The end of a journey

FitFu is shutting down

After a lot of discussion we’ve decided to close FitFu to focus our creative energies on a new venture.

Since launching in Winter 2010 your feedback has been outstanding; from ideas to improve the product to stories about how much of a difference FitFu has made to your lives. We know from our stats that many of you are still active and have achieved really impressive improvements. We’ve had our ups and downs – including some serious setbacks – but you’ve always kept us motivated and we’re grateful for that.

However, FitFu has not been the commercial success we wanted and it’s costing us too much to keep running. We’d love to pass it over to someone else, but unfortunately that is not possible so the only option is to close down.

What about the app?

On Tuesday 18 September we will remove FitFu from sale and no further updates will come; if you haven’t updated to FitFu 3 and want to, you should do so before that date. We’ll keep the social network running until Wednesday 31 October, after which we’ll shut that down too; we’ve made provisions so that the FitFu app itself will continue to work but there will be none of the friends features from that point. As FitFu will no longer be available on iTunes, if you delete it from your computer you will not be able to retrieve it again.

Finally…

We’re grateful you chose our app, and we’re sorry to have let you down, but we hope you’ll keep up the good work and continue to stay active.

If you’d like to find out what HasFu Inc is doing next, do feel free to follow us on twitter: @JofArnold and @Benjie. We should also give props to Despark.com for the design and BrainBakery.com for the early iOS code and the social network – you guys rock.

Thank you.

23 responses to “The end of a journey

    • :/ It was a tough decision as we’ve poured our hearts into Fu. But in the end we made some bad decisions and Fate didn’t forgive us for it. It’s been a real pleasure to serve you though – thank you for being a customer.

      • I don’t see what these bad decisions could be, being a developer myself. I think the app has been doing great and it has a large user base. Nevertheless, I wish you good luck on your new ventures.

  1. In some ways it’s been doing great – and at times the response had been pretty decent – but the App Store is not forgiving; even being at the top of Health and Fitness, assuming that can be sustained, is not such a good income. Have a look at the well-documented demise of Sparrow to get some idea. It’s really really hard to be profitable.

    Thank you for your wishes – and best of luck with whatever you do too :)

  2. that’s a very sad news :(

  3. Jof,

    I’m sorry to hear this. It was a great product… I’m sure you will kill it on your future endeavors!

    Yong-Soo

  4. Pingback: Trackers vs Lifehackers | Beeminder Blog

  5. I am terribly sorry to hear this, I really loved this app! You made a difference in the way people exercised! So what comes next? Will you be releasing any new apps? What happens to the friends we made in the game? Will we still be able to connect with them, but not be able to add any new ones?

    Benjamin

    • We wish we’d been as successful on the business side as we were on the app. We learnt a lot, but too late.

      We don’t expect to be releasing new apps. Our next product will be very different we think.

      Unfortunately you will lose contact with your friends after 31 October. This is really sad and we’re sorry about it. The only thing I can suggest is maybe using your FitFu walls to exchange MyFitnessPal contact details or something like that? That service seems popular on Reddit although I’ve never used it personally.

  6. We will appreciate if you could make a last update removing the “social” portion from the app in order to avoid connection (sync) errors at future. In my case I’m going to keep using this app; is terrific.
    Good luck in your new venture.

  7. Nooooooooo, thats really really sad…. FitFu changed my life. It sucks that you didn’t got what you deserved for this great idea. Fitness and gamification is something which will grow in the future – I’m really sure. What do you suggest us with what App should we continue? (perhaps search a GOOD alternative and make an affiliate deal with them)

    • I’ll paste the email I sent to you so other people can see it in case it’s helpful to them:

      It was so hard to shut down because we know so many stories like yours. The problem wasn’t so much about people not knowing about it, but rather the business model didn’t really allow us to spend any money letting people know about it.

      The app itself will continue to work in offline mode for as long as you keep it (TIP: back up the FitFu.ipa file from iTunes!) of course, but having an active community helps a lot. Depending on your needs, I’d recommend heading over to reddit.com/r/loseit and the various other fitness subreddits – they are a motivating bunch and they often have a lot of thoughts regarding social fitness apps. I know MyFitnessPal is used quite a lot over there… although I’ve not used it myself.

      Hope that helps and best of luck with your fitness goals.

      It’s probably worth mentioning that reddit.com/r/fitness is also another good place to start.

  8. Thanks a lot for your fast answers and your useful hints. I’ll keep the FitFu.ipa but I think it runs into problems when iOS is updated or something like this. Is there no chance to switch to a subscription model and give your true fanbase the possibility to support you this way? If the application gets improved, I’m sure people will like to pay for this.

    • You may be right. iOS6 is coming out this week or next, so perhaps we should make sure it sticks around a bit longer.

      I don’t think the subscription model solves things from a business perspective but I do appreciate your thoughts here. If the existing fanatical users subscribe at, say, $5 a month then we still wouldn’t cover our costs. However, we could very well feed that new profit back into advertising, but we’ve already discovered that onboarding people at any price is quite difficult – even Apple featuring us twice this year barely made a long-term dent in the sales.

      In a ideal outcome we might be able to turn this into a meagre-to-modest income, but with no hope of making it huge it’d never make up for the lost time and money from the previous venture. That’s the thing about entrepreneurship – you spend 5-10 years making zero money so that one hit needs to be at least 5x-10x whatever you’d lost in earning during that time. Otherwise you’d end up net personally bankrupt or waste a lot of investors money. I don’t think FitFu is that 5x-10x startup, let alone the 100x-1000x we are rooting for – the market has made that pretty clear, sadly.

      • Thanks for this clarification. It seems to be that it’s a lot underestimated what such an app costs. I don’t want to get an your nervs, but what would be about this strategy:

        Time/money for developing FitFu at the current state is already spent, so if not a lot additional time have to be spent, this can only get better (earning more money). Why not reducing FitFu to the essentials: Keeping the core of the app: Courses/excercices and show us via GameCenter what friends did/have done. Drop the rest away. With this strategy you could keep the running costs at a minimum (I think then it only needs time to keep it compatible with iOS, no server hosting costs and stuff like this). I think the social aspect is atm a little bit too much; we all have FB and stuff like this and don’t use our walls for more than a cheer or a short comment to a friend.

        For additional features you could do it via a simple voting system and only implement features wanted from a broad userbase. This features could be implemented via in-app purchase if people are really willing to have it.

        From my perspective you can only win with such a strategy. The running costs are quiet low then and you don’t have to put a lot additional time into it. And most important of all, you didn’t throw away such a jewel for nothing (beside the earnings till now).

  9. Very sad!
    However if you are interested in technology that can raise the accuracy of FitFu onto a new level, you are welcome to contact us.

  10. You should make the App for the last Time free or better only 0.79, maybe you can earn some more Fans for your Company and the news will spread more…
    I wish you for the future my best wishes!

    • We were more interested in making sure people weren’t buying it mistakenly. We didn’t want people to get the wrong idea and buy something they knew would end soon.

      Thank you for the well-wishes :)

  11. Since your closing the app down, please change the icon back before you do in a final update! Hate the new icon especially it’s border! Ugh

    And also, sad to see this go but I’ll continue to use it. I loved it for what it’s worth. Best of luck in future endeavors. Change the icon back.

    • Thank you for the kind words, Alex.

      Unfortunately it’s impossible to change the icon back now. If you’d updated, and not emptied your recycle bin, it might be possible for you to bring 2.1 back. I’ve not tried it – you may wish to google it. 2.1 will operate in a similar way to 3.0 when the network is switched off so there will be few disadvantages. If you have a jailbroken iPhone, I suspect your options increase.