Last week, I received this email from “The Fetchnotes Team.”
I started “The Fetchnotes Team” back in 2011, when it was just an SMS prototype Chase Lee helped me make for ENGR 490 at the University of Michigan. Between 2011 and its acquisition by Drift in 2015, I poured my heart into Fetchnotes and the company that was built to support it. In no uncertain terms, this email was everything I was trying to avoid when we decided to sell. I did not write it, nor did I even know about Drift’s plan until it went out to the entire user base — including all of my friends, family, every investor/reporter I ever pitched, and most of my professional contacts. To say that I was “disappointed” by how things unfolded would be a massive understatement.
Monday was supposed to be the day that all of our work would quite literally be erased — Drift had actually already pulled Fetchnotes from the store. Instead, I get to see the product have a new life.
After receiving the email, a user of ours (Corey Crellin, a product manager at a FinTech company in Salt Lake City) came forward and asked about purchasing the assets to keep the product alive. A whirlwind week later helping facilitate the negotiation and transfer, I’m excited to see that Fetchnotes is announcing a second life as a paid, community-driven product. Donation-subscriptions are now open, and Corey will be amassing a network of more involved users to help plan, design, develop, and release new features in their free time. I’ll be one of them.
Like any experiment, there’s always the chance it doesn’t work. If nothing else, it ensures that the last time our users hear from us won’t be, “thanks for being there with us through this wonderful journey” like every other productivity app that gets shut down carelessly. The community we built deserves better than that.
So, to the next chapter of the story I say: this is not a test, bitches.