Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The day my virtual assistant died - RIP IWantSandy.com

I'm verklempt.... or at least I should be, but I feel like I've got to get this post written. I have just learned that my trusted virtual assistant of more than a year has decided to change direction.

The Twitter Blog announced today that Rael Dornfest has joined Twitter and that the assets of Values of N, most visible would be Stikkit and IWantSandy will be shuttered.
Today we're thrilled to announce that Twitter has acquired the assets of Values of n, which include an intelligent sticky-note application as well as a personal productivity application that works over email, SMS, and the Web. Rael has already started adding energy and momentum to the team as a full time Twitter engineer.
Values of n will be shutting down existing products. However, the technology behind the scenes will live on and potentially re-emerge as part of Twitter's systems.... - Twitter Blog
I'm guessing this is good news for Rael.  It sounds like a steady paycheck. It's certainly bad for the users of Stikkit or IWantSandy.   On December 8th, their investment in those systems is gone.

It's easy to see why Twitter might want to have the assistant capability of IWantSandy.  What Twitter has probably figured out already is that there current service is not one that you're going to have much luck getting people to pay for.  Getting Twitter to do something useful rather than amusing is a potential step towards a subscription model.  I think it's also easy to see why Rael thought this was a good exit for ValuesOfN. Sandy was a lot more useful when coupled with alliances like Jott or Twitter .  As a standalone product, IWantSandy would also have a hard time in creating a subscription model and there was not much in the way of an advertising play for it either.

Best of luck to Rael. It's sad to see Sandy go.

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