From the Chief Apricot: I Am Moving on from Wild Apricot

Dmitriy Buterin 14 December 2017 6 comments

Dmitry Buterin Goodbye Wild Apricot

Dear friends,

After almost 12 years, I have decided to move on and finish my time at Wild Apricot at the end of this year. It’s a bittersweet moment for me. While I am excited about my new adventures (see www.buterin.com), I also feel sad. Wild Apricot has been such a huge part of my life for such a long time! Although I have pondered moving on from Wild Apricot for a while, I only wanted to do so if I felt Wild Apricot was in good hands. 

As many of you know, Wild Apricot was acquired by Personify in September. I have spent a lot of time with their leadership and as I got to know them better I gained confidence in them. As well, my colleague Dmitry Ivanov, who started Wild Apricot with me 12 years ago, has now taken over as the General Manager of Wild Apricot within the overall Personify organization. I am grateful to Dmitry for everything he has done for Wild Apricot, and for taking the reins. 

So, now I feel comfortable moving on.

As you can imagine, this choice has made me reflect a lot. I still remember all the brainstorming we did when we were making our decision to start in March 2006. I remember coming up with the name (some other names we considered: Membrana, Meliora, SpunkyDuck, BlueMoon). I remember how we gave birth to our logo. I remember the first tacky version of Wild Apricot we released in July 2006, with a handful of tabs and buttons. 

I remember how excited we were to get our first trials (somebody wants it!!). At the time, we didn’t even have the ability to charge for it anyway :-)

I remember how happy we were to get our first customer in November 2006, and how after about a year of running this business and investing more than a million dollars, we had about 60 clients and ~$3000 in monthly revenue. I remember all the emails I have exchanged with our clients, watching them build out their initiatives and grow, and I am very grateful for the trust they have put into Wild Apricot over many years. 

Wild Apricot has come a long way since then. 

Over 10,000 organizations now subscribe to our paid plans, with another 10,000 using our free plan. We have launched over 60 releases, developed our own mobile apps, added dozens of tabs and hundreds of buttons in the app, and created an API. Over the years, I have personally answered and processed thousands of support emails and client surveys. And throughout, I have created so many great memories with our clients and partners and all of the people I have worked with.

As my last day at Wild Apricot approaches, I find solace in the fact that out of many possible ways my Wild Apricot tenure could have ended, I really like what has actually happened:

  • We are now part of an awesome company, Personify, and we have quickly built deep direct connections with our new colleagues and are working with them on a common mission. 
  • We are staying true to our original vision of serving a broad market of membership organizations with great software and education. 
  • I feel very proud of the team we have built over the years (plenty of people are still with us from back in 2006!) and of how quickly my colleagues have been able to reorient themselves and drive business forward as part of Personify, without my involvement. 
  • I feel grateful for and confident in my colleague Dmitry Ivanov, who has now taken over as the General Manager of Wild Apricot. 

I am looking forward to watching from the side as Wild Apricot software keeps flourishing further in the coming years. I’m also looking forward to seeing all of you make a huge impact on this world. And hopefully our paths will cross again. It’s a small world after all.

If you’d like to see a very short timeline of Wild Apricot with some images we dug up from the archives, see below my name. Enjoy!

Sincerely,

Dmitry

 

A Brief History of Wild Apricot

April 2006

Wild Apricot is born

  • The first version of Wild Apricot took an entire year of development and was created as an internal release so we could do usability tests and bug tracking. Here are some early logo designs:

Wild Aprico Logos

 

June 2006

Version 2.0 is released

  • Wild Apricot is Live! After months of discussions, development and testing, Wild Apricot became available for use by membership organizations everywhere.

Dashboard

 

May 2009

Version 3.0 is released 

  • 2009 was a landmark year for Wild Apricot with the introduction of the new “contact database.” It created one central, cloud-based directory. Also, over 150 header backgrounds were added to the product.

Themes

 

September 2010

Version 4.0 is released

  • Version 4.0 introduced the “finances module.” For the first time, users could automatically generate invoices, record offline payments and generate financial reports.

Finances

 

April 2014

Version 5.0 is released

  • Version 5.0 was our biggest release ever. We included a new content management system with drag and drop functionality, which allowed users with zero coding experience to create fully fledged web pages.

Page Templates

 

March 2015

iOS and Android mobile apps are released

  • The mobile apps allowed Wild Apricot administrators to register event attendees at the door, add new contacts to the database, and keep track of offline payments.

App

 

June 2015

Version 5.4 brings WordPress integration

  • With the help of a plugin, Wild Apricot and WordPress now spoke to each other like never before. WordPress users could integrate their Wild Apricot account functionality into a WordPress site.

WordPress

 

June 2016

Wild Apricot turns 10

  • A full ten years passed since Wild Apricot first became live. To celebrate, our Toronto office went on a relaxing dinner cruise around Toronto’s waterfront.

July 2017

Wild Apricot migrates to Amazon Web Services

  • Wild Apricot switched its cloud platforms to Amazon Web Services to improve site speed and uptime. Immediately after the switch, customers noticed site speeds increased by three times.

AWS Migration Stats

 

September 2017

Wild Apricot acquired by Personify

  • Austin-based Personify, a constituent management software company with a mission of serving and empowering membership and constituent-focused organizations, commits to investing in the Wild Apricot product, customers and employees.

Wild Apricot Personify

 

December 2017

Dmitry Buterin, Chief Apricot and founder of Wild Apricot, says goodbye.

Dmitry Buterin Goodbye Wild Apricot

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Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

Posted by Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

Published Thursday, 14 December 2017 at 12:16 PM

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Comments

  • Carolyn Porter said:

    Friday, 15 December 2017 at 10:27 AM
    Best of luck in your future ventures Dmitriy. Wildapricot has been a real time saver for this one person IT department at CALPCC.org over the past 6 years. We have been very happy with the way WA has grown and provided more and more solutions for us.
  • Sam Slay (at SamSlay.com) said:

    Friday, 15 December 2017 at 12:16 PM
    You provided a great service...enjoy your new opportunity. :-)

    SamSlay.com
  • Nancy Cattle said:

    Sunday, 17 December 2017 at 3:03 PM
    Wow! That's big news. Thanks for all the ingenuity and features you've brought us over the years. It's sad to see you go. Good luck in your next venture!
  • Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

    Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] said:

    Monday, 18 December 2017 at 2:07 PM
    @Carolyn, @Sam, @Nancy - Thank you!
  • Suzanne Moles said:

    Thursday, 21 December 2017 at 1:34 PM
    I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and am sure we will hear more about you in the future and thanks for sticking with your original dream of WildApricot as it is helping so many organizations to manage their members and it just gets better with every update. Thank you!
  • Susan Aiello said:

    Friday, 29 December 2017 at 11:00 AM
    Dmitry, Thank you for your tremendous work over the years and for ensuring such a smooth transition. Thank you for your vision, your determination, and your commitment. It's never easy to build something (anything!) from nothing, and kudos to you and your team for persevering to great success. Best of luck in your new opportunities. I hope you keep us posted on your new ventures.
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