note apps

Bye Vesper

> Yesterday, we announced that development was ceasing, and we’ll soon be shutting down our sync server. I am terribly sad about this. I love Vesper. I use it every day. I mean that in the present tense. I still use it. When we pull the plug on the sync server, I’ll stop, but until then it’s my go-to notes app. In my career, the only things I’ve done that I’m prouder of are writing Daring Fireball and the creation of Markdown.

Vesper was one the nice looking note-taking app on the iPhone when it was launched. It took advantage of the latest technology that iOS has to offer. And it was built and design by three of the trusted and respected people in the Mac community—John Gruber, Dave Wiskus, and Brent Simmons. I admit I didn’t bought it when it was launched, not because it cost $5, because I was already using too many writing apps. There was none that Vesper was filling in terms of my needs. Plus, it doesn't have a Mac app that I needed the most. At the time I was using Evernote and for me it gets the job done. I was getting tired of seeing good note apps for iOS but not a lot on the Mac. I only got into the app when version 2 came out but I never really used it that much because it doesn't offer a Mac app.

> The plan would have looked like this:
1 Build Vesper for Mac. Sell it for around $20.
2 Build a sync system.
3 Build Vesper for iPhone.
4 Build Vesper for iPad.
5 Maybe build a web version.

There was no good rich note-taking Mac app a the time. I was using Evernote because it was the only one that is available but I find it slow and bloated. I was using NValt for notes but I find it lacking when I needed to add more information like images. But I love Nvalt’s simplicity and it also sync with Simplenote on the iPhone. If they did built a Vesper for Mac first, I would have definitely bought it the same day it launched. Because there isn’t a lot of good note-taking apps for the Mac that looks and works like Vesper.

*> I’m a firm believer that you always need some good luck to succeed. We would have been luckier, timing-wise, if we had done the Mac app first, because we would have been able to build the iOS version for iOS 7 right from the start.

We suffered an enormous chicken-and-the-egg problem with our decision to keep to a small team and self-fund our efforts through revenue from the app itself. A notes app is only of interest to many people if it’s available both on their desktop and mobile device. The number one reason, by a long shot, that people didn’t buy Vesper is because it wasn’t available for the Mac. I get that. It makes total sense. Hell, I even cheat, personally, and run Vesper on my Mac in the iOS Simulator. The bottom line is we needed revenue from the first version we built to fund development of the next version, and I think we would have made money from the Mac version.*

It’s sad to see an beautiful app like Vesper go but I’ll definitely look out for what’s coming from Q-branch if ever they decide to work on another app again.

If you want to check out what Vesper app looks like, it’s now available for free to download on the App Store.