Steven Brun

Startup rollercoaster – Our journey from a big vision to a simple solution

This is our story. How we shifted from a complex paperless suite to a simple scanner app and how this shift helped us get back on track. For a young startup we’ve already seen serious ups and downs: we received $10M funding for building “the document app”, won the “Innovate4Society” award handed over by Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and have been selected as “App of the year” by Apple. But despite lots of hard work over the past three years and building great technology, we couldn’t achieve the necessary user growth and engagement. Many of us are looking for solutions to lead a paperless life, but – as we learned from user feedback – our “document app” was too complex and too difficult to apply in daily life. In the end, we had no choice but to shut down, what we believed to become the cornerstone of a paperless life.

And here is the lesson: even if you have a big vision, start with a simple solution. The simpler the solution and the easier it fits within the current workflow of the users, the higher the chances of acceptance and success. You can still “grow” the feature set once you see the necessary growth an engagement.

After the shut-down of doo we started working on our new product Scanbot, which we launched 8 weeks ago. It solves one specific problem: it turns your smartphone into a premium quality scanner. We put all our energy and passion into doing this one thing really, really well. Based on the research and development we did over the past three years we built best in class document detection, image optimization and image processing into the app. AppAdvice named us “The Best Scanner App For iPhone” and MacLife summarizes that “Scanbot certainly isn’t the first scanning app for the iPhone, but it might be the first one we actually use regularly.“

Here are the main results of the first 8 weeks after the launch of Scanbot:

- 500,000 Scanbot users

- 4.5 or straight 5 stars ratings and reviews by over 1,200 users

Last week we called you to send us feedback and feature requests. We’ve thoroughly analyzed all of it. We can already say that Scanbot will soon include iPad support and OCR. And we can say that we will stick to our new mantra: simple and easy-to-use. We’ll continue to focus on providing the fastest, most beautiful and highest quality scanning experience. A simple app addressing a simple problem.

There are certainly big challenges waiting on our “road”, but for now we’re really happy about how things are taking off!

Scanbot 2.0 comes with iPad support and a smart QR code scanner

We’re enjoying exciting times here at doo. 500,000 users in less than 8 weeks, featured by Apple, Evernote pick last week. And now the doo team announces Scanbot 2.0 for iOS! Our biggest release yet is now available in the iTunes Stores.

Get more:

What are QR Codes?

Scanner Kit SDK (iOS4)

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