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Cross-platform productivity app startup 6Wunderkinder tempts American Chad Fowler to Berlin

When Ruby on Rails expert Chad Fowler sud­den­ly announced in Jan­u­ary he was resign­ing as SVP of dai­ly deals provider Liv­ing­So­cial and leav­ing the US for Berlin, nobody knew exact­ly why. But now the spec­u­la­tion amongst chief rev­enue offi­cers, prod­uct man­agers and busi­ness­es devel­op­ment asso­ciates can stop: he’s walked in to a plum new role as chief tech­nol­o­gy offi­cer with 6Wunderkinder, the Berlin-based cre­ator of the pop­u­lar mul­ti-plat­form pro­duc­tiv­i­ty app Wunderlist.

Reach­ing across plat­forms, reach­ing across continents

Fowler’s transat­lantic relo­ca­tion comes at a pro­pi­tious moment for 6Wunderkinder: hav­ing declared its ambi­tion to become the pro­duc­tiv­i­ty plat­form for a world­wide audi­ence, the com­pa­ny is plan­ning an API for Wun­derlist some time in Q2. There’s also a “pro” ver­sion in the pipeline, which is expect­ed in Q3. The startup’s founder, Chris­t­ian Reber, says that the lat­ter goes will the firm’s first step toward paid enter­prise con­tent and will start to mon­e­tize the ser­vice. At present, Wun­derlist comes as a free native and web app avail­able on mul­ti­ple platforms.

The start­up has enjoyed some note­wor­thy growth: since Decem­ber last year, when Wun­derlist was made avail­able across a raft of native plat­forms in addi­tion to its orig­i­nal func­tion as a web app, its active user base has soared by 500,000 to 3.5 mil­lion. There have been 8.5 mil­lion down­loads and, so far, 20 mil­lion tasks have been logged on the service.

Fowler’s pri­ma­ry task is to ensure sta­bil­i­ty for the app as its growth accel­er­ates: more apps to com­ple­ment it will be released as time unfolds and the API will facil­i­tate the firm’s broad­er ambi­tion to func­tion as a repos­i­to­ry of data for use in its new apps as well as in others.

Why did he leave LivingSocial?

Fowler’s res­ig­na­tion from Liv­ing­So­cial was seen by some pun­dits as a symp­tom of its demise; the dai­ly deals bub­ble seems to have burst but some com­men­ta­tors saw its decline as the out­come of a brain drain. Fowler him­self, how­ev­er, begs to differ.

He insists that his move to Berlin had noth­ing to do with “get­ting away from Liv­ing­So­cial.” Instead, he explains, he was already a Wun­derlist user and was con­tact­ed by the firm. And as the default lan­guage at 6Wunderkinder is Eng­lish, he’ll be under no pres­sure to go on a crash course in German.

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