YongoPal Sucks! Conclusion: Let’s fix it

That’s the conclusion of Darien Brown after being in business for just about six months and his four week trip to the source of their clients and hence revenue of their product, South Korea.

In a blog post published today Darien gives not only a detailed reflection on what he and his co-founder Jon Hickey singled out as their mistakes but they also announces the relaunch of their service on November 1st.

As a reader of this blog you know that Darien and Jon are two of my favorite guys in online education and this move only underlines why I think they are two really awesome guys. Being able to not only see that something is not going well but then also investing in research, facing the hard truth and not being afraid of changing the course of the ship to my mind separates the team from many others.

Sure, they might have launched too quickly but on the other hand they launched something and got data out of it. They have been working on YongoPal’s new version behind closed doors for over two months already and according to today’s blog post it will launch in beta at November 1st.

The relaunch will not only include bug fixes but also a complete re-looking of the site, a more intuitive user interface and apparently some changes on the business model. Below you can see a first mock up of the new interface.

Darien also announces a potential partnership with a South Korean company that might provide the service with thousands of new students for the service and he closes the post

With all of our faults, we are still steadfastly committed to providing a valuable and engaging service to all of our users and customers. Together we can make YongoPal even more awesome than we originally planned.

I am excited to learn more about the new version of YongoPal and I think we can be sure that Darien and Jon will share it in their admirable, open no BS way. Until the relaunch everything remains unchanged for existing users of the service but YongoPal is now locked down for new students or teachers.

And always remember: I got knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down.

We’ll be singing when we’re winning :).

Related Links:

  1. A turning point for YongoPal
  2. YongoPal apologizes to users, concedes its product ‘sucked’
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  • http://www.nosnivelling.com daveschappell

    Something tells me that Darien and Jon may ask you to change this blog post title in ~3-6 months, when it's ranking for SEO and they'd like to communicate something different, but I love their frankness about the state of their user experience, and their commitment to make it (significantly) better. I'm a massive fan of this young company, not because of the product specifically, but more because I think they have the right attributes to persevere and realize their goals — here's to the journey.

    • http://kirstenwinkler.com KirstenWinkler

      Ha! Good point :) Do you think I can outrank them? They will be making money by then, so they can pay me for that ;)

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  • http://lingomatch.com/ Andrew Playford

    Hi Kirsten, I read the YongoPal funding news today. Very nice for them. They sound like good guys. Their frankness is very refreshing. I hope they do well and am sure they will.