In honor of today being our launch, I wanted to share a little bit of our story and why we're even here in the first place.
Almost three years to this day, my mom and I were talking in the kitchen about our bucket lists. We talked about the things that we wanted to do, the things we had done, and shared stories or interest over the things we had in common. It was an hour or so conversation that ended with, "is there an app for this?".
Disclaimer: an app should never replace a good conversation with a loved one. But, there was something to be said about that dialogue and about how fun it was connecting to the things that we wanted to do.
So this bucket list app seed was planted.
And was f**king impossible to uproot.
After this conversation, I started talking to my friends about their bucket lists and subtly asking questions to see what responses I might get. I was in what I call the "conversation stage" for two years. Actively trying to disprove this idea, but not making any progress.
A few things stood out:
Nobody asked, "What's a bucket list?"
Everybody at least had a mental bucket list
Most people shared something with someone else
It varied a lot by the person and by demographic
Through these conversations with friends, I told a select few about the idea of a bucket list social media app. Baron Moran hopped on our Sophomore year of college and we took this idea through SDSU's incubator, ZIP Launchpad.
The incubator focused our energy on even more research to identify if this was a need.
It is not a need.
Like most social media, the earth would spin on its axis without our existence. However, what this incubator showed us is that people did see a problem with current social media platforms and the prospect of connecting through future goals was intriguing.
So we had our takeaways.
Now, for the sake of this story not being too long, I'm skipping through months and years with sentences. But one thing that I think is important to note is how many times we quit. We would start and stop and start and stop. Some of this was self-doubt, fear of embarrassment, and imposter syndrome. And a lot of this was due to not having a developer or any development experience. It's like having an idea for a cool house but nobody knows how to build one.
We were sketching blueprints.
So about a year went by and with the exception of a couple of new feature ideas and Adobe XD sketches, not much movement was made.
Then it was New Years'. Almost a year ago today exactly.
I was so f**king tired of just thinking about if this was a thing. I was really over just talking to people about it. And I was really unhappy with how easy it was to back out over and over again.
So, on New Year's day, I posted on LinkedIn that I was committing to building Bucket. I did this with borderline no game plan, which in hindsight was probably a really dumb move. But it worked. I connected with people who were doing something similar, I found people who wanted to help, and, most importantly, I made it so that quitting would be a lot harder for me to do.
I was socially bound to executing on this idea and I wagered my LinkedIn reputation on it.
Now we all know that this year was the furthest thing from predictable, stable, or easy. This year was hard. And it was hard for everyone in different ways. I was one of the millions affected by COVID layoffs and when it happened it was just another thing that pushed me further towards Bucket.
I was lucky enough to have talented people in my life who believed in the idea and joined the team.
Neel Kumar came on early in the year and Garrett O'Hara joined him early summer. These two have literally developed almost all of Bucket. And they are still in college. The amount of effort and brains that they have put into this impresses me every day.
Ryan Du, AKA the video wizard, came on in April and has brought so much to the brand and the company. We have spent hundreds of hours talking about the vision for Bucket, what we want to accomplish, and who we want to help. We have also learned how hard growing an Instagram page is. Shoutout to everyone who does that as their job.
We were also blessed to have friends join in along the way. Roy Freiha and Ken Braun came in and helped with content and social over the summer. Mason West has been here helping sell the idea and market the brand. And Satish Bisa joined in and helped with developing the entire onboarding process for the app.
Last but not least, all of our beta testers who offered to try out our VERY early and semi-broken app. Without the feedback from all of you over the last 5 months, we wouldn't know what to do next. We prioritized our endless to-do list based on what y'all wanted. That was incredibly valuable.
I can honestly say that without all of these people believing in the idea enough to put time and energy into it, I would still have Adobe XD open just making sketches.
So that brings us to today. December 27th, 2020.
After a year of commitment, hard work, and a whole lot of imposter syndrome, we made it onto the app store. And everything was done by us. No outside firms, no expensive outsourcing, and literally no budget.
I couldn't be more proud of the work that has gone into this and the team that made it happen.
While we may have made it onto the app store, I think it's important to note that we are very very far from over. In fact, we all see this as the starting point.
The marathon begins now, we've just been stretching and warming up.
We got the app to a point where people can create their bucket lists, share them with friends, and see what everyone else is adding to their list.
But we see that as the bare minimum.
Moving forward, we are going to work tirelessly to make Bucket more fun, more inspiring, and more helpful. We want to work on bringing our product closer to our mission of connecting people through future intent.
For 2020, the goal was to make Bucket.
For 2021, the goal is to make Bucket better.
If you're not on yet, we hope you come along for the ride.
New features and updates every two weeks starting 01.01.2020. Early-stage beta testing might be over but feedback never will be. Reach out to me if you ever have any thoughts, good or bad. 831.818.6408