Land in Sight

When we started the public development of Things, we invited everyone on an “interesting journey”. And interesting it was, to say the least. It also was a much longer one than we ever expected.

We are very happy to announce today that Things 1.0 will be released at Macworld Expo 2009, on January 6th. Here is what will be constantly on our minds over the next few weeks, the Things release countdown timer:

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When you embark on a journey, you know the direction‚ maybe the destination; but you cannot‚ and in fact you don’t want to‚ control what happens on the way. After all, it’s the unexpected things that make a journey interesting.

Some things are bound to happen, like users strongly advocating features we previously didn’t deem that important. Needless to say we were happy to oblige: Things 0.9.2 Brings Support for Leopard’s System-wide To-do Service, Recurring Tasks XXL. Some things you wish to happen, like the iPhone SDK and the amazing iTunes App Store. And some things you can only dream of, like being mentioned on Apple’s iPhone page.

What was first, the hen or the egg? When relying on venture capital, it is clearly the company that is created first. Then the company creates its products. With an indie developer, things are not that clear cut. An indie developer jumps first and then learns how to fly. First and foremost is always the product; then the company is built to support and nurture the product as needed.

As paradoxical as it may sound, we found that the biggest enemy of an indie developer is success. The more successful we became, the less time we could spend on the actual development. This summer, when we were laying the groundwork for the future of Cultured Code, we even dropped the ball. We were no longer able to keep up with blog and forums. No doubt, people noticed. And how could they have known that it was actually us working overtime that caused the lapse?

We decided that this cannot ever happen again. But promises aren’t enough. After all, we are product guys. What we clearly needed was a communication guy. Hiring the right people is crucial to the success of a company. If you don’t get it right, you are doomed. That is why we are so happy that we have found the perfect fit for Cultured Code: Michael Simmons. He gets who we are. Michael will watch our backs and take care of any obstacles that may come up. In short, he will help us to stay what we are: product guys.

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50 Comments

  1. timconduit Oct 05, 2008

    First.

    Good to hear guys! Keep up the good work……

    (…and please make my iphone move scheduled tasks to “today” again ;-) )

  2. Jasper Oct 05, 2008

    Really congratulations on the success you guys appear to be having – you totally deserve it – I love things on the Mac and the iPhone and I can’t wait until both are ready for release. I use both on a daily basis, and I must admit that I was more than a little sad when you were advertising a job with a description that doesn’t fit me yet.

    I look forward to getting my wallet out in the new year for the full version of Things – it’s totally helping with my awful, short attention span!

  3. Giuseppe Caruso Oct 05, 2008

    I sent you an email even if I was not the guy you was looking for, I hope it made you smile at least! (you know why… :) )
    All my best wishes and try to keep the passion for what you are building, in the dark and sunny days.
    Passion bring to the excellence.

  4. Youseph Tanha Oct 05, 2008

    Great program! I love Using it! Thank you.

  5. Bonobo Oct 05, 2008

    Good for you. Congratulations!
    (And now back to work :) )
    (Homepage still says 1.0 will land autumn 08.)

  6. Mike Piontek Oct 05, 2008

    Great to hear—congratulations!

  7. Bensan George Oct 05, 2008

    Macworld Expo! Wow! Congratulations!

    Happy with all of your success guys. I am spreading the word about your product to all those who need the ultimate productivity app.

    Keep up the great work.

  8. Jürgen Oct 05, 2008

    @Bonobo, no more, the Things product page now also shows the counter :)

  9. Galen King Oct 05, 2008

    I’ve been playing with Things for quite a while. It’s great. Keep up the good work and best of luck with the launch of 1.0.

  10. Robert Hook Oct 06, 2008

    Outstanding. Since you released early betas, Things has become one of the few programs that launches on startup, and has become essential for managing what I laughingly refer to as a “life”. I watch your company and website with alacrity, in case job openings open up!

  11. Cameron Westland Oct 06, 2008

    Congratulations guys, this is great news, do you have any special event planned at macworld for the unveiling?

  12. Wayne Oct 06, 2008

    Great stuff…love it.

