First things first - happy new year!
2012 was a huge year for XtGem: we made great progress improving our tools by making them more accessible and powerful than ever, grew our team (hi, Mindaugas!), publisher network (+1.5 million new sites!) and traction (our traffic more than doubled during the year - to well over a billion pageviews per month!) - and we even managed to leave our cozy Lithuanian offices for a 3-month-long adventure overseas - opportunity courtesy of Springboard.
Springboard Mobile is an intensive 13-week accelerator program, designed to help startups grow by cramming years worth of knowledge, experience and exposure into just three short months. We've had the privilege to participate in the latest iteration of the program, which was focused on mobile, among with 9 other world-class startups (Flitto, iJudgeFights, We Are Pop Up, AppTheGame, Shhmooze, Likeminds, House Map, BuildGauge, GiftCannon).
It was an amazing experience - we had a chance to meet over a hundred mentors with various - yet universally impressive - backgrounds, experience London's tech scene and brought back multiple notebooks worth of ideas for XtGem.
The program started in September of last year and culminated in December, with demo days in London, New York and San Francisco - with audiences of prominent VCs, Angel Investors and entrepreneurs.
Words can't describe how proud we are to have graduated from Springboard - it truly kicked ass - both in terms of being awesome, and in terms of being immensely exhausting. Yet we persevered - and made an astounding amount of progress as a result.
One of the things we set out to do after Springboard wrapped up was to make XtGem more social. While we have a vibrant and active community over at XtBoard, Twitter and facebook, user sites, and the tool itself, feel isolated and more lonely than they need to be. We have started paving the road for the next big update, which will make the whole experience more social and collaborative - including updates to the blogging functionality and an ability for XtGem sites to run their own communities and share content.
As a result, we have launched an updated account system - one based on e-mails, instead of site URLs. This change allows us to make a clear distinction between users - our customers - and user sites. Existing users are able to sign up for an e-mail based account and import their sites - we put in a lot of effort to make the transition as straightforward and easy as possible - it takes less than a minute.
While a significant change, the new account system is just the beginning - we will be rolling out lots of new features to compliment it in the coming months - as fast as we can build them. Stay tuned!
P.S. Springboard's next program is starting soon and will be focused on hardware - if you run a startup that builds cool gizmos, there is still time to apply - they got our stamp of approval. Application details are here.