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Gingko developers part ways, development to continue

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Posted by xtabber
Aug 21, 2014 at 10:30 PM

 

Just got an email from Gingko announcing the breakup of the team that built the app.

“...after a few weeks of intense deliberation, it was decided that the best thing for Gingko, and for Aleksey personally, is for him to resume his freelance career.”

Adriano Ferrari will continue to support Gingko on his own and says:

This will in no way negatively affect your Gingko experience.

—Stability: Gingko will still be as stable & secure as always. Aleksey has been bringing me up to speed on his tasks, and will be on call for added support if there are any server issues (which are rare).
—Support: I will continue to work customer support, and will fix bugs and issues as they come up.
—Features: I will continue to ship features to you. Things like word-count, better tree management, more import/export options, improved search, etc.
—Collaboration: People need a better way to work together, and I think Gingko is a place to start. Expect more seminars, live-events, and more direct contact from me.
                         

 


Posted by Prion
Aug 22, 2014 at 07:20 PM

 

Maybe I am wrong but I read this mail as an indication that Gingko may not be profitable enough to support two people, which (if correct) might not be the fault of the Gingko team per se as many innovative online authoring platforms have already fallen by the wayside, see e.g. Editorially. Gingko while perhaps not growing as fast as originally envisioned by the team has from the beginning chosen to charge for their service, a difficult decision for a startup but perhaps a good one in the long run. See this post for an insightful perspective: https://paperpile.com/blog/2014/08/06/why-web-startups-for-researchers-should-charge-their-users/
Gingko seems to be doing well enough to be around and while I am not very optimistic that the pace of development will be the same now that the lead developer has left, it is no reason to fret either because in my experience Gingko is both stable and functional as it is.
For me, Gingko was an impulse buy but to my own surprise one that I did not regret. You will still have to think and write yourself but a no-frills feature set combining a useful plain-text markup with stable and very responsive online availability and best of class structural rearrangement capabilities makes for a useful writing tool. Unfortunately the much anticipated offline capability has become a very faint glimmer of hope after the demise of the lead developer but I have no inside knowledge here.
Gingko is still worth a look in my opinion if anyone is after an online writing environment that does not merely intend to copy a traditional word processor.

 


Posted by Dr Andus
Aug 22, 2014 at 08:26 PM

 

Prion wrote:
Maybe I am wrong but I read this mail as an indication that Gingko may
>not be profitable enough to support two people, which (if correct) might
>not be the fault of the Gingko team per se as many innovative online
>authoring platforms have already fallen by the wayside, see e.g.
>Editorially.

For a startup, I think they’ve not only proven the concept and created a prototype but they actually have a finished product and some very enthusiastic customers. So it seems to me that they are having a marketing problem. They may have been targeting the wrong market (individual subscribers interested in outlining and writing) and they are lacking the marketing muscle to sell the product more vigorously.

This could be an opportunity for a bigger player to acquire Gingko and either integrate the service into an existing product (such as an office suite, a word processor, another type of outliner or mind mapper) and/or reposition it to a different market and start promoting it.

E.g. it would be the perfect tool for academic writers (educators and students). It could be a corporate product to be sold to universities, so they could provide it to their staff and students. E.g. Blackboard Inc. could easily bundle it with their course management software (they already offer blogging software, wikis etc. as part of such campus-wide intranets).

Of course such an acquisition could also ruin the product (or remove it from the retail market) - but maybe there is a chance that it might get the resources to survive and be developed further.

 


Posted by jaslar
Aug 22, 2014 at 10:43 PM

 

He said in the letter that they hit their revenue goals. Sometimes I think that it’s not a bad thing to write a fine piece of software and have it do all right, rather than be the next big blockbuster. The framework of Gingko is pretty good. Maybe good enough?

 


Posted by Dr Andus
Aug 22, 2014 at 11:03 PM

 

jaslar wrote:
He said in the letter that they hit their revenue goals. Sometimes I
>think that it’s not a bad thing to write a fine piece of software and
>have it do all right, rather than be the next big blockbuster. The
>framework of Gingko is pretty good. Maybe good enough?

Fair enough. If it keeps on working as it is (ok, throw in an off-line app ;), I’m happy…

 


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