On the past, present and future

by Johannes Berger, CEO and co-founder at Mimo

Almost two years ago, on 2 June 2014, Apple announced its new programming language, Swift, at the Worldwide Developers Conference. This day marked a turning point in my life.

As I wasn’t able to live-stream the event, I read a round-up later that day (I was eight hours ahead).

I could not believe what I was reading: a new programming language with easy syntax. Objective-C without the C. I was sold.

About five minutes later, I started reading “The Swift Programming Language” by Apple.

I read and read and read. I was magnetized and, soon, I wasn’t able to concentrate any more. “This syntax is so easy”, I thought. “Everybody will be able to code with Swift. Teaching Swift will be a better option than teaching Java in high school or college.” My thoughts wandered and wandered. “How can this programming language be made available to everybody?”

Suddenly, I knew what I was going to do: build an app that makes learning Swift available to anyone who can use a smartphone.

That very night I wrote the first lines of code for an app that I later named Swifty. (If you haven’t heard of Swifty, you can check it out here.) Some months later, I released a crappy MVP of Swifty that I am somewhat ashamed of today (a good sign?), which received some initial traction.

In April 2015, after I refined it some more, it was “hunted” and made #1 on Product Hunt. Today, Swifty has over 1,150 upvotes. (Thanks so much for upvoting!)

After the Product Hunt post, things really took off. Without Product Hunt, I don’t know whether the app would have been such a success. More than 700,000 downloads in 2015. 700,000! That’s just amazing!

Around that time, my awesome team joined me on a quest to make code learning available to everyone. Dennis started to work on an Android version, Lorenz made the app (and the website) look beautiful and Henry experimented with Java tutorials.

Later in 2015, Javvy, an app that teaches Java in a fun and interactive way, was released. Javvy helped us validate what we stared to call the micro-course concept with another programming language (Java) and on another platform (Android).

Both of these apps have received a great deal of downloads and press. I’m still waiting for a Wired article, but TechCrunch and LifeHacker alongside a number of other technology sites are a great start. 😇

This showed us that there is a huge need for educational content that doesn’t suck and that is tailored to the way we live in the 21st century. The thousands of feedback emails and reviews have helped us improve the apps even more. Let me say thank you to every one of you, our users!

In the last few months, there has been radio silence around here more or less. We have been busy working on our new project to make learning even more exciting, with lots of new stuff available for everybody!

Today marks a special day for me and my friends at Mimo. Oh, yes: from now on we will be called Mimo, which is short for micro-moments. Mimo is also the name of a project we’ve been working on over the past few months. Curious? Just read on!

Mimo is a platform for gamified and interactive lesson bites on computer-science-related topics (and, soon, much more) that give commutes, waits and other moments of idle time a meaning. We want to give everybody the ability to learn and teach anything, anytime and anywhere!

Today, we are starting to accept registrations for our beta. If you want to learn and maybe even teach with Mimo, head over to our new website to sign up as a student or an instructor for the soon-to-be-available beta.

A new name and project would be reason enough to write a blog post, but there is something else that I want to share with you: we are joining the Techstars family. For the next three months, we’ll be staying in Berlin and working with dozens of excellent mentors and partners on Mimo. I promise that we’ll keep you posted on that as well!

Thanks for reading. If you want to learn more about Mimo, head over to our website and register for the beta.

Let me know what you think!


p.s.: In order to stay in the loop, be sure to follow Mimo on Twitter or signup for our newsletter. 😀