You’ve heard the story before. Goldee was onto something, and then suddenly, it all crashed. Was it all for nothing? Although it may be difficult to see at first, I believe things happen for a reason. Creating Goldee taught me countless lessons. It allowed me to grow in many aspects — as a person, as an innovator, as an entrepreneur. I was taken by the emerging and evolving technology in the lighting industry. It would be a shame to throw it all away in defeat. I owed it to my supporters, my family, and myself to keep the torch lit, keep the spirit of Goldee alive, and take it to the next level.
In December of 2014, when Goldee crashed, I received nearly a thousand emails from loyal users around the world. Some were upset, but most were positive and encouraging. Most importantly, I could sense their feelings of loss, of no longer having their favorite app — so many words of encouragement. So I thought to myself, I did it before, I can do it again! With only a few good friends and my family to support me, I was ready to start again. I would do things differently and apply the lessons I learned.
One of the biggest mistakes of Goldee was trying to do it all alone. I was a solo founder. I wanted to avoid that at all costs. I was clear on what I needed in talent, partnership, and support, but my search did not yield any luck. After half a year of searching, I realized that one doesn’t find a partner by systematically seeking them out; it happens just like it does in love — by coincidence, fate, and in the most unexpected moment. So, I found, at this point, I should do my thing myself. To that end, it’s better to be single than to have a wrong partner. On that note, I have a super-awesome wife that supports me in everything I do, so I consider her my co-founder. I was also blessed to find a talented iOS developer, Vitalii Hudenko, the best developer I have worked with to date that has helped tremendously.
2. Lean and Agile Forever
With Goldee, we did things in a big-and-fat way; we spared no expense; we took our time to make sure every detail was perfect. I learned that’s not the correct way of doing it. The objective is the same — the obsessively superior product that users need and want. However, done more efficiently — shipping a simpler version of a product that is expandable and improving incrementally. So, in October 2015, the first iPhone version of Ambee was published. It took less than two months and required the hard work of just Vitalii and myself. Compare that to Goldee’s first release that took us eleven months and required more than ten people to participate in the project!
3. Sustainable from Day One
This time I didn’t want to make a big hype only to crash and burn later. So, every decision has been made carefully, considering risks. Unfortunately, the app cannot be for free. It has to make money to support development. As long as the app brings in cash, the app can keep releasing updates. That’s why Ambee is a freemium model now.
4. Prepared for Anything
The technical integrity of the app has to be healthy. We cannot let anyone destroy the code to diminish all the work that people enjoy. I dug myself into a lot of tech studies to prevent that. So, now, we have a great backup system supported by Git. We chose one of the best partners for the server — Google. And even in the case something happens to the server; it won’t disturb the user’s collection of dynamic animations. You can try it out yourself right now. Just disconnect your router from the internet, and the app will work fine. You need to be connected to the internet only when signing up or in the future to get more light animations (so the app’s size doesn’t grow with each update as it does in other apps). Once you unlock the light animations, they work locally. So, there is no need for any server because everything is stored on your phone.
5. Open and Transparent at All Times
When the crisis struck Goldee, I was swamped trying to save everything possible to save. Some people thought it took me too long to communicate transparently to the public about what was going on. They were right. Eventually, I explained everything about what had happened, but it took me too long — only after realizing it had ended. Since Ambee started, I try to communicate every request personally within 24 hours. You can test that 🙂
Q: So, is the Goldee App back?
A: Yes! It is called Ambee now. It is an offspring of Goldee with all of the good and none of the bad. You can download it HERE.
Q: How is Ambee different from Goldee?
A: Ambee is the phoenix rising from the ashes of Goldee, perfected by the hard work and lessons learned from the past. It offers over 50 Dynamic Light Animations: all of what you loved with Goldee and much more!
Q: What are the nearest plans for Ambee?
A: 1. Ambee has many more dynamic light animations than Goldee did. I will be working on a redesign for the My Collection part for fast access to any of your animations. It will be customizable, simple, and quick to use. It will support iPhone X, and it will be called Ambee 2.0.
2. I want to let people use Ambee on more platforms, such as iPad, Android,…
Q: So, what do you think of Ambee? 🙂
Thanks to Chris Hirsch, Noemi Bodnarova (my cousin), and my mom for reading drafts of this and give their feedback.
Originally published at http://tomasbaran.com on December 21, 2018.