Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

Why after almost 6 years I’m more excited about Nozbe than ever


After close to 6 years of running Nozbe I’m more excited than ever about what the future holds for my productivity service. How is this possible? This is something I’ve been asked recently by many people - why do I still want to run the same thing when most startup founders get bored with their stuff after about 3 years (if they stick around for that long…)??? Why? Because of my “why”?

Why after almost 6 years I’m more excited about Nozbe than ever

Why I started Nozbe in the first place

I built the first version of bare-bones Nozbe in late 2005 for myself to get my time and projects better organized (it was after a long, inspiring read of the “Getting Things Done” book by David Allen). I liked it, so I decided to work on it more. I rewrote the app for the second time in 2006 and then in 2007 I showed it to the world. It was “the-way-I-work” kind of app. Luckily, many more people worked the same way as I did and this web application stuck until today and beyond. So why I’m still so excited about Nozbe?

My initial “why?” hasn’t changed

I’m still passionate about productivity more than ever. Still happily editing Productive! Magazine (new issue soon + lots of new ideas for 2013!). With each year I can see new challenges for Nozbe and new opportunities where we can show what still can be done to make my customers more productive.

Integrating with other apps… why?

When I started using Evernote I didn’t know how it could integrate with Nozbe until I started using both for remodeling my apartment - Evernote for ideas and pictures, Nozbe for tasks… and then I knew we could make both of these really superbly inter-connected. Now with rich comments in Nozbe you can even add a comment to a task with Evernote note.

When I started using Dropbox it was the same thing - I didn’t know how it could work with Nozbe until I realized how it compliments Nozbe’s file storage. Now I prefer to store files on my Dropbox account and use them directly in Nozbe through our Nozbe-Dropbox integration.

Mobile revolution helped Nozbe a great bit but was challenging

I never thought about Nozbe as a mobile app. It was born as a web app… but I launched the same year as the original iPhone. It was a sign. Now we have our own Android app and official third party iPhone and iPad apps… and we’re launching our own native iPhone and iPad apps in a few weeks. Now that I’m mostly working on the iPad (#ipadonly) it makes more sense than ever.

It wasn’t so easy. Our first iPhone app was sub-par. Our first Android app didn’t deliver as well. Now we’re better and the new ones will keep improving our customers’ experience. This mobile shift is a welcome challenge - so how can I be bored? :-)

There’s more to come in 2013

I’m very excited for 2013 as we want to show you a lot more. Nozbe will go to a completely new level not only with our entire apps ecosystem - this is something required by our fantastic customers - but we’re preparing a completely new productivity platform, better offering for small and medium sized businesses and a suite of Nozbe-connected productivity apps for you to help you and your teams get even more done. One of them will help you get email done a lot faster than now! Stay tuned.

Our focus on “why?” pays off

Why is Nozbe so successful and so profitable? And why am I so happy running Nozbe? Because together with my team I focus on “why” and not on different things - I’ve seen so many competitors come and go, so many companies start because “to-do lists” is where it’s at. My company (and we are 11 folks now full time with many collaborators) is focused on long term productivity - and the longer we work on it the more fun we have at it and the more productive our customers become. I can’t ask for a better job :-)

As Simon Sinek in his book “Start with Why” explains - when you know why you do something - people share your why and help you get to where you want to go. People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it. I’m privileged and honored to have my customers and my team share my “why” with me. And what is your “why”?

And what are you passionate about? Are you bored with your job? Why? Why not? Have you ever analyzed why you do what you do? Do people around you share your “why”?