About two years ago I started working on a project called Red iGone together with a friend and we started the company Devify. The objective of the first project was simple — we wanted to make it easy to remove red eyes from photos. We didn’t see any good solution in the market place that was both fast and easy to use. Red iGone was born as a web-app and it did pretty well for itself. We got coverage from some semi-big blogs and traffic picked up.
Our next goal was to enter the iOS market. At this point another friend joined the project to help out with the design. We soon had both an iPhone and an iPad app on the market. The sales for both apps were OK, but never really reached the levels we were hoping for. Since we did all the image-processing server-side, not a whole lot was left after all bills were paid.
Enter iOS 5. When Apple introduced iOS 5, we realized that Apple just killed our project. iOS 5 came with a built-in red eye removal tool. We were bummed out about it, but didn’t know what to do. We stayed in the denial phase for some time hoping that sales wouldn’t suffer. That was of course naive. We talked about either twisting the idea into something more unique, or do something new entirely.
Since all three of us were involved with other projects, and this wasn’t the primary company for any of us, we decided to shut down the company. But what about Red iGone? What should we do with it? We felt that the most reasonable thing to do at that point was to simply open source the entire project. So we did. As a result, you can now find the entire code base for everything from the web app, to the iOS apps and the back-end on Github and it’s all licensed under GPLv3.
And that’s the story of Devify.