  13. crazypants Oct 06, 2008

    You guys only posted four illustrations. Does Michael have to earn his or have you guys just not yet gotten a good enough look at him?

    Things is awesome and I refer it to everyone.

  14. ganesh Oct 06, 2008

    Finally. A new post! By now you have trained us to be happy with very little : )

  15. Rees Maxwell Oct 06, 2008

    Things is brilliant, elegant and ‘just works.’ Thanks! I use it daily. Do I hope beyond hope that you’ll include it in the MacHeist bundle? Yes. If you don’t, I’m sure I’ll buy it at full price, since I really do use it daily. (Another user who has it launch at startup.) But think how many tens of thousands of folks you’ll make happy in one swipe by becoming part of the MacHeist excitement!

    So, will you consider it? :D Please?

  16. Jason Oct 06, 2008

    Don’t even think of belittling yourselves to be in MacHeist. Your product is better than that and does not need to be mired in the controversialities of Ryu and gang, just to get it out there. At least Cultured produces a real product, unlike MyDreamApp. Your product is already above and beyond your competition.

    If people like the program, they need to appreciate and support the developers by paying the already more than fair price that they set. It is only fair to allow these good people to have a decent wage. Tens of thousands of sales at ten cents on the dollar does not keep a business going, not to mention growing and doing even cool things.

  17. Julian Schrader Oct 06, 2008

    Great news!

    I also have Things launch at startup and together with its companion on my iPhone it’s one of the most important and most used tools in my daily workflow.

    I don’t think we should start a debate about MacHeist here‚Äîbut CulturedCode’s products are too good to participate in anything similar. Just my 2 cents.

    Keep up the good work‚ÄîI’ll be one of the first to purchase a license as soon as possible!

    Cheers,
    Julian

  18. marc jones Oct 06, 2008

    the app needs to work in the first place but for Things had me hooked with user interaction and support. To feel a product belongs to you and that you belind to the product is why I love Apple. This isn’t always as true as I let myself believe with Steve’s lot – thankfully, it appears it could be true with cultured code. All the best got the future, nothing gets close for me and my GTD blindness. Things let’s me organazize without giving me something else to worry about!

  19. ZZamboni Oct 06, 2008

    Great news, and congratulations on getting more people to help. Things is a great product, but as I’ve said many times, what really sets it apart is the team of people behind it. Support has been top notch since my very first interaction with you guys (when I got an unrequested invitation to download the alpha!), and you guys have always been excellent at communicating with users, down to sharing your design processes and thoughts.

    All the best!

  20. Anonymous Coward Oct 06, 2008

    Congrats! *Thumbs up* Cultured Code! Hope to see more enhancements we can receive.

    I’m using Things on my iPhone and lovin it!

  21. The Reptile Oct 06, 2008

    Thank you for your latest update and for letting us know about the organizational changes and upcoming goals. For me, a 1.0 is a non-issue. I don’t view Things as a beta in any way. It’s solid out of the box and does nearly everything that I want it to do.

    With that said, I’m looking forward to seeing how you evolve both versions between now and the official launch in January. And I’m happy to hear from you more frequently now that Michael is on board.

  22. Jürgen Oct 06, 2008

    @crazypants, Michael will get a special spot for his caricature soon :).

  23. Robert Oct 06, 2008

    Things are great but I jut hope we will get another updates till 1.0 release

  24. Vasily Oct 06, 2008

    Congratulations! My fervent wish is that Michael might also bring some strong moderation in the forums … I gave up on them some time ago due to the negative level of discourse I encountered there. Why try and contribute when you know you’ll only get attacked for your efforts? The forums can help build a strong Things community and be a positive adjunct to Things support, or they can be a venue for the airing of the worst kind of narcissistic tendencies in the community. If you’d like to see an example of a positive set of constructive forums, see the Realmac forums.

  25. Mark Reid Oct 06, 2008

    Congratulations! Great news on the upcoming 1.0.

    Think I better move that get a job task up the list so I can afford to purchase Things else I’ll be iPhone Things only for a while. :-D

  26. Michael Oct 06, 2008

    @crazypants: Actually, the only reason I wanted this job was to get a caricature. This is how they lure in prospective employees, and I’m proof that it works. ;)

    Christian has completed it, but I haven’t been allowed to see it yet. I’m working on a blog entry to introduce myself, and I’m told my caricature will be added then. My blog post should go live on Tuesday (or shortly thereafter).

