Every ending holds a new beginning
It is with a heavy heart we have to announce that “doo – the document app” will be shutting down on Monday, March 17, 2014.
We founded this company in June 2011 to change the way people organize and work with documents. These were our hypotheses.
We believed the time had come to shift from “folder-based” to “tag-based” organization of documents.
We believed the increasing number of digital documents and document sources poses a big problem to many people.
And we believed people are struggling to access all these documents and document sources from their (mobile) devices and to keep them “in sync”.
Well, maybe we’re still too attached to our “baby”, but we actually still believe in these hypotheses. Anyway, here are the facts.
We launched the first doo app for Windows 8 in October, 2012 – right on time for the Windows 8 launch. The app gave us a tough time – also in subsequent months – since it was really hard to do what we do on this platform.
In parallel we got our data intelligence team up and running and started to build advanced data intelligence technology for documents including image pre-processing, OCR and auto-tagging based on a combination of machine learning- and several other algorithms.
Then, in February, 2013 we launched doo for OS X. Apple featured the app as “editor’s choice” on the Mac App Store. All major tech blogs covered us. doo for OS X soon became top downloaded app #1 globally and in more than 50 markets including US, UK, and Germany. But after a lot of initial downloads, we soon saw a significant drop in our download and user activity figures. “Well, the app is not feature complete, performance needs to be optimized either and we don’t have the mobile apps yet to make our case regarding sync. It’s OK”, we thought and moved on.
In March, 2013 we received the Innovate 4 Society award sponsored by Microsoft. The award was presented by Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel to our CEO, Frank, at the CeBIT.
Next, we launched our Android app in April and iOS app in August, 2013. Now, we had our mobile apps including mobile scanning. The Android user base displayed steady growth and user activity; plus, we received a lot of positive user ratings on Play and were selected as a TopApp by Deutsche Telekom. However, we couldn’t get enough visibility on Play to accelerate our growth.
The iOS app, in contrast, received a lot of attention. It even became one of the “Best Apps 2013” on the iTunes Store later this year. And again, same experience as doo for OS X.
We were very happy to see a world class company like Evernote feature our app.
In October 2013 we finally launched a beta version of our Windows Desktop app; and the RC in January 2014.
After launching all these apps, delivering our core feature set and continuously improving on performance and stability, we still couldn’t generate the necessary growth and user activity. We had to face it. Either our hypotheses were wrong or we didn’t get the product right to address the problem. We simply do not seem to address the needs of a large enough audience.
Thus, as of Monday, March 17, 2014 at 4pm CET the doo servers will be shut down and the User License agreement for the use of doo is terminated with effect as of this date. The doo apps for OS X and Windows will continue to work locally, but the apps for Android, iOS as well as all features related to our server such as synchronisation among devices, connecting and synchronizing with cloud services, or online login to the doo user accounts will no longer work.
All user data and files on doo servers will be completely and irrevocably deleted. All data in your local apps will, of course, not be affected. Have a look at our user guide and FAQ for more detailed information regarding the shut down.
So what’s next?
Even though we’ve been chasing the wrong rabbit, we have built outstanding cloud storage, sync and search technologies. Plus, we have great investors, who believe in our team. So there is only one option: we have already started working on new products based on what we’ve learned … we’ll keep you posted!
Thanks a lot for all your feedback, encouragement and support! And don’t hesitate to reach out with any thoughts or questions. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @doo.
Frank & the doo team