I am a big Wunderkit fan and user, so it is with a great deal of pain that I write this post. 6Wunderkinder, the people behind Wunderlist and Wunderkit have announced that they have halted development of Wunderkit to be able to focus exclusively on Wunderlist. This news comes eight months after the launch of Wunderkit Beta and when looking back at what’s happened during that time, it really is no surprise. 6Wunderkinder share their usage numbers citing that even though there are over 400,000 Wunderkit users, there are over 3,000,000 Wunderlist users and that number is vastly more significant.
While Wunderkit was being developed, Wunderlist, a very simple, powerful and beautiful task management tool, became stagnant – no significant enhancements were being made. 6Wunderkinder mention that of the 400,000 registered Wunderkit accounts, many of them were never used, leaving only a very small number of active Wunderkit users.
Since the Wunderkit Beta launched in February 2012 the product has had it’s fair share of issues, it’s true. For example, notes would lose content, no timezone support, the stream didn’t always show the right content, the “recommended workspaces” didn’t always load, there was no support for Android, iPad, Windows, among others.
The main problem though, as many users had said, was that it was just too complicated. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more. While it’s true that Wunderkit was more complex than Wunderlist, it had to be. Wunderkit was like having a bunch of separate Wunderlist accounts (through workspaces) and so managing that meant that it had to be a little more complex than simple lists.
6Wunderkinder mentioned that for a number of months the user experience of Wunderkit was being redesigned from the ground up. Here are a couple of designs that were shared. If you’ve ever used Wunderkit you’ll recognise how drastically different this is and how cool it looks.
When faced with two products – one simple, stable, with great adoption rates and incredibly popular; and the other more complicated, riddled with beta issues and used by a much smaller number of people, the choice was obvious, but not easy.
Wunderkit was the main reason behind 6Wunderkinder being 6Wunderkinder. The company was always about creating Wunderkit. The development of Wunderlist was supposed to be a quick prototype, a “test” to see how task management might look and to get the 6Wunderkinder name out there so that when Wunderkit was launched it became wildly successful and people would naturally switch over. Instead, people were drawn so much into the simplicity of Wunderlist that when Wunderkit was launched there was no need for people to make the switch.
There was confusion when Wunderkit was made available. Many people believed Wunderkit to be the next version, or evolution of Wunderlist. So after it became apparent that this was not the case there was a lot of people scratching their heads and wondering why their newly created Wunderkit account didn’t have all their tasks from Wunderlist in it, then switching back to Wunderlist.
Wunderlist simply has too much momentum behind it to slow it down and change direction. And so the tough decision was made to abandon Wunderkit and focus exclusively on Wunderlist. And with the announcement of the demise of Wunderkit we are also teased with the imminent release of Wunderlist 2. 6Wunderkinder have committed to bringing across many of the successful features of Wunderkit into Wunderlist 2, including many that didn’t get to see the light of day.
Personally I’m excited! It was obvious that Wunderkit had issues and unless it had the sole focus of the business it wouldn’t be able to evolve as needed. So to hear that 6Wunderkinder is focusing on one product, with faster release cycles and a slue of features that will be added is music to my ears. And the best part is that a beta is only few weeks away, with a public release before the end of the year!
What Happens to Wunderkit?
So what happens to those 400,000 Wunderkit users that are using it to manage everything, from home life, to collaborating on work projects, and everything in between? Wunderkit will continue to be an active service for some time yet. However, it won’t be developed. That means that the service will remain available and if there are any issues with accessing the service it will be looked into, but there will be no further development or support for it.
What About My Data?
6Wunderkinder is leaving Wunderkit available since there are a lot people that have their whole lives in there. They will be developing a couple of exporter tools to help those people migrate to Wunderlist 2 or some other competitors platform – how’s that for an open and honest company, building a tool to allow you to export your data to a competitor, unheard of!
At the very least you will likely be able to export your data into a spreadsheet.
I would expect that one of the first exporter tools to be available is one that would migrate your data over to Wunderlist 2.
But what if you want to migrate now? It will be a slow process. For the tool I would recommend one of the following:
- Wunderlist – incredibly simple tool with ability to share a list with other users and there’s an app for just about every device out there.
- Producteev – the closest thing I could find to Wunderkit. Has “workspaces” that you can share with others, comment on tasks and has great apps for Mac, Windows, iPhone and Android
- Asana – A super-fast online tool for the more professional person (less colourful). This is a very popular choice. There is an iPhone app, but functionality is limited at the moment – no reminders for example. Sharing works really well.
- Doit.im – Great user experience and with apps for every device, including iPad. You can assign a task to someone, but can’t collaborate on a project or workspace
For me, I’m sticking with Wunderlist.
To “migrate” I’ll be running Wunderkit and Wunderlist in parallel for a while. Ticking off existing tasks from Wunderkit as I do them and adding any new tasks into Wunderlist. If a workspace only has a few tasks I’ll just replicate everything into Wunderlist. Granted this isn’t an ideal process to have to go through, but I’m happy with migrating in this way. When my Wunderkit account is empty, I’ll be done with it.
Even after all this you can’t help but “wunder” what might have happened if it was Wunderlist that was left as is and Wunderkit was given exclusive focus. Here’s my take on it, summarised in just a few points.
- Wunderkit would have ended up with some awesome functionality.
- User numbers would have grown.
- There would have been backlash from the massive Wunderlist community relating to the abandonment of the Wunderlist project.
- 6Wunderkinder would have been constantly fighting an uphill battle trying to win over Wunderlist users to Wunderkit.
If you agree, then the decision that 6Wunderkinder have made seems obvious and necessary.
I am sad to see Wunderkit go, but I’m confident that what we’re going to see from Wunderlist 2 is going to be nothing short of amazing and I’m excited!
You can read more about this decision on the 6Wunderkinder blog and on Christian Reber’s blog (6Wunderkinder CEO).
What are your thoughts on 6Wunderkinder’s decision to focus exclusively on Wunderlist? Was it something you felt was coming, or a complete surprise? Leave a comment below.