June 4, 2007

Pixelmator the Unbelievable

It’s been four days since we announced Pixelmator. And you know what? I would never, never, oh never believe that something as insanely wonderful as last week could ever happen to our little company. It’s impossible to explain all the feelings that both of us—my brother and myself—have. We live in a fantastic dream these days. We can’t talk, we can’t sleep, we can’t even work normally. It’s so hard to wake up from Pixelmator euphoria.

I can’t tell you the exact stats, but believe me, we had an unbelievable number of visitors to our website. The traffic was so huge, there were times when our server was down (and we use one of the most reliable web service providers in the world!).

Also, I would like to thank all of you for writing us! We are receiving hundreds of e-mails from people all the around the world telling us they can’t wait for Pixelmator and how much they love what we have done. Usually we reply to messages the same day we get them, but this time, please forgive us if it takes us two or three days to answer—we are still trying to catch up!

And what can I say about your messages? I love the Mac community and its culture, I really do! It is so supportive of what we are doing, so creative with ideas, and so intelligent that I am really excited about being a little part of it.

Thank you all for your inspiring words!

I would quote all the e-mails here, but it would fill more than 20 pages of our weblog. So here are just a few of them:

“I could not wait to have your new app to play with…I will buy it right at the moment it is out.”

“Dear Aidas and Saulius,
The power that it sounds like Pixelmator will be able to have is unbelievable. I am personally a video editor and Mac application blogger, and from the video side, I know the power of GPU.”

“I’ve heard about your great Pixelmator project and what I’m reading about looks fantastic.”

“Hi! Pixelmator seems to be the “How come no one has done that yet!” app that I and many of my Mac using friends have been wanting for so long.”

“Just saw the Pixelmator video on Tuaw, and I’m stunned at the elegance and professionalism of your application.”

“Pixelmator is exactly what I’m looking for.”

“I think this is going to be huge! All i can say is wow! Amazing…beautiful UI I can’t wait to buy this! Hurry up! ;)…no seriously hurry I’m dying to buy this!”

“This tool looks extremely exciting and (dare I say it) FUN!”


  • Charles

    Your program looks interesting. I haven’t searched but I couldn’t find a list of the open source technologies you’re using — what are you using, and if you’re modifying the sources how do you plan to make the modifications available to the community?

    I think I’ll be buying the first version if it runs speedily on G4s. Adobe’s been ignoring the PS Elements line on Macs, even though PS Elements 3 was the last version upgrade worth anything (4 on Mac added nothing and slowed the program down; 5 on PC seems to add more nothing). Me personally, I would appreciate a prefs switch that turns off all superfluous animations — floating windows fading in and out, resized boxes gracefully sliding to their new size — these things make use on a G4 unbearable, and for your first version you should be looking for ways in which you beat PS Elements 3. That includes pricing, which currently looks just right.

    Speaking of which, will adjustment layers be present in the first version? And do the filters as demonstrated in the video stay live, or are they committed to the raster layer?

    SVG import and rendering is also high on my list of desired features. A Pen tool like in Photoshop is also highly desirable, but I certainly don’t expect it in the first version. (If it made it into the 2.x series of releases that’d be cool.) Oh, and for web-heads, a Fireworks-style slice cropping tool would be great. (I mean the one where you select a slice, hit enter, and then save just that slice to a separate image without having to crop -> save -> hit undo.)

    Looking forward to the first release!

  • Félix Cloutier

    It uses ImageMagick.
    According to ImageMagick’s licence (http://www.imagemagick.org/script/license.php), they are not required to “include the source of the ImageMagick software itself, or of any modifications you may have made to it, in any redistribution you may assemble that includes it”, and “[they] can give modified code away for free or sell it under the terms of the ImageMagick license or distribute the result under a different license, but [they] need to acknowledge the use of the ImageMagick software”.

  • luke

    I love how you post all those comments knowing no one has even used the app. I hope for your sake your app lives up to the hype you’re creating for it or else there’s gonna be some pretty disapointed people

  • Aaron

    @ luke…
    Dude…cant u just feel it? huh? this app is gonna b huge, its gonna be great…so quit being a pessimistic and go to heaven.

  • Anonymous Swine

    @ Aaron:

    Luke is right to be skeptical. These folks are associated with Jumsoft, a company certainly not known for living up to its promises. They ship buggy 1.0 releases and provide absolutely no support. I don’t think Jumsoft has ever answered anyone’s e-mail in the entire existence of their “company.”

  • Rafael

    @Anonymous Swine:

    I am also skeptical after reading about Jumsoft… However, naive though I may be, I hope that these guys have finally found what they truly love, and will stick with it for the long haul, persevering through the growing pains that are sure to occur. In order to succeed, you have to fail, no?

