ThinkUp’s Next Step

Anil Dash
Anil Dash
Mar 23, 2016 · 4 min read

The short version: We’re looking for a new home for ThinkUp where the product and its community can thrive. Usually this kind of process happens in secret, behind the scenes, without the knowledge of the users who’ll be most affected. But we want to do this right.

We love ThinkUp, and we use it every day just like you. But we’re not able to give ThinkUp the time and attention it needs to grow, so we’ve started the process of finding a way to keep it running while maintaining the same respect for our users that we’ve had from the start.

If you’re a company that sees value in ThinkUp’s unique features and amazing community, let’s talk.

(If you don’t already use ThinkUp, try it out! It’s a way of understanding your social media activity that goes far beyond what any normal analytics tool can do, and it’s a lot more fun.)

Why are we doing this?

ThinkUp is a paid product designed for people (not businesses), and it’s on the web (not in an App Store). On top of that, it’s sort of an odd product to understand — people love it once they use it, but it’s not immediately obvious why it’s different than regular social media analytics.

All these factors have made it tricky to grow our subscriber base as a standalone product offered by a 2-person company. As we’ve split our time between 2 products, we haven’t been able to add new features and insights to ThinkUp as quickly as it deserves. Today, ThinkUp has a solid base of paying subscribers, who we love because they’re super-passionate users, and because their support more than covers the cost of running the service. But: our current subscriber base doesn’t cover the cost of a team to actively develop ThinkUp much beyond just keeping it running.

We want to do better than that.

We’re also very clear on what we don’t want to do. We will not sell off ThinkUp to some company that just wants a list of people to spam. We absolutely will not do anything that compromises the trust of our users or the protection of their data. We won’t make any changes to the way ThinkUp works without giving our users the option of a full refund of the balance of any subscription they’ve paid for, and the option to either have their data completely erased or available to download securely.

We’re publicly sharing our plans for ThinkUp because we know it’s the best way to protect our users.

Why ThinkUp is unique

While ThinkUp didn’t grow on its own as a standalone product, it could be a valuable add-on to existing products and services around publishing, social media, and quantified self.

ThinkUp could offer the right team a unique set of analytics features, a service that is incredibly engaging on a daily basis, and a deep connection with a passionate community of users.

If you’re a company or organization that might be interested in a well-loved analytics tool, here’s why ThinkUp is compelling as a business opportunity:

  • The core architecture of ThinkUp allows for providing analysis that no other tool can: across multiple social networks, analyzing data going back for months or even years. There simply aren’t very many tools out there that can do that, and ThinkUp is well-made software that scales.
  • ThinkUp delivers insights that people find really compelling. Most of our users choose to receive a daily email from us, which gets about a 50% open rate. It’s like a daily newsletter that’s specifically written about you. Who can resist that?
  • The app is really easy to expand. Because we started as an open source app with a volunteer developer community, it’s always been very straightforward to add new insights and types of analytics to ThinkUp. There’s a ton of untapped potential for what the engine could tell people about their activity.

Just as important, there are major opportunities around ThinkUp that we haven’t had the chance to pursue. Several companies have been interested in white-labeling ThinkUp to provide an engaging daily experience for their customers. Some have wanted to partner on co-branded or integrated insights (ThinkUp has never had advertising). Various teams have suggested enterprise or brand-focused features that they might want to introduce for a premium business product. And publishers and media are especially interested in tailoring ThinkUp’s features for offering insights into how their content performs on social media.

In short, all of the ways you’d think of expanding the business are realistic options. And at a technical level, the platform would be easy to update to offer its notifications via Slack or other messaging systems.

Our Credible Journey

We love ThinkUp too much to let it fade away without trying our best to find it a good home where it can thrive. We’ve worked to be extremely transparent from the day we launched and we want to continue that relationship with our customers as we figure out the best path forward. This is bittersweet for us: while we’re sad we weren’t able to make ThinkUp become all the things we had hoped it might be, we’re optimistic about where it goes next.

Can you help? Get in touch.

Anil Dash

Written by

Anil Dash

CEO of @Glitch. Trying to make tech more ethical & humane. (Also an advisor to Medium.) More:

Anil Dash

Written by

Anil Dash

CEO of @Glitch. Trying to make tech more ethical & humane. (Also an advisor to Medium.) More:

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