26 Oct 2010 - Münster (by Dominik)

fruux progress - billing, team, iDevices support

We've received some feedback suggesting that there was no progress at fruux since our Oct 3rd blog post. Thats of course not the case, we've constantly updated the previously mentioned blog post since Oct 3rd, but obviously some RSS clients don't show updated posts again and thats why we'll stop updating this old post and instead write new posts every now and then.

Here is a short summary (if you are interested in details, please check the updates below the Oct 3rd blog post) of the tide of events since Oct 3rd:

  • we've ponyed up the upfront costs and heavily scaled up our infrastructure. Thats the reason why fruux runs super stable since Oct 6th, with the exception of a service disruption at Amazon WebServices. Luckily the respective team at Amazon helped us a (on a sunday!) to solve the problem quickly.
  • in the following days we did a lot of research on credit card processing, payment gateways, billing providers and merchant account. We've talked to dozens of old-economy wannabe overlords from banks and companies providing credit card payment gateways until we had to realize that credit card processing is an expensive mess and started implementing our own billing system based on PayPal's API.
  • after an all-nighter on Oct 22th we've finished the implementation of the billing system at about 4am and rolled it out for new signups (1 week free trial / 19 EUR per year). While monitoring signups until about 7am we've also fixed high priority bugs in our billing system and since then it runs pretty smooth. We'll continue to monitor how the system performs for the next couple of days and check if everything works as expected when the first accounts transition from the trial to the paid interval.

That was a short wrap-up of the tide of events between Oct 3rd and Oct 22th.

We're of course not asleep since then. The single most requested feature is iDevices support and please be assured: we here you! :-) We're fruux users ourselves and we want it as badly as you do. We've started internal testing long ago, but due to the lack of resources (time/man power/etc, check the Oct 3rd blog post for details) we didn't exactly meet our self-set goals (progress- and implementation-speed wise). But we are hopefully about to solve this issue. We're in active talks with a developer and potential new team member who'd work solely on iDevices support at fruux, but currently it's to early to share details - we'll hopefully have something to announce soon (we have to solve the involved administrative and business aspects first, before we're able to start actual coding).

We've received suggestions from several users about some kind of early-bird-pricing for existing users and we'll probably have a limited tier of lifetime accounts, but didn't decide on the exact details yet (we're working on it). We're pretty happy with the normal pricing which will be (and already is for new users) 19 EUR per year as mentioned above in the wrap-up. We'll have only two plans: fruux free and fruux pro. fruux free is currently not available for new sign-ups, but we'll relaunch it soon. We'll focus on providing extraordinary reliability and delivering enhancements for our paying user and then start working on the fruux free relaunch (fruux free sounds awkward, maybe we'll rename it to fruux basic or light).

Keep the feedback coming! You are the single most important (and a very active) part of this whole process!

About Dominik

Dominik started fruux back in 2007. He's a lawyer that writes code and has Amazon subscriptions for stuff that normal people buy in the supermarket. Follow him on Twitter or contact him via e-mail.

fruux is a free service that looks after your contacts, calendars and tasks so you don't have to. It makes sure that they are always in sync, no matter which device or operating system you're using. If you've not tried it yet, then why not check us out and let us know what you think! And if you're already using fruux, then we'd love to hear your thoughts and comments. You can also suggest a feature for any upcoming releases or tweet us: @fruux.