Expanding Ambitions

From the get-go our team’s core focus was on tough engineering problems and great user experience, and these were the strengths we employed in our takes on solving some very interesting problems.

Our first public appearance was a YouTube video that led, a few days later, to the launch of the Scrybe calendartask list and later ThoughtPad. This product was first to provide really simple offline access, with nothing to install. Launching a product on YouTube was also a first and has since then become an absolute necessity. The next experience was adding sharing features proved to be invaluable and helped us gain a lot of insight into how people collaborate and how much the success of any product relies on a great social infrastructure.  This became a key factor in our new product, but more on that later. Although we were very cash starved a lot of user excitement and some great press reviews led to some acquisition flirtations and a lot of investment interest.

In the year after going public we closed Series A with Adobe and LMKR, started building a great team, a great office and spent that year planning what was next.

Although we recognized that we were great at calendaring, we were looking at the years ahead and our ambition was greater. We were convinced that our next big idea was collaboration, and we were ready to back it up with our full effort. Although It was risky to do something so far removed from the success we had already achieved it was very important to focus on these greater ambitions without clinging to our previous successes. We announced that the service will continue to run, but there would be no new development on the calendaring product.

The two major trends that matured with our new product development were cloud computing and social. There was a lot of excitement around this in the consumer market, but we also started to see these ideas being picked up in enterprise solutions.  These trends and our prototypes helped get our investors on board and excited about the product pivot we had gone through. We also got prerelease access to some cool technologies that were under NDA at that time but have since become public. There was excitement with every progressing iteration, but there wasn’t any clear visibility that we could share with the community.

This is the beginning of a new chapter. We have been hard at work doing what we do best; solving tough engineering problems and creating awesome user experiences. It required a lot of courage to make this pivot and we look forward to a launch more exciting than the last with everyone’s support.

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “Expanding Ambitions

  1. wats

    You guys suck, dont think Ill collaborate in one of your beta’s or get excited by your vague promises ever again.

    My advice to other people, dont use any of their developmental products until they offer something concrete (non beta) and learn how to communicate with the user base.

  2. Andis

    Interesting… There are two majot collaboration platforms out there – Google & MS. So you (Scrybe + Adobe) are willing to compete with them.
    I believe you can do it with Calendar, but can you do it with Email (vs Gmail) or Documents (vs Ms Office Live) ? Really hard to believe. And flash is also dying tecnology. Anyway, I am still hoping to be able to use great calendaring tool which you have now and wait wat else is in the box. And I should partially agree to comment above, as lack of communication for two years has destroid some of the trust in your promises.

  3. Welcome back! Do not be a stranger. I hope you can now keep us in the loop as to what you are doing.

    @dmgerbino

  4. Warren

    You guys can’t be serious…what a vague bunch of crap after no communication for YEARS. Like the first poster, I have zero trust in you guys.

  5. You are right. The current communication pattern sucks. We don’t disagree at all. We just cannot talk about what we are working on because it is not public. We get that those of you who were excited by the calendar, and wanted to hear more on it, are disappointed.
    Just to be clear: if you are a current user, you have not seen a new bug in ages; you have never lost data or seen any noticeable downtime. We decided the potential to grow the product was limited, and it also didn’t have great monetization capabilities and we announced some time ago that we wouldn’t be adding more development feature to it, while the servers continue to run.
    We think we are onto something big that has a much better monetization model, and we are focusing on that. The new product may work out and it may not, but it doesn’t make sense to talk about a product that is, as yet, undisclosed.

  6. Dan Jones

    Unfortunately, any product synonymous with the Scrybe team comes with a lot of distain due to your extremely poor communication over the years. I, like many, will not be using any of your future products on this basis. You may have made a name for yourself with your Youtube video, but you’ve also made an extremely bad name for yourselves from the community at large.

  7. Dan Jones

    PS: A post out of the blue after years of zero communication saying “Hey guys! We are working on a great product, but can’t tell you about it, bye!”, and expecting it to generate any form of excitement is very misguided. It just goes to show how clueless you are at working with the community.

  8. Joker

    Wow. Really. This is just, wow.

    Over two and a half years after you quit this blog, and now you’re back to tell us, what exactly? That you guys have done great things, but you want to do even greater things, so again, you’re not continuing with the things that brought users to your site in the first place and now, instead are doing other things that are so great but you can’t actually tell anyone about it? That’s what you decide to post?

    And then you follow it up w/ a jpeg of Dilbert? Dilbert? Way to catch that little popular comic about 15 years after my grandmother found it.

    I don’t think you understand how this works.

  9. I wish you all the best, I really do. I have used scrybe for a while before going back to my google calendar – Its all about trust in the end. I was coming back to this blog once in a while – It was always funny to see nothing new and you never replied to people (and me) asking what is going on.
    So all the best – just don’t count on me – its all about trust…

  10. Jake

    Hey so I actually just remembered how much I used to like Scrybe earlier today and went back to check out the blog. Low and behold, a recent update! Obviously I don’t use scrybe anymore (switched to Calvetica for iPhone, which syncs with iCal for mac, which in turn syncs with google calendar) but I really liked the scrybe interface. I hope you guys make something like for iPhone, iPad, etc, but based on your partnership with adobe, that seems unlikely. Anyway, best of luck and please don’t use flash because it’s a major hassle for users to deal with on any platform at this point.

  11. Iceman

    So, now what? Will Scrybe be available or not. Can anyone tell me what happened? Did Google buy them? There is something fishy behind the screen.

  12. Pingback: Why Did X Fail?: Why did Scrybe fail to take off? - Quora

  13. Julia M.

    I’m sorry to hear that Scrybe will no longer be under development. I’ve used it for several years now and really loved the interface. I’d love to continue using it, but I just can’t commit to a product that will forever be in beta status. I keep hoping perhaps Google can buy it from you and integrate some of its nicer features. Wishing you the best in your new venture.

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