Four major features, three french hens, two turtle doves, and a big migration to AWS: The 2013 Year in Review

As we roll into a new year, we wanted to take a quick look back at how much we’ve collectively accomplished here at DoneDone in 2013.  When we say we, we truly mean everyone involved in DoneDone — from our development team to you.  Your continuous feedback via Twitter and our support forum have inspired us to build the things we did this year. Thank you for both your interest in making our issue tracker even better and for your patience as we rolled new features out.

The Major Feature Releases of 2013

Before we talk about what we’ve done with DoneDone this year, let’s talk about what we didn’t do. For the first time since 2010, we did not release a major redesign of DoneDone.  It generally looked and felt the same at the end of the year as it did in the beginning. Instead, we focused on building in new features that our customers have been requesting for a long time.

January: Due Dates

Due DatesIn January, we released due dates. You can now add a due date to any issue or to a set of issues. You can then filter issues based on whether they are due today, overdue, or are due in a specific date range. Our approach to due dates is as simple as it gets. There are no email reminders or flashing alerts when something’s due. They’re useful without being overbearing.

April: Full-text Search

Full-text SearchApril saw the release of global full-text search. Prior to this release, the only viable way to get to the issue you wanted was through using filters.  Now, when your only memory of an issue from three months ago is “I remember her saying something about ‘cat memes’ in one of her posts,” you now have a direct way of getting to it.

May: HipChat Integration

HipChatA month later, we released our latest third-party integration: HipChat. The entire We Are Mammoth team has been using HipChat for nearly two years and we cannot imagine running a team of physically separate members without it.

So, in the spirit of scratching our own itch, we tied DoneDone in with HipChat. This is yet another way of keeping up-to-date on issues without rummaging through your inbox.  Color-coded messages help you quickly gauge the status of your issues at a glance.

August: Public Issues

Public IssuesThis past summer, we released — arguably — our largest new feature to date: Public Issues. With Public Issues, anyone can email in customer support requests or bug reports to a custom project email address. DoneDone then automatically creates an issue and assigns it to a default fixer and tester. You can then correspond with your customers either via the app or email.

Public Issues feel just like a normal email to your customers and normal DoneDone to you.  This feature is now available on all current DoneDone plans.

The AWS Migration

AWSAfter a series of feature updates, we spent most of the Fall preparing for our migration to Amazon Web Services. This was the largest technical undertaking of 2013 that went largely unnoticed.  Of course, that was all part of the plan.

In the late hours of Friday, November 8th, we surgically pulled the plug on our existing servers, migrated our database and cache to AWS, regression tested, and flipped the switch. For the vast majority of our customers, downtime (including DNS propagation) lasted about two hours.

Our move to AWS not only helps us scale more quickly, but gives us more application tools to play with. We’ve already re-architected our email and HipChat notification systems to leverage Amazon Queue Services, and file uploads to S3. Both have added a noticeable boost to application performance.

The Small Wins of 2013

While big releases get most of the publicity, the small tweaks to DoneDone are the meat and potatoes for our development team. We’ve fixed dozens of reported bugs and enhanced our existing features.

Growth in 2013

So how have we grown this year compared to past years?  Here are a couple of metrics that should give you a good idea.

Issues created across all DoneDone accounts by year
Issues created across all DoneDone accounts by year
Issue actions (comments, status changes, reassignments, etc.) created across all DoneDone accounts by year
Issue actions (comments, status changes, reassignments, etc.) created across all DoneDone accounts by year

In 2013, DoneDone will field about 330,000 issues — 140,000 (74%) more than it did in 2012. That’s 2,500 more issues per week compared to last year.

We saw similar increases in the amount of overall activity on issues. Actions include anything you see in an issue’s history, like comments, status changes, reassignments, and other general edits. Last year, DoneDone saw just shy of 950,000 actions on issues. This year, we’re headed for right around 1.7 million actions, or about a 79% increase.

Financially, we’re set to do about 88% more gross revenue than we did a year ago. We expect these trends to continue to climb at the same rate next year.

What’s in store for 2014?

We have a lot coming up right around the corner. We’re in the midst of a visual rebrush of the entire DoneDone application and marketing site. You’ll hear a lot more about that in January. In addition, we’ve already scoped out four enhancements to existing features based on overwhelming customer feedback. You’ll be seeing those roll out in the first quarter of 2014 as well.

It’s been a complete pleasure serving our customers this year.  We plan on doing more and doing even better in 2014!

– The DoneDone Team

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