  27. JS Oct 06, 2008

    Great news, I’m going to Macworld this year. Will you gentlemen be exhibiting?

  28. Michael Oct 06, 2008

    @Vasily: Thanks for your feedback. As you’ve read, part of my role is enhancing communication and I do view the forums as a valuable piece of the communication puzzle. In other words, the forums will indeed be on my radar.

    @JS: Our exact Macworld Expo plans will be announced over the next few weeks. Keep an eye on the Things blog and our web site!

  29. JS Oct 06, 2008

    @Michael- will do. Looking forward to meeting some of you at the show. I feel like I owe y’all dinner for the time your software has saved me!

  30. Mike R Oct 06, 2008

    Congrats to CC and to Michael. Seems like a very good fit.

  31. Kim Oct 06, 2008

    Ooh… Keeping the community happy eh? I like that.

  32. tekkiemom Oct 06, 2008

    Can’t remember how I coped before Things! You guys are doing great. Love that you had the foresight to bring M on board -great program and obviously business-savvy too. Love it the way it is… Look forward to next steps also. Cudos to you all, and thanks for all of the recently frequent updates.
    “Mom”

  33. Mohan Gulati Oct 07, 2008

    Good Stuff Guys! Its really fun watching your development. I definitely have a strong list of features that I would like to see. I blogged about some of them, but seriously guys, hire some staff to get on top of a web version of Things. Not only does it make Things platform independent it provides a sync mechanism that puts you in the same category as other apps like EverNote.

  34. michel Oct 07, 2008

    Mohan Gulati i agree! That would be awesome!

  35. MikeD Oct 07, 2008

    Welcome Michael!

  36. Michael Oct 07, 2008

    @MikeD: Thanks again for letting me be Michael, Michael. ;)

  37. Pedro Marques Oct 07, 2008

    Great to hear! Things has become my de facto brain outside my head. My iPhone is a Things device before it’s a phone, or an iPod or a web gadget.

    I may be making it out to San Francisco this year to attend MacWorld. Will you guys have a booth there? I’d love to give you a pat on the back in person.

    Not only am I looking forward to Things 1.0 and the evolution of Things Touch, I can’t wait to see what you guys can do with other product concepts. Any hints on other ideas you have in the pipe?

  38. [...] Code ha anunciado que la versión 1.0 de su programa Things será presentada en la Macworld Expo de 2009, quedan 90 días [...]

  39. iCoco Oct 08, 2008

    Good to hear of your success and growth. Besides having great products, somehow you manage to have a website that is a very pleasant place to visit, too :)

    Things touch is by far the most regularly used app on my iPhone. I wouldn’t know why I have an iPhone if your app wasn’t there! ;)

    I do not have a long christmas wish list for you. For me, Things & Things touch are close to perfect. Ahh, yes, maybe we’ll see sync via mobileMe some day? … And recurring tasks on Things touch, of course … :D

  40. René Hjorth Oct 08, 2008

    Thank you guys!

    Things for the Mac and the iPhone are already a part of my life, and I’m looking forward to be a paying customer.

    However please move iPhone development up the list, so we can have Tags on the iPhone.

    But all in all – a brilliant product with a perfect look & feel.

    René
    Denmark

  41. All my best wishes and try to keep the passion for what you are building, in the dark and sunny days.

  42. Leif Hansen Oct 09, 2008

    As an avid Things fan and supporter, I’m quite pleased to see the ‘built-in’ support system (ie hiring Michael and getting your biz plan in place) you guys have adopted.

    My morning routine
    1. Breathe in life’s goodness
    2. Braindump *on paper* things I *think* or *feel* should get done today
    3. Run the ‘Freedom’ app that kills all net access for a set time
    4. Add my braindump to Things if its not there already
    5. Drag Things items to ical (did you know you can do that?)
    6. Try to stay on track for the day.
    7. Get *some* pleasure checking off Things items for the day

    Ideal World:
    *Ability to look back and see how projects are linked to even bigger life goals/objectives (Remember The Milk does this I believe) and how much time/attention is being given them.

