Bottoms Up: 3 Years of Untappd
When my co-founder Tim Mather, approached me about the idea of a beer check in service a little over 3 years ago - I have to say I was little skeptical. I didn’t think that anyone would want to check-in their beer on their cell phones.
I was wrong - big time.
Now 3 years later - Tim and I have created a thriving community of beer drinkers all around the world. It’s probably one of the humbling experiences to walk into a bar and see a couple of people that you don’t know, using an app that you helped build. It’s these moments and the kind words from the community that keep us running at full steam.
What a lot of people don’t realize that even after 3 years, Untappd is still a part-time job for Tim and I and that we are only a two man team. This creates interesting challenges along our 3 year journey. The idea of Untappd started in the June 2010 and we decided to launch a beta in September of 2010 to see the reaction. I really never thought anyone but our closest friends would use the product. We had some early help from Chris Thompson at About Foursquare and started collecting invites to join our beta. Then on September 17th, 2010 - the first check-in to Untappd was logged by Melissa, Tim Mather’s girlfriend (at the time, and now wife) to Pacific Claro
As our beta group grew every day - we started to wonder if this thing was going to take off. A few months later - we were featured on Mashable at 2am EST on November 5th, 2010. This was our big break - and our users signed up pretty quickly.
As Untappd grew, we realized that we had some special and wanted to focus every effort we had to helping people explore beer, places and people. We had a few bumps along the road with server outages, but we always worked really hard to get back up and be better than ever. Ever new feature we have added to Untappd has been thought up from users. We really believe the biggest success to Untappd is the fact that we are users as well and learn from it every day on what works and what doesn’t. Untappd wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the community, so you guys come first no matter what. We spend hours on our help desk system, making sure everyone has their problems answered in the fastest way possible. I used to bring my laptop to bars to make sure we didn’t crash during the weekend. We put everything we have in the product for you guys, to make sure the experience is great.
There have been nights that I haven’t got much sleep and then got up at 8am to my “9-5 job”, only to come back home and start coding again to 2am. We do this because we love to create a product that people use everyday. The users I have the chance to meet keep me going. We even had [Wil Wheaton](https://untappd.com/user/wilw) sign up to use Untappd! That’s like geek heaven.
It’s been an amazing ride through the last year, from new version of our app to Push Notifications to the launch of our Blackberry 10 and Windows Phone 8 - but we have a lot more to do. Every day we get close to becoming the best beer app on your device or on the web. We take a lot of pride in what we do to make sure everything is perfect, because after all, that is what you do when you drink beer.
To all of you who use Untappd, thank you very much for making Untappd what it is over the last 3 years. The sky’s the limit and we with your help and demand for perfection - we are only getting started!