Killing a walking dead (service)

kitchbi-transparentIn 2009 I had the intuition Tablet will be the next big thing in computing. From this assumption I tried to imagine the use cases of tablets. One of these was a family centric device in the home. I perceived the tablet as a small interactive screen always on. I detected an opportunity to develop a family service which will become Kitchbi. Kitchbi is part a set of tools (notes, shopping list, calendar) and part a social network for families (blog, messages).

Kitchbi has been developed as a webservice with a touch UI. We launched at the time the iPad 1 hit the shelves. Kitchbi is running well on iPad’s Safari but it didn’t get traction as it wasn’t a native application.

We partnered with 2 manufacturers to have Kitchbi pre installed or promoted in their store. We created a “fake” Android application that launches the website in the device browser.

But we didn’t invest in marketing or communication beyond this manufacturer partnerships. We expected the first users discovering the service through the manufacturers to spread the word.

Actually this strategy didn’t succeed in creating a critical mass of users. As our revenue from advertisement weren’t very big our investment remained limited. We managed to launch a native Windows 8 application in Oct 2012. Our customer base peaked a few tens of thousands users.

Revenue didn’t improved much as the Win8 SDK wasn’t really ready. Revenues hardly balancing hosting costs, we didn’t invest much in improving it. Kitchbi has become a “walking dead” service.

So the time to draw a conclusion has come and it is to pull the plug. We will discontinue the service this August.

But be sure we are working on the next one(s)!


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