    *My crazy idea for an aspiring developer -why does task achievement have to only be a check mark? Why not make a ‘soulscape’ -a landscape of accomplished tasks. Imagine graphically mapping your work in an either 2d iconic way or a 3d world. Ie projects are like mountains, tasks like trees, challenges like monsters, goals like treasures, etc. But that will get me going off on another wild tangent –one I’ve tried already at the Put Things off massive task-management discussion here http://putthingsoff.com/osx-task-manager-showdown/

    Okay, back to work! ;)

    Thanks guys,
    -Leif

  43. Falko Zurell Oct 13, 2008

    Youg guys rock! Please keep up the good work. Thanks for Things and things…

  44. Bryan Veloso Oct 13, 2008

    Things has changed the way I do things like no other software out there. I am truly grateful for your work on it. Need I say life-changer? Nah, too sappy. ;)

  45. Adam Schilling Oct 15, 2008

    Gah! You guys are killing me! Why can’t I just buy it now? Take my money! Please! How else am I going to tick off “Purchase ‘Things’”?

    {sigh} 83 days to go … then, finally, Inbox zero. ;-)

  46. Adam Schilling Oct 15, 2008

    Ooh. How about that, lucky comment #: 2,500! Heh.

  47. Alec Oct 15, 2008

    Hey Guys,

    I agree with the others above. Please don’t participate in MacHeist or Mupromo bundles now or ever.

    It’s not fair to you: you make a fraction of what you should be making for putting so many licenses out there.

    It’s not fair to the your real supporters: if we pay full price, it’s not much fun to see others pick up Things for a few dollars as part of a bundle.

    I would recommend you rethink your pricing however.

    All this 40 and 50 euro nonsense is in comparison to Omni’s incredibly overpriced PIM.

    Things should be mass market. Bring Things down to $25 or $30 and you will sell a lot more copies. And you won’t need to disappoint everybody by going into a bundle six months later.

    Other than that, keep up the great work.

  48. Rees Maxwell Oct 20, 2008

    Your choice regarding MacHeist, etc. but from the perspective of a new Mac convert, those types of bundle places or MacZot cheap-for-a-day places are what got me introduced and hooked on to some really great apps. I knew nothing about indy Mac devs before visiting those sites and participating in heists and buying software that was discounted for a limited time. And I don’t ever expect that temporarily discounted software will be upgradable forever for free. I fully expect to pay for the next major upgrade, and have, often. On my Windows PC I only bought from the major companies (MS, Adobe, etc.) and then looked for odd little freeware that would fill in the gaps … and they were usually worth the money I paid. I was so excited once I switched to the Mac to find a LOT of great small devs that were so dedicated to great software that also looked great and worked intuitively. And most of these guys are very active on their user forums. I’ve asked questions on YummyFTP forum, and JD often chimes back in the same day.

    So, just to say, the limited time special offer deals are what hooked me in with some awesome software. Software that I continue to pay for upgrades. Software that I love, and that I’ve gotten my mother to purchase since I converted her to a Mac user (had used PCs since the IBM PC XT). SO, maybe longtime Mac users don’t frequent MacZot/MacHeist type sites, but I’d bet that many new Switchers do, and if small devs don’t make all upgrades free for life (which is nice, but unnecessary) then they should work out far ahead by having a huge exposure to folks. Especially new folks to the Mac platform who would use your app as THE app in its genre, for life.

    I’m just sayin’. IMHO and all that.

  49. [...] is that it¬†represents the first major milestone for Things desktop. In case you missed the announcement, Things 1.0 will be released on January 6, 2009 — a product my team has been working on for [...]

  50. Ernie Hernandez Nov 16, 2008

    I beg to differ with the first sentence of your post. You did not invite “everyone” on your journey. You invited only those that use Macs. I use a PC. This seems to be an extremely useful program that I am not able to use, except on my iPhone. While that may be helpful to a limited degree, I really need to sync this to my PC’s as well. Do you have any plans to make it available to PC users?