More than a year ago we decided to make an app that had to scratch our own itch. Our itch was the missing information on the red rental bikes (Velookes) in Antwerp. As heavy-users of the Velo Antwerpen service, we thought it made sense to make an app for internal usage. That internal usage soon (a few days later) appeared to be interesting for just more than the 3 of us. Finally (= a week later), we decided to launch the free app in the app stores and make both an iPhone/iPad and Android version of it.
That story has been written all over and now comes to an end. Mijn Velo is a symbolic project we made out of self-interest and then shared it with the world. And no, we weren’t the first nor the only one to launch it, that’s true. And that’s perfectly fine by us, it only shows that there are more pro-active companies out there. I just wish some of them would have been more open to co-operate instead of criticising us. All of these apps were made with good intentions, I’m sure.
Luckily WebComrades received some very unexpected media exposure that we will never forget. From local TV over national newspaper to several national and international technology blogs and a shitload of happy users on Twitter. It was one of the unplanned milestone moments that are on every start-up company’s wishlist.
Today, we started pushing out an update for Mijn Velo to inform the current users that there is an alternative by the same developers. But this time it’s official, as an assignment we did for Clear Channel and the beautiful city of Antwerp. Very soon, the iOS update will follow as well. But you don’t have to wait for that and can download the free Velo Antwerpen app as we speak.
Yes, it has taken a lot of patience and seeing through the bushes, constantly hanging-on to what we believe is right for the end-user. Today, we announce that Mijn Velo will cease to exist as the official Velo Antwerpen app is replacing Mijn Velo. Mijn Velo will be pulled from the app stores by mid November.
So, if you’re still on Mijn Velo today, we’d like to thank you for supporting us. If it weren’t for your feedback, your usage, your complaints, you dissing us in public or at the local bar and of course sending in the loads of compliments, we’d never have gotten that far. Now go and download Velo Antwerpen, it’s from the same team that made Mijn Velo. Only better, faster, more complete, still free and…official. Enjoy!
PS: What? Are you still complaining? Please.