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