During my sophomore year at the University of Michigan, I took a class called “Entrepreneurship Practicum.” It was a bootcamp in the “lean startup” method taught by one of the cofounders of Aardvark, and I became really interested in how people capture ideas and reminders. In fact, it was around exactly this time in 2011 that I sent out the first “alpha” invite of what would eventually turn into Fetchnotes:
From that janky, manual prototype, one thing led to another and I ended up deciding to stick with it after the class. Little did I know that this email would end up defining not only my career, but launching the careers of a couple dozen others that, at one point or another, have been a part of the Fetchnotes family.
A little over four years after I sent that email in 2011, and exactly 3 years to the day since we launched publicly, I’m excited to announce that Fetchnotes is joining a new family: Driftt.
Most people don’t know this, but for the latter half of 2014 we had actually been experimenting with a new collaboration product we called Thready. Personal productivity is a crowded, commoditized market, and we knew that people who shared notes with other users remained far more engaged over time. We did a lot of user research with the people that were sharing, and we found that what they wanted wasn’t a bloated project management solution or another cloud-based document repository — they just wanted a shared, simple, mobile-friendly place to throw stuff (whether it was a document, a short note, a list, or a photo) where other people could access and discuss. It was a fairly broad-based need being overlooked by other products, and the free-form simplicity of Fetchnotes fit it well. We’ve been beta testing that product for a little while, but only with about 100 people.
A few months ago, we ended up connecting with the team at Driftt. Driftt is a relative newcomer to the collaboration industry, but they came out of the gate screaming with an all-star team of ex-Hubspot execs and $15M from CRV, General Catalyst, NextView Ventures, and Founder Collective. Elias Torres (Driftt co-founder and CTO) and I walked each other through our respective product demos, and it was clear from the first meeting that our goals were tightly aligned. Without getting too much into the details, we actually had both reached many of the same general product conclusions despite very different starting points.
In the end, we both want to help people spend more time doing the work they love and less time fighting the tools they use to manage it. Driftt is acquiring Fetchnotes (and the associated technology we built for Thready) to make that happen.
Driftt will be keeping Fetchnotes up and running, eventually integrating it into the new product they’re building (just as we were planning to do with Thready). I’m damn proud of the work we’ve accomplished — especially having started as a bunch of college kids — and I have the utmost confidence in David and Elias to continue writing a story worth telling. Last May, a prominent CEO in Silicon Valley told me, “You’ll never build a great productivity company in Boston.” I’m betting on David and Elias to prove that person wrong. ☺
As for our team, we won’t be going away just yet — we’ll be helping out both during and after the transition in an advisory capacity. Otherwise, we’re all moving on to our next adventures. I’ll let them individually tell their stories if they so choose, but I’ll be telling mine in a separate post.
It’s been one hell of a journey to get here, and I can’t even begin to thank all of the people who have been a part of it. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Onwards and upwards!
Co-founder and CEO