    – – – –

    So, a question for the brothers Dailide, and a very fair question — one that I’m sure everyone interested in Pixelmator wants to know the answer to:

    As is obvious from your blog post above, you have a bigger market than you can handle with just the two of you. What type of support do you plan to offer the buyers of Pixelmator, and how do you plan to follow through with it?

    Perhaps an inspiring quote from Steve Jobs is appropriate here:

    “People say you have to have a lot of passion for what you’re doing and it’s totally true. And the reason is because it’s so hard that if you don’t, any rational person would give up. It’s really hard. And you have to do it over a sustained period of time. So if you don’t love it, if you’re not having fun doing it, you don’t really love it, you’re going to give up. And that’s what happens to most people, actually. If you really look at the ones that ended up, you know, being “successful” in the eyes of society and the ones that didn’t, oftentimes, it’s the ones [who] were successful loved what they did so they could persevere, you know, when it got really tough. And the ones that didn’t love it quit because they’re sane, right? Who would want to put up with this stuff if you don’t love it?

    So it’s a lot of hard work and it’s a lot of worrying constantly and if you don’t love it, you’re going to fail. So you’ve got to love it and you’ve got to have passion and I think that’s the high-order bit.

    The second thing is, you’ve got to be a really good talent scout because no matter how smart you are, you need a team of great people and you’ve got to figure out how to size people up fairly quickly, make decisions without knowing people too well and hire them and, you know, see how you do and refine your intuition and be able to help, you know, build an organization that can eventually just, you know, build itself because you need great people around you.”

  • Aidas

    @Rafael: Fair question indeed. First of all, this time we are going to be as open as possible. You can already feel that (i.e. forums, blog). Publicity is very powerful weapon – it can be invaluable tool for achieving success. The only thing we can do is to bring quality product. And as I already mentioned in another post – we will do it – no matter what it takes.
    Good support is something we have failed before. It was very hard for us to find staff familiar with Mac, or with good English skills. Of course, that’s our fault only.
    Anyway, during Pixelmator’s development we’ve been discussing support and decided that we will hire dedicated support staff for email support, forums etc. We are also considering telephone support.

    I hope this helps you to get the idea about where we are going.

  • Chris

    I’d do this: sell 100,000 copies, and then open source it, and allow people to register the product for $20 after that, and gain access to the pixelmator industry / designer site.

    Share info, discounts on stock, vote on new features etc.

    You could keep adding and adding new stuff to eek out a 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 versions, ala photoshop, microsoft office…

    or, cash out, give back to the community, and have your app ported to linux (I’d like to see a post saying, after you opensource it, to release it on linux first, timing to a ubuntu release).

    You can then sell a million registrations, and run a profitable community and watch your mozilla style organisation boom, and make far much more money (nobody will say money doesn’t matter) as well as know you are doing good.

    Of course. Google might want to buy you and opensource you first 😉

    Google – buy pixelmator, load it with picassa, then you have a 3d app, picassa, and pixelmator.


  • Anonymous Swine

    “I’d do this: sell 100,000 copies, and then open source it, and allow people to register the product for $20 after that, and gain access to the pixelmator industry / designer site.”

    Uhh, no Chris, you wouldn’t do that. That’s not a profitable way to run a business and makes absolutely no sense. You’d only do that if you had no intention of building a successful company.

  • Guigui

    Of course, photoshop has a monopolistic situation for 15 years. And you had the great idea to be the first serious competitor.
    The video doesn’t show anything, but seems like there is not a lot of filters like in photoshop and not some useful tools like healing brush…
    Show us more about pixelmator!
    And next, do the same with flash, there are no competitors to flash!

  • Steve

    Hey just noticed you quoted from my e-mail! I’m chuffed =) I can’t wait for release.

  • matt

    You only have to look at LineForm to see how a great, award winning, application has been held back by a small development team and poor support.

    So, what I would do is concentrate on getting a bug free v1.0 out and then see what offers come in and act on them with your head not your heart. Good luck and best wishes.

  • Morten Thorpe

    What’s been going on since vers. 1.0? Have you been basking in the sun of the initial success? There are MANY bugs to be fixed, and many improvements to be made… Hope you guys haven’t done a 1.0-and-run release – It looks sooo promising! Where are the new Leopard features, that you wrote you were holding back until the release of OS X 10.5?

  • Kiran

    Hi guys!! Thanks for including Pixelmator in Macheist 🙂 Not that I don’t want to pay the full price but just that I can’t afford it. I am absolutely thrilled at the professionalism of your application and I am fairly new to the imaging world which I can master starting with your application 🙂 Thanks a lot and all the best!

  • Jessica

    I just found your blog on the google search engine and saw a few of your other posts that you had done . I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the great work. i will Look forward to reading more from you again.