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.