☰ The status has changed to Ready for Sale.

And suddenly everything happend really quick. Ten days waiting for review and today we’ve got the final mail: We’re approved. QUOTE.fm will be on your iPads soon. I’m so incredibly happy. It’s not downloadable yet, we have to work on some preparations on the website first. It’ll hit an App Store near you next Tuesday. Uh yeah. 🙂

☰ Huffington Post's Highlights and QUOTE.fm's Discover Redesign

Jeff Sonderman for poynter.org:

When your website puts out thousands of pieces of content a day, how do you consistently and efficiently surface the best stuff?

The simplest way is to just follow the cowpaths — the routes where reader behavior naturally flows. For example, nearly every news website now lists its most-read stories. That’s a good start, but a bit blunt. It doesn’t tell why the story is popular, or what part of it is driving the interest.

Enter a new solution: HuffPost Highlights.

That’s interesting. So obviously the Huffington Post introduced a new feature called Highlights. When you have an account at Huffington Post, you’re able to select a quote you liked from the text, and press “Highlight this!” which sends your highlight directly to this new project of Huffington Post’s labs: Highlights

Two things are noteworthy:

1. It’s nice to see that obviously other people who came up with basically the same idea as we had with QUOTE.fm. Which means: The idea is good.

2. The Layout of that Highlights page is clearly inspired by pinterest. So is our upcoming redesign (WIP) for Discover. Again: It can’t be wrong if several people at once have the same idea and as you can see, the Pinterest approach works well for written content.

We’ve decided to redesign Discover together with the header a few weeks ago. Discover is going to be less second timeline and more the place where you actually discover interesting new reads. Also we needed a place to integrate our upcoming feature “Reading Lists”, so there was a need for something new.

I don’t want to say that they’ve ripped off QUOTE.fm, not a bit, I’m just happy to see that our idea seems to be a good one and I’m looking forward to our future, because we do have some really neat ideas on how to make Social Reading into something awesome. Basically QUOTE.fm can become for the entire internet what Huffington Post’s Highlights can become for the articles of the Huffington Post. And that sounds like something worth working for. Thanks to Tim who pointed me to this.

☰ Being in Berlin

Last week we’ve been to Berlin. It’s not like I’m a big fan of the city, somehow it’s too fucked up for my taste. However, this is not about Berlin, in fact the weekend we’ve stayed there was quite nice, this post is about me and what’s going on and coming up in my life.

Some of you may remember myself about two years ago. Started to study illustration, not a real plan, but the urge to do something awesome. Stuff like Hallo Unbekannt, this blog and several small projects were built, nothing was really important, but everything sold in on what was coming up:

The idea for QUOTE.fm changed my life as much as nothing has before — and it was last weekend, that I realized what’s going on. This is not just another one of my small projects, this is not “playing” anymore, this is, as unreal as it feels, the real life. This is what I’ll do hopefully as long as possible.

We’ve been to Berlin to talk about the present and future of QUOTE.fm without being distracted by our everyday surroundings. Our plan was to talk about things like business plans, who’s going to do which job when the company grows, and here we are at the point I’ve tried getting to: Company. This is not longer about myself or this blog or some small project, this is about a company. Something with people in it, people that are not only my friends, but humans that make a living by working for the company I’m somehow responsible for.

Ben invited us to take a look around the 6Wunderkinder offices in Berlin and it was fascinating. Not the offices themselves, but the combination of rooms, people and the underlying knowledge that everyone is pulling the same string (I’m afraid I’m making up sayings here). I was stunned, I thought “I want to work here.” and then reminded myself what would be even better: What if I ran a company like this? A company filled with great people, people that are psyched to build something incredible together. That was the moment I understood what’s actually going on in my life right now.

The next day we talked about our goal, what we want to achieve with QUOTE.fm, what’s the “Why?” that drives us. We found it, we defined it, we talked about what we need to achieve it.

And that’s where stuff got serious. Not serious as in tie and suit serious, but serious as in “At the moment we’re four people, in two month we’ll be six and in March 2013, we’ve our own office and 18 people are working for QUOTE.fm.” That’s not a number we’ve pulled out of thin air, that’s the number of people we need to achieve our goal. That is: Let’s revolutionize the celebration of written text. We’re talking about discovering, recommending, reading and publishing(!) written stories and how to make money, to ensure that 18 people can make a living.

It’s not about playing around in Photoshop anymore, two weeks ago was the first week in which I only opened Photoshop twice. The first week in… years. The rest of the time I wrote e-mails and talked to people. I’m not complaining, I’m just stating facts. My life changes so drastically at the moment, it’s fascinating. It looks like we’ve found our next employee and he’s Brazilian, so we’ll talk English from now on, I’m not just the designer anymore, I’m talking to people from big publishers, because they’ve heard of QUOTE.fm and are thinking about how we could cooperate, I’ve to think about the big picture but also about small details, I’ve to think about investors and investments, presentations and seeding.

It seems like playing is over and life begins and it feels good. Somehow it’s like I’ve done everything in the last years to get where I’m now. And where I am is not even somewhere. It could just be the starting point of something much bigger.

I’m excited. In fact I’ve never been more excited and I’m so looking forward to learning so much new stuff, talking to even more interesting people and building many awesome things together with great people, that I’m incredibly happy and excited at the same time. We’re not in Berlin or San Francisco, we’re in Hamburg, but nothing keeps us from building something great in this great city — so we will.

Strange times. Incredible times.

Let’s bring “playing” to the next level.

☰ Things I've read and recommended last week:

I figured it’s a good idea to show what I’ve read in the last few days, so here is a collection of articles I’ve read. Feel free to follow me on QUOTE.fm, if you don’t want to miss any reading recommendations.

I can’t say that I understand 4chan in its entirety, but it’s somehow fascinating. I like how anarchistic it seems and I like moot’s approach of handling it as a hobby.

Don Lehman – an industrial designer – on those leaked iPhone prototypes. He thinks they’re legit and I think they look great. Looking forward to waiting in line in front of the Apple store. We had a lot of fun last year doing so.

Tom Chiarella started to smoke. He didn’t just started to smoke, no, he began with the plan to quit smoking after a month. This story covers his thoughts and intentions on why he did something everyone else would have considered stupid.

Andre Torrez decided to slow down.

Jason Stirman found himself in a situation you’d never want to be in. It’s sad how helpless one is in situations like this. You’ve done nothing wrong and suddenly you’re threatened by some dickheads who have nothing better to do but messing around with other people’s lives.

☰ We’re hiring (again!): Become an iOS developer at QUOTE.fm

Yours truly:

“Marcel”, they said, “Marcel, we need a job advertisement for a new iOS developer. Somebody has to write it.” I said “Yeah, go for it!” and got a “But I’ve no time, I’m writing code!” and there I am, writing a job advertisement about a topic I’ve no clue of.

Hi, do you want to work with us? We’re looking for an iOS dev. If you’re interested, read the advertisement over at the QUOTE.fm blog and contact us. <3