Hello, I’m JD Graffam from Simple Focus, and I’m proud and excited to announce that last week, we bought Sifter from Garrett and the team at Next Update.
First, a little bit about Simple Focus: we’re a team of product and interface designers with offices in Memphis and Chattanooga, Tenn. and Portland, Ore. We develop and manage our own products and provide consulting services to clients. You should know this isn’t our first time doing this sort of thing. Most recently, we bought Ballpark. Before that, it was Temper, and before that, we bought Pulse. All of these businesses are successful, growing and full of happy customers.
If I’m being honest, I was content with having that many successful products. The team is moving all of them forward (we’re also announcing a redesign of Ballpark today) and they’re all sustainable, bootstrapped businesses to be proud of. But then, my friend Carl Smith sent a message over Twitter: “you still buying apps?” I mean, I never set out to be a buyer of apps, but, I guess I was. Carl wanted to introduce me to Garrett, and we hit it off immediately.
Sifter is an incredibly well-respected and solid business—I was happy just to have the chance to get to know Garrett. Once we started talking, it was quickly evident that we share the same values and commitment to taking care of customers. Garrett was honest, he was real, he had a good reason to sell and he wanted what was best for the customers and the app.
It was also clear that more than anything, he wanted to entrust his business to someone who would not only be good at running a product like Sifter, but who would also commit to taking good care of the customers. And that’s just what I wanted to do. We agreed on the terms and then moved swiftly to make the transition happen.
Here’s what matters for you, if you’re a customer of Sifter or considering becoming a customer: we’re in this for the long haul. If you’re reading this because you’re curious about the business, know that there are people doing good by their customers and running conservatively-managed, growing companies. We bought Sifter because we love the app and we love running software companies. Sifter has proven its value over the last eight years, I’m really excited about what the next eight years will hold.
We’ve already been working with Garrett on his backlog of minor updates and addressing customer feedback, but we want to take our time and learn as much as we can about Sifter and its customers before we start thinking about any big changes. Over the coming months, we’ll be reaching out to our customers so we can learn about them and their businesses so we can start finding ways to make Sifter even more valuable. Once we’ve gotten our footing and have learned from our customers, we’ll see where the road takes us.
Please email us any questions or ideas or reach out on Twitter @sifterapp if you have any questions or comments, and be sure to tell Garrett he’s awesome for building a solid business around a really great app.
PS: Garrett has written about the deal, too.