Our journey with Apollo is about to have a major breakthrough; we are excited about this, and would love to share this with you, our users. So, here is the scoop:
We are about to release plans. This means that Apollo is about to become a paid service!
There are several reasons for this -- and they aren't exactly what you would expect. The main reason is that Apollo is now a mature product. When we launched Apollo in July 2010, people asked us: "Is it safe to use? If I put my task list in there, is it going to be there tomorrow?". Regardless of how much testing we had done, how much we audited the code or how many load tests we ran, we needed to see people use Apollo in order to prove -- to ourselves and to others -- that it actually worked. And it did. We had to do our homework with fine tuning, especially since we experienced a growth rate we didn't quite expect, but we always managed to overcome our problems. The other reason why we are releasing Apollo, is that we are now confident that it has now reached a point where it does what most our users want it to do -- plus, we know exactly what it really needs doing (here is a short list everybody around here knows by heart: tasklist and project templates, reply-by-email, iCal support, stronger overview, APIs , just to mention the most important ones).
Communicating with our users has also been quite an experience. We decided not to set up a forum-like site, but instead getting people to reach us by email; we answered every single one of your emails, carefully, only using pre-cooked templates when it made sense to do so. We created a ludicrous number of tickets based on our users' feedback, and answered to every point of long, detailed point lists. We established a relationship with our users -- something that couldn't have possibly happened with a forum-like system. I will admit, plainly, that communicating was (and is) heavily time consuming. However, it's totally worth it, and we will continue to do so as long as it's humanly possible (although in the future we might have forums).
What will our prices be like? Everyone who reached out to us ad sent us an email pretty much knows about our pricing (or, a very close approximation of what they will be). If you are worried about prices and haven't written to us: don't be worried; Apollo will not be expensive, will not be charged per user, and will come with a cheap solo plan for one-man shops. Plus, we are determined to give a lifetime discount to those workspaces created early on in the game. We'll decide in the next few days how much of a discount our early users will get -- it will most likely depend on when the workspace was created. Since we haven't finalised our decision yet, I will keep quiet for now.
Finally... thank you to our early adopters, who trusted us at such an early stage in this project.