It looks like most of the team is moving on to work at Square.
After a product pivot from a social app to one focused entirely on curating photo stories, Storehouse still failed to obtain enough user interest. Comparable web apps, like Exposure, are also struggling with user retention and finding a sustainable business model.
I saw Mark speak about the product a couple of times, both before and after the pivot. While it’s inspiring to see a fellow designer found their own company, I couldn’t help but notice an over-emphasis on certain areas of the product over others. For instance, Storehouse strived, and perhaps succeeded, in achieving the most stunning and beautiful user experience. Not surprising, considering Mark’s past at Apple.
However, I believe this may have come at the expense of other things more important to the survival of the business, such as user acquisition and retention. The time spent on animation polish for every release may have been better spent on something like marketing.
When I opened up Storehouse for the first time I was blown away by the interactions and animations that powered it. Tim Donnelly hand-crafted them himself after being dissatisfied with Apple’s own animation library. I’m stoked to see that the engine powering Storehouse was open-sourced a few months ago. Thanks Tim!
Ultimately my experience in Storehouse consisted of me playing around in the app, admiring the forward strides it had taken in interaction design, and then never opening it again. I even kept it there, staring back at me from my home screen, hoping that one day I would be inspired to dive back in. But I never did. I once envied the level of pixel and sub-pixel perfection that had been put into the experience. But looking back it appears there was perhaps too much of a focus on the polish of the design that may have been better spent on getting the product into more people’s hands.
Great write-up! This could easily have been a blog post on its own :)
Storehouse really was a lot better before the last update, but they had to try something.
As someone building something somewhat similar at gumwall.com, this news brings me both worry and excitement haha
Good luck! Really wish someone cracks the whole “online picture journal” niche with a sustainable company.
So far only Google Photos got close, but I don't think they have mainstream adoption (in the sense that most Google users care too much about it).
R.I.P Storehouse, such a great product before it was ruined
I haven't been on DN in a while and this post is the first time I've even heard of Storehouse.