Happy half birthday (yes that’s a thing now)

900x900px-LL-141d33ec_gallery8881651346771405When I was a child, I was obsessed with birthdays. Cake, presents, parties, attention, more cake – what’s not to love?

I often reflected on the inexorable downside to this magical occasion: its infrequency. It felt cruel to subjected to a wait of 364 days (365 days when the Gregorian calendar wanted to test my patience a little bit more) for the next one. It is for that reason that one day, in retaliation against conventionality, I made the executive decision to begin celebrating my half-birthday each year. When I informed my parents of this adjudication, they laughed endearingly before telling me to stop being silly and get back to learning my seven times tables.

Fortunately I have grown up a bit since then and I no longer regard my half birthday to be a consequential or cake-worthy event. Today, however, is different. Today is one half-birthday that I’m going to celebrate with pride: Grapeful is officially six months old. If you’d like to buy me a cake, I wouldn’t mind a similar one to the image above but it is imperative that one of the icons is changed to show Grapeful.

So where did Grapeful all start?

I love telling the story. At the end of October last year, I was having dinner with two friends in Bombay and, having recently acquired the advanced level qualification at the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, was politely asked (i.e. told) to choose the wine for the table. It was at that moment that a spark went off in my head – wouldn’t it be great if there were an app for that? Later that evening I did a bit of competitor analysis and on the flight home the next day I spent a few hours typing up a business plan on the flight home. When I returned to London, I spent the best part of four weeks looking for a developer to whom to outsource the project, but it didn’t work out for a variety of reasons. I floated the idea by Vikas, a friend I had met at LSE, and he loved the idea. Grapeful was born.

It took us eleven weeks to build our minimum viable product and voilà we launched in February. A wave of nostalgia just prompted me to dig up old screenshots from when we first launched and, needless to say, I am immensely proud of the progress we have made (Vikas is nothing short of a tech guru). Four updates have been released, each one bringing users an app with more features, a better interface or the Wine World Cup. Want to take a trip down memory lane with me?

This is the very first version – a clean and straightforward interface, but not much colour –

originalOver the subsequent two updates some colour was added to the app, as was the Offers section (everybody loves a bargain) –

pics

With each update over the last six months, we tried to add numerous new features (such as the ability to search, view restaurant-specific pairings, pairing a pre-selected wine with food, and more) –

new features

As you can see, it has been quite a journey. And the best bit? We’ve only just started. We’d love for you to join us.

We have a long way to go before Grapeful is where we want it to be – we have very ambitious plans for the future. We are working hard on creating new features and producing a pipeline of exciting new content. If you think it worthy, please tell your wine-loving friends about us; any publicity is good publicity.

On that note – have a great weekend and cheers!

HHB2

Grapeful is free to download from the Apple App Store and we don’t discriminate against Android users so you can download it from the Google Play Store too.

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