Um, what the hell happened to mixel? An original, fun and highly sticky app for iPad has become something very, very different. It has gone from this:
The original mixel was a joy to use, to play with, to remix. The new version, the ‘just add pictures’ version?
Khoi explains that there were economic reasons for scuppering the development and maintenance of the iPad version, but it doesn’t sit well with me. He says that the app simply wasn’t social enough to be profitable. What were the hard costs of mixel that couldn’t be overcome? My suspicion is that it had something to do with the server/storage/web front end parts, that these costs weren’t offset by the (advertising?) revenue brought in by new users.
But I don’t buy it. The costs for the app were borne of the design of the app and the systems it required to function. If the design of the app requires an unsustainable mix of components, remix those components to make it work (see what I did there?). It completely fits with the ethos of the app, to feature an iterative, evolutionary development to make the thing work better, and not just simply for the users. I would have been happy for the social/web elements to disappear, or even get scaled back a bit, to even things up a bit. I’d love to see the figures for the app, to get a clearer picture of what went on behind the scenes, but unfortunately it’s well beyond too late, at this point.
As a formerly happy user, these two things are now apparent to me:
- I’m certainly not going to download and use the new Mixel (iPhone only, btw), and
- I’m not inclined to listen to the promises of the development/business team behind the venture, regarding the bright new future for this new mixel.
Now I know that I didn’t pour hours into the app in the first place, but some of that time now certainly feels wasted. It’s not possible to even continue using the app (by myself), since it depends on a combination of back-end servers to add the social bells and whistles. This kind of ‘pivot’ really gives me (no more than a mere user) a sincere distrust of the upbeat marketing spin from Lascaux.
As a first time effort from Khoi and co, I really enjoyed playing with Mixel.
The second version, though?
Not bloody likely.