Wipster has always been about moving fast. Getting things done. We believe that the gap between idea and execution doesn’t have to be as long as it often appears. This is the principle that stands behind the product, but it’s also the principle that’s helped us build it. We believe in speed.
With that in mind we set ourselves the task of releasing a fully realised iteration of Wipster before November 18th 2013, the date that marks one full year since the original spark of an idea that created Wipster. Since then the team has grown from one to many and large milestones have been met. We’ve taken investment and the vision for what the company can be has blossomed. Code has been cut, constructive conversations have been stoked, arguments have been dampened, and the occasional pint has been consumed. The product is not just out of prototype, or Alpha, or Beta. The product is out of ‘almost there’.
Wipster Version 1.0. Almost every part of the app has been tweaked to be faster, better and easier to use.
One of the founding tenets of Wipster reads ‘Whatever it is, make it a joy’. I can solemnly attest that we’ve done everything we can to make video review and approval a joy. We've taken something people used to dread, something that would diminish the quality of creative work around the globe, something that made life harder than it should be… and we've fixed it. This is the ultimate aim of any startup, find a process that is nasty, and make it a pleasure.
1.0 is as tidy as it sounds. It’s a bookend to the early days of beta. It’s also the first page of a new chapter. We’re many steps along the journey in creating a product and a user experience that will resonate with millions of video makers across the world, but there are many steps ahead.
The timing couldn’t be better. In 2011 51% of all internet traffic was video. By 2016 that’s set to be 86%. There’s never been a more exciting time to be in this business. We’re seeing more people creating more video than ever before, and we believe that means something.The ground underneath us is shifting. The tools of creativity are cheaper and easier than they’ve ever been, as are the tools of distribution. It’s never been easier to have an idea and do something about it.
So what’s new in Wipster version 1.0?
Wipster has always been about collaboration, but with this release we’ve taken it deeper. Teams can now work together all in the same account, for the incredibly low price of $49USD pm. This will grant you and your collaborators unlimited video storage and unlimited sharing.
People from across the world are now using Wipster daily to collaborate on their creative video. Recently a customer emailed us the other day to let us know that using Wipster was saving them 75% of their review time, which they could now use to make the video as good as they originally imagined it to be. We were blown away. This has always been the goal, and it’s great to see it realised.
One of the joys of working on a project like Wipster is seeing ideas move from scrappy sketches on napkins through to mature, usable features. We’ve been itching to make good on our plans for Wipster’s commenting feature, and it feels good to say it’s now here. This part of Wipster sits at the core of the whole experience, so we don’t make changes to it lightly.
The new look comment boxes in Wipster Version 0.9
There are so many additions to our commenting system it'd almost be quicker to talk about what's the same in Version 0.9. Don't panic, you can still collaborate right on top of the video, like always. But the conversation just got a whole lot richer. Now you can really get into the details of your work with our new contextual pointer. This little beauty can be shifted around, totally independently of the comment itself, letting your team make specific, targeted comments on the things that really matter. There’s zero confusion, just simple, concise feedback. Everything goes faster.
The conversation now goes two ways.
We've also built an easy-to-use reply system so that every comment can become a proper back-and-forth between you and your collaborators. We’ve always considered this feature a ‘need-to-have’, but getting it right took no small amount of doing. There’s been more than a few goes round the design tree (truly one of our favourite trees) in order to make sure that the whole system still works where it should, right on the video.
The new 'upload media' button
Next up is that charming mountain vista that sits right underneath the new reply box. Click that button and open up a whole new channel of conversation by uploading image files into the comment box. Think a colour grade needs to look a little more like seventies Scorsese? Now you can drop in your reference images right on top of the video. Or maybe you want to revise the storyboard now that you've seen your animator's first pass? Just attach a sketch to the rest of your feedback on Wipster and you're away. You’ve got to give it a go, it's a joy to use and the whole thing is insanely simple.
Now that version 0.9’s in the can, it’s a brief clink of glasses to celebrate the last of the zero point releases and then back to work on Version 1.0. As you’d imagine, this’ll be a big one. If you haven’t got a Wipster account, we suggest you sign up immediately, then sit back and watch the biggest feature rollout we’ve ever done. There might even be a fanfare and some fireworks. You can also have your say on what works for you anytime you like.
Most importantly, even though we’ll be officially out of Beta with our Version 1.0 release, we’ll still make good on our current pricing models if you sign up right now for a year. Deals don’t come better than that, so get to it soon as you can.
Until the next version,
New in this version:
Comments are now written directly on to the video frame
'It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.'
- C.S Lewis
If you've been using the app formerly known as WIP in the last few days, you'll likely have noticed a few changes. Beyond the obvious addition of four more letters on the end of our name, we've rewritten much of the wiring that powers our app, developed a whole new brand and built a new front-facing site from scratch. We did this now because we want Wipster to be ready for the future, so we’ve cleared the decks of the things that were holding us back. Needless to say, we're rather happy with how it's gone.
We'd been mulling over the change from WIP to Wipster for a few months, as far back as our stint in the Lightning Lab early in the year. Like a lot of early-stage companies, we found we could only really settle on the way we look to the world once we'd properly come to grips with the way we look to ourselves. It sounds a little hackneyed, but we needed to figure out what we believed. It's foolish to think these things are obvious, or that they're something you figure out early on and never think about again. They need to be worked on just like any other part of your company, the perpetual work-in-progress.
It was mostly a case of crystallising the values we knew we all shared but could never quite define. The process involved doing what none of us particularly enjoy doing and writing it all down, starting with a whiteboard and reducing it to a simple statement. And yes, we've gone as far as figuring out which celebrity Wipster would be if it was a person (the answer to which we will never reveal). Once that was done we could design the logo, build the brand and finally hit the switch. And now we arrive, Wipsters henceforth.
We're a little sad to see WIP go. It's been with us from day one, and though it made a certain sense as a brand, as we discovered how to talk about the product we were building, we found it a little clunky to work with. It would seem it's not that easy to talk about work-in-progress videos when our name IS work-in-progress videos. Lessons are learned every day.
Wipster frees us up in that and many other ways. For us it's a statement of self-identification, a name that encompasses not just the company but also the people we're building this tool for (rest assured the 'I am a Wipster' T-shirts are mere days away). Where our former branding reflected the tool itself, Wipster is the expression of the joyfulness that using the tool can provide. We truly believe that our users make better and more creative work with Wipster, and we want that reflected in everything we create. This means the logo, the app, the website, even the branded stationery (don’t worry, it’s coming).
So if you're reading this in-situ you might have noticed rather a lot has changed on the site. Actually, everything has. We're a video company, so we wanted to create a place where video was king. If you hit play at the top of the home page you'll see how far we went with that. We also wanted to make a place that felt like it was a part of the future (challenge for developers: see if you can find a CSS sprite anywhere on the site). When we started to plan Wipster.io we were careful to never let technology get in the way of ideas. If it really is an amazing idea then figuring out how technology will make it work is never as hard as coming up with the idea in the first place.
Of course, it's far from being finished. Over the next few months we'll turn our attention back to the core of the Wipster experience, building the long list of ideas sitting on the Wipster V.1 Trello board and talking to Wipsters the world over about what you need to make Wipster better for you.
Being able to do all this is a marvellous thing, and we're eternally grateful for the sparkling interactions with our user base that give the whole app life. If you're not already in that user base, we suggest you rectify it immediately. These are exciting times, the going's all rather cheap while the Beta's running, and the app is a greater experience every day (in our humble opinions). You can get it all sorted right here. We might even send you a T-shirt if you ask us nicely.