Vesper, Adieu – Daring Fireball

In December 2012, I started a company with my friends Brent Simmons and Dave Wiskus. We named it Q Branch. In June 2013, we launched our first and only product: an iPhone notes app called Vesper.

Yesterday, we announced that development was ceasing, and we’ll soon be shutting down our sync server. I am terribly sad about this. I love Vesper. I use it every day. I mean that in the present tense. I still use it. When we pull the plug on the sync server, I’ll stop, but until then it’s my go-to notes app. In my career, the only things I’ve done that I’m prouder of are writing Daring Fireball and the creation of Markdown.

What went wrong was very simple. We never made enough money.

John Gruber on Vesper, the note-taking app he made with Brent Simmons and Dave Wiskus.

I liked the app, but I didn’t use it for long. Since there was no Mac app, data I saved to Vesper was siloed. I need my data to be available on both platforms, and it’s hard to justify an app that syncs but only with other devices on the same platform.

If I could do it all over again, here is what I would do differently. I would start the exact same way, with Dave and me designing Vesper for iPhone. But then, before Brent wrote a single line of code, we would immediately design Vesper for Mac. And that’s the product we’d have built and shipped first. There is downward pressure on pricing for Mac apps, but the market is still there for quality apps that cost $20–100 (or more).

But that would still lead to the same problem. There are lots of apps for storing bits of info on the Mac. And web-based solutions. Most people who are the target demographic for an app like this need both mobile and desktop access to their data.

For what it’s worth, I finally figured out how to make Evernote work for me.

Source: Daring Fireball: Vesper, Adieu

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