money by selling or analyzing your private data.

  2. We’re working on the web app. It’s still in beta. There’s a cat silhouette in the upper-left corner of the app. Because it’s beta.

  3. We’re working on the mobile apps. There are bugs to fix and features to add — and we continue to polish.

For me personally this mostly means a return to coding. I spent most of the Glassboard 2.0 development time outside of Xcode, working on mockups and graphics. I wrote a little code just before the launch, but now I’m coding full time.

Which feels great. I love coding. (But I also loved doing the graphics. I think I love being able to switch between the two.)

In fact, the whole thing feels great. Every startup is a risk — and this one is riskier than many, since privacy is a fundamental part of the app and the outside world can’t see in, not in the way you can with Twitter and Instagram and similar apps. (And it’s not like an RSS reader where there’s a never-ending supply of content. Other people have to use the app to make it useful.)

But it looks like it’s working despite the risk — the app is doing very well.

The basic interaction — posting statuses, comments, pictures, videos, locations, files — has been proven to work on Twitter and Facebook and similar places, and I believe it’s the future of working together. (It sure beats email!) I can’t say for sure that Glassboard itself will be the app that everybody uses, but we’re on the right road.

And I’m excited.