There are dozens of task-management and to-do apps in the market today, with some like Any.do, Wunderlist (now owned by Microsoft) and Todoist already used by tens of millions of people to organise their lives and coordinate that with people they know. Now, make way for a new one called WeDo, whose developers believe it can do things better for a wider market of people.
Launching today on iPhone as a free app, WeDo’s big selling point is the use of social features to collaborate, comment on and share tasks. On top of this, it is laying the groundwork for a platform that it hopes will not just help you organize what you have to do in a clear and easy way, but also, eventually, get some help to get it done.
“I wouldn’t say this is reinventing the wheel,” president Raad Mobrem told me. “But it’s making the wheel a little smoother so that it rolls really well.”
Co-founded by Mobrem (whose previous company, Lettuce Apps, was sold to Intuit, where he went on to develop the QuickBooks for web product before leaving to start this) and Spencer Shulem (who recently turned 20 and is WeDo’s CEO), LA-based WeDo seems to have hit on a growth hack… Or, it has at least has figured out how to sell the promise of something to a population that seems to be hungry for yet more task management solutions.
While still in stealth, Mobrem tells me that WeDo amassed an impressive 11,000 people on its waiting list. (And, he tells me that the first 1,000 TC readers who want to skip the line and get free services for life on the app can register with TC1000 as a special code.)
WeDo is organised into three sections: Home, Tasks and Chat. The first of these is where you create your “Tribes” and add existing WeDo users, or invite people to do so. Social is a key feature: you can also add people in other places in the app, by way of the + in the upper corner on every panel. (And my guess is that the combination of invites for Tribes, plus the persistent invitation +, is what may have helped them get to 11k people on that waiting list.)
Tribes are not unlike Circles in Google+, or lists in Facebook, where you essentially outline the people who will subsequently see tasks that you tag with the name of that Tribe. This also becomes the basis of conversations: once you share a task with someone in that Tribe, you can also begin to chat about it, either under the task or in the app’s separate “Chat” panel.
You can also just forego these Tribes and create tasks for your eyes only, but Mobrem claims that the social/sharing features, and the corresponding Chat feature, have seen some of the most usage in pre-launch testing, and are essentially the features that set WeDo apart from the rest.
“Communication has been insane when people invite one or more people to their Tribes,” he said. “We underestimated just how popular that feature would be.” Many people are using the chat feature to essentially discuss tasks before adding them to a to-do list: you can think of this as the equivalent of the conversations you may have on other chat apps, or over email, before eventually adding a calendar meeting or a task to Asana or another app.
Mobrem told me he thinks there is still a lot of room for more task management for a couple of reasons. The first is that even with the most popular apps bringing in tens of millions of users, this is still only scratching the surface of total mobile consumers. “We’re trying to solve for the 80% of the market that may already write down simple to do lists, and now want a little bit more functionality in terms of reminders and other features,” he said.
The second has to do with how WeDo wants to evolve longer term. Mobrem doesn’t want to share too much about this publicly, but the bigger picture he has now is an ambitious plan to tie task management to a larger productivity play that brings in completely different categories of services, looping in more natural and predictive actions along the way.
“Right now we’re very focused on creating a an excellent core product,” he said. “But we also see it as a Trojan Horse into your life to provide other great services.”
WeDo has raised just under $1 million in an early round from angels.