Looking Beyond Portland

Hi everyone,

You all are amazing. After many long nights of testing and far too many summer afternoons inside building the first version of AllGo, the messages of support and congratulations I received from you upon launch made it all worth it. Thank you so much for sending your good wishes.

I also appreciate all of the requests that are coming in for more information about when to expect AllGo to be available outside Portland! I don’t have an exact date for you yet, but I would like to tell you more about why we’ve limited access to Portland on this first release.

Since I decided to make AllGo a reality last October, I have learned A LOT about SO MANY THINGS. Most of you know this, but I’ve never built software before. And I’ve never started a company before. So much of what I do on a regular basis is new to me. On a personal level, this is both exciting and scary. I feel lucky to be trusted with this important project.

I’m building AllGo because I want the world to change. I want public spaces, private homes, and basically anywhere bodies go to be accessible and comfortable for plus size people. I believe that this kind of change is possible. 100%. I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t.

I don’t know how we’re going to make the world more accessible yet, but I know that it is going to take millions of us to make it happen. Yeah, millions of us. From what I’ve observed in my life, that’s when the companies who build our world really start to listen. So, a big part of the learning that I’ve done is studying how platforms like AllGo--the Yelps of the world, if you will--have reached critical mass.

It may seem counterintuitive, but everything I’ve read about building mobile apps and communities around technology platforms suggests that starting small is the way to reach those millions of users.

It’s like building a house, you can only add walls and a roof if you’ve built a solid foundation first. If you try to build the walls too fast, the whole thing will come tumbling down.

So the AllGo beta is like our foundation. We’re figuring out what is going to hold the walls of our community, so that millions of users can move in!

To get into the nitty gritty, we’re focused on two major bodies of work during this period. One, how can we build something our users really love? During the beta period, we’ll be evaluating and testing features and would love to hear from anyone, regardless of where you live, about features you’d like to see us add. And we’re going to track all of this publicly on our website. Check out our product roadmap and let us know what you’d like to see added. Would you like to be able to ask reviewers questions about your review? Let us know!  Would you like to be able to add videos to your reviews? Tell us here!

And our second focus during the beta period is to figure out what works when it comes to getting lots of users onto and lots of reviews into the platform. This will take many experiments, and I expect we’ll try a lot of things that fail miserably. By limiting our beta area to Portland, we minimize the risk these failures pose to the long-term success of AllGo. (And to all our Portland users, thank you in advance for muddling through this with us.)

The process of building, launching, and growing AllGo will be a bumpy road. I appreciate those of you who are here for the process so much. And for those of you who don’t have time to wait for the process and need access to this info ASAP, my heart is with you too. I’m moving as fast as I can.

With gratitude,

Rebecca

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