Later in 2007 I had almost 200 feeds subscriptions on my Google Reader
account and I had a problem, sometimes I didn't have the time to read a full article and I wanted to read it later.
At that time I was not aware of a tool that would help me with this problem and my solution was to add a bookmark to Delicious
with a readlater
It worked, but I didn't want to mess my bookmarks with links to articles that I wanted to read later.
I felt that I needed a tool for the job and for about a week in my spare time I built a simple website to manage my online readings. It was simple, It had a bookmarklet that I could call to save a link of the page that I was visiting, add a title, description, tags and the ability to save it privately.
On February, 8th, 2008 I announced on my blog
the release of Fullread
. The feedback was a mix of "I use delicious with a tag for that"
and "Looks nice, but not very useful"
At that time I built the tool mainly for myself and I truly believed that there was a need for this kind of thing, but the majority of the feedback was not that great. I continued using the tool but I didn't add more features to it. If the people didn't liked why bother?
Well, 25 days later Marco Arment
and posted on his blog
. Marco went further and added an iPhone app, that was in my opinion the killer feature.
Right now Instapaper is the market leader in this category, it's a fantastic tool with a continuous development and I use it every day.
So, why Fullread
had no success compared to Instapaper
In my opinion the factors were:
- Mainly because Marco made a great job.
- Marco was the CTO of Tumblr and was well known by the community, this helped with the media coverage. I'm a simple software engineer in Portugal.
- I abandoned Fullread development.
What's the future of Fullread
The answer is not simple. It’s very difficult to compete with Instapaper
or Read it Later
at this time of the game. But, in the name of pride, I'll eventually improve/rebuild Fullread
, maybe with a different approach.
So, is there a lesson to take from all this, I ask?
Yes: Believe in yourself, believe in your ideas!