Monday, August 20, 2007 by Emily Boyd
How it all began…
Three years ago this month, two desperately disorganized people (that's us) were fed up with constantly forgetting things (yes, including the milk). Inspired by the awesomeness of Gmail, which had launched earlier that year, we decided to build a web application that would (hopefully!) help us to end our disorganized ways.
But there was a problem: there were only two of us, and neither of us had built an application like this before. We badly needed someone with more experience on our team. After much searching and an intensive interview process, we were thrilled to find the perfect candidate (and one who would accept remuneration entirely in bananas). We welcomed Bob T. Monkey to our little team, and began work on the application that was to become Remember The Milk.
While RTM was originally intended as something for just the two of us to use (well, three including the monkey), when our friends and family saw what we were furiously coding away on, they encouraged us to put it on the Interwebs for others to use too. We weren't really sure whether other people would find it useful (or if our friends and family were just telling us that they liked it because, well… they're our friends and family), but after a bit more than a year of development, we launched RTM in October 2005.
Fast forward to now…
It turns out that there are a lot of other disorganized people all over the world! When we launched RTM, we had no idea that it would become this ginormous application that would keep growing and growing… and growing.
We never intended to start RTM as a business ("what are business model?"), but so many people began using it (and giving us great feedback!) that we ended up working on it full-time… and never stopped! RTM has been our full-time, unpaid "job" ever since we launched almost two years ago, and we've funded everything ourselves (we do a bit of consulting on the side to pay for the serious infrastructure running the service, and of course, to buy those bananas for Bob).
Needless to say, we've made a whole zero dollars running RTM. Yes, we know we're insane, but what can we do? We really love helping people to be more organized, we love our users (you guys rock! :) and RTM has taken over our lives. We're working to make RTM even better every single day, from the moment we wake up until our heads hit the pillows. Sleep is no escape: if one of our servers is in distress, our monitoring system won't hesitate to wake us up at 4am so we can fix things. We even dream about answering support emails in our sleep!
Lack of sleep aside, we feel extremely fortunate to be able to work on something like RTM. It makes us ecstatic when someone tells us how RTM has helped them to become more organized and productive, and how it's changed their life. We're often asked how people can contribute to RTM and support its development, seeing as the service is completely free. As RTM continues to grow and demands even more of our time (and more servers to run!), we've spent a lot of time thinking about how we can give people a way to support RTM.
So what's this about Pro accounts?
We're glad you asked! We're introducing Pro accounts as a way for people to support RTM if they find it valuable. So if RTM makes you more organized and productive, or saves you time and money (maybe it's helped you to remember to pay those bills on time :), please consider upgrading to a Pro account and supporting us.
A Pro account is only $25 for a year. But wait! In addition to making it possible for us to continue innovating and improving RTM (and helping us with those ever-growing server costs!), you'll get:
- Priority support via email
- New features* just for Pro users (because you're special)
- A warm fuzzy feeling knowing that Bob is adequately nourished (bananas don't grow on trees, you know. Oh, wait a minute…)
* What are these fancy new Pro features, you may ask? We don't know yet (but we have some cool ideas!). Tell us what you'd like to see, and we'll do our best to make RTM even better.
What about free accounts?
Don't worry! Free accounts don't change at all. They'll continue to have the same (huge!) set of features they've always had, and benefit from new additions and improvements to RTM. Pro accounts are simply a way that people can support RTM, and in return get some extra benefits and Pro only features, as well as a warm fuzzy feeling (the most important bit, of course! :)
You've totally convinced me! How do I get a Pro account?
It's really easy! Just go to the Upgrade page and in a few steps you'll be upgraded instantly.
Lastly, a thank you…
We couldn't end this really long post without taking the opportunity to thank everyone who has sent us feedback, helped us to track down and squash those pesky bugs, and supported us over the past few years — you guys have helped to get RTM to where it is today. In particular, if you're one of the really awesome people who helped to make RTM available in your language through our online translation program — thank you! As a small token of our appreciation, we've sent each translator a gift Pro account. We heart our awesome users :)
Posted in: New Features & Updates