Back in 2008, when we were a tiny three person design agency, we were sending a lot of estimates. We were doing everything in a word processor template, and manually sending estimates via email. We’d constantly forget to follow-up with people, and could barely keep track of which deals we’d won or lost. It was a total pain in the ass.
So we looked for some software to help. While we found a ton of web-based invoicing apps, none of them offered a solid estimates feature. So we decided to scratch our own itch. I contracted a local Rails developer for a couple hours a day, and started building a simple app to help us send and track our estimates. Over the next eight months we baked in invoicing, and time tracking, and before long Ballpark was born.
In the meantime, I had another big idea. As the team grew, I was having trouble keeping track of all my tasks. I was using Basecamp to manage projects with the team, then a whole other to-do system to manage my personal tasks. I wanted a unified system where I could see everything in one place, so we built Flow.
It totally blew up. It grew like crazy, and by month three it was already five times the size of Ballpark. It completely sidetracked us. For the past few years we’ve basically been holding on to Flow for dear life while Ballpark sat idle. Apart from a redesign and small features here and there, we really haven’t given it the love it deserves.
We think Ballpark is a great product, but we’ve been shitty parents. We didn’t beat it or anything, we’ve just been neglectful. We love that little guy, so we’ve decided to put Ballpark up for sale and find our first born a great new home. It has a solid code base, an iPhone app, and a gorgeous new marketing site. We’ve done zero marketing or promotion—there’s a big opportunity for the right team to ramp it up and optimize it like crazy.
Of course, if we don’t sell it, we’ll do right by our customers. We’ll continue to maintain it, fix bugs, and ensure folks are happy, but ultimately we’d like to find it a great new home.
If you’re interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.