Yesterday I shut down the Piictu API, I put three years of my life into developing and maintaining Piictu backend infrastructure and API.
You probably haven’t heard of it.
Piictu was a free photo-sharing mobile app, users were encouraged to capture an image on their phone and share it to a subject-approapriate album or “stream”. All streams were public, and users were encouraged to reply to a subject with topical pictures creating a photo-conversation.
For me the Piictu experience started when Jon contacted me as he was trying to find a backend developer for his new startup. At that time I was the CTO of has_many :developers, a rails shop I founded with two friends in Venezuela. This was December 2010.
When Jon showed me his MVP, I immediately loved the idea of using pictures [as a primary] form of communication, no typing allowed (If you want to respond to someone’s photo, you have to snap one in response).
I started working on the API from Venezuela, while Jon was in New York. A few months later Robin and Petr from Tapmates joined to the team to design and develop the iPhone app from Czech Republic.
In June 2011, we were accepted into TechStars NY startup accelerator program.
So there I was. Spending the summer in New York, coding for a Techstars startup.
Techstars was a great experience. We built a great team, we met with several rockstars of the industry: David Cohen, Fred Wilson, Andy Weissman, Chris Dixon, Seth Godin, Werner Vogels, David Karp, to name a few. And we fundraised a very decent seed rounds, $730K in November 2011 and $1M in May 2012.
Piictu also changed my personal life. My wife and I moved to New York in June 2012, and we’re starting a new life here, in the big apple.
Today Piictu is joining Kandu (a Betaworks company), but I’m following a different road, I joined to a team of developers leaded by a really smart friend, to nail the real state business in New York, DC, Florida, and Philadelphia.
What was it like to be the CTO of Piictu?
Probably not the same as being a CTO of a bigger and more established company. In a small startup you have to DO things, that means development, sysadmin, DBA, meetings investors etc. At the same time you get a lot of freedom to try things. I learned a lot (I guess). It was a great experience. Period.
I’d like to thank our great users, team members, founders and investors. Thank you for making the Piictu rollercoast ride possible!