A Year and a Day

This is going to be a very self indulgent post, and I make no apologies for that. When you have a job like this (Hi, I’m John, founder and technical lead of BristlrM14) it’s very easy to sail past milestones without flinching, continuing to run as fast as you can away from trouble.

I’m sat in bed, on a rainy Manchester day, about to carry a hastily decorated store-brand cake through the damp to a small gathering of friends to celebrate a year-and-a-day since Bristlr launched. And I’m taking the opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments of the last 12 months through the power of statistics. This is a blend of vanity and therapy.

Year 1, by the numbers

  • Members: 115,000
  • Matches: 500,000
  • Beard ratings: 1,300,000
  • Messages : 1,000,000
  • Pageviews: 39,500,000
  • Unique visitors: 500,000
  • Countries: 187
  • Top 5 countries: USA (32%), UK (22%), Brazil (13%), Netherlands (10%), Canada (6%)
  • Top 5 cities: London, Sao Paulo, New York, Amsterdam, Chicago
  • Desktop users: 22%
  • iPhone users: 37%
  • Largest traffic spike: December 26th, 3am GMT
  • Funds raised (excluding director’s loans): £28,000
  • Verticals: 1 (and a half?)
  • Full-time staff: 1
  • Freelance staff: 9
  • Git repositories: 16
  • Git commits: 2,600
  • Individual services (Heroku apps): 25
  • Database nodes: 2
  • Primary database file size: 8GB
  • User-facing errors generated: 7,400
  • Cumulative downtime: 1 hour, 57 minutes (99.98% uptime)
  • Cups of coffee drunk: 900
  • Miles driven: 10,000
  • Car parts replaced: Tire, spare tire & hub, clutch, coolant header tank, exhaust shield, windscreen wipers x 4
Our birthday cake
Our birthday cake

These numbers are good at showing where we’ve been and how much we’ve achieved. But they’re basically useless for predicting our future. We’ve been busier than people realise, and we have big plans and expectations for the next 12 months. My goal is to improve on all of these metrics at least ten fold.

The past year has been littered with happenstance, luck, chance encounters, and supportive friends and family. Whilst I can’t thank everyone individually, I do want to say thank you to everyone who has helped put us where we are today, and everyone who’s taken a chance on us.

Happy birthday.

Bristlr gets push notifications

Push Notifications have eluded us for too long. And they elude us no more! With the release of Bristlr 1.4.0 on Android and 1.4.2 on iOS, Bristlr brings notifications right to you.

You’ll now get notifications when you get new messages, new matches, and when your daily matches are ready. We’ll still also send you emails from time to time (and if you’re not using the updated apps).

The new updates also fix a few bugs and make chatting even faster, which is nice.

We’ve timed the daily matches notification so it’ll hopefully not wake you up. You can turn all these notifications on or off in your settings.

Bristlr’s going speed dating in London this Movember

We’re off speed dating! We’re teaming up with SpeedDater for a special evening of speed dating, with all money going to charity.

If you can make it to London on NMovember 27th, get yourself a ticket! 100% of the ticket price is going to the Movember Foundation.

The event will see you paired with various potential partners, all with a love of the beard. On arrival you’ll be greeted by a SpeedDater and/or Bristlr host and given a badge that’ll match you with your table. Every time the bells rings those with beards will rotate around, and you’ll have a card to mark on who takes your fancy. After the event you simply log on to SpeedDater’s website and you’ll be able to see all your matches from the evening. Fun, right!?

All we ask is that you make sure to get permission before commencing any beard fondling.

Tickets are £10 each and available here. Get them quick as there’s only a limited number of places available.

If you’re not familiar with them, SpeedDater launched in London in September 2002 and has grown into Europe’s largest organiser of singles nights, specifically speed dating events. They hold regular events in over 40 UK cities.

See you in London!

A Bristlr Success Story – Clint & Jennifer

Not one week after our last success story, we’ve had another wonderful couple come forward to thank us after they met on Bristlr. Say hello to Clint and Jennifer!

unnamed“Jennifer and I have a bit of a unique story. Jennifer’s friend had told her about Brisltr, so she decided to join up. I was already a member at the time, looking for that special beard lover. I spotted her on the site and got in touch.

Nearly a year later we’re still together, thanks to Bristlr! We’ve even started a business together in the beard industry! We’ve formed an LLC called Templar Beard Company selling beard oils and other beard products. 

Bristlr, we thank you for the love we found – without you our paths would have never crossed.” 

Awwwww! That last bit has just made our week, thank you Clint and Jennifer! We wish you nothing but success with your relationship and Templar Beard Company!

And whilst we’re on the subject, are you looking for quality beard care products? Why not visit Templar Beard Company? We’ll be sampling their products soon!

All the best to your, Clint and Jennifer!

A Bristlr Success Story – Pieter & Rianne

We’ve had another one of those lovely e-mails. That’s right, another success story to make your feel all warm and bristly inside! This story comes from Pieter and Rianne. Pieter was also kind enough to help us translate our GooglePlay description in to Dutch – now that’s gratitude! So for our Dutch fans, you know who to thank!

Here’s Pieter’s story:

“I was at the gym with a good friend and he told me about this app called Bristlr – an app for bearded people to find others the liked beards. That sounded pretty cool to me, so a few weeks later I decided to download it (after a lot of persuasion from my friend!).

Bristlr’s kind of like Tinder, but the people on there are much more fun! I chatted to a few people and made some connections. It’s cool to be able to talk to so many like minded people! Awesome stuff!

After some time I met a girl. We kept talking for a while and she seemed really interested – you know how dating apps can be, usually the guy shows interest first. We eventually swapped numbers and eventually we went on our fist date. Now, she’s my girlfriend!”

Rianne has her own side to the story:

“I’d used a few dating apps and been on a few dates, but none of that seemed right for me. Then on Facebook I saw something; an app that had lots of men with beards!

So, I joined Bristlr. I could tell instantly it was different; I had actual conversations! With bearded guys! And they weren’t all just obsessed with one thing …

After a while of browsing and chatting someone new popped up. It had been a while so I was starting to give up hope on a nice date, but we talked and talked. I thought, ‘heck, let’s try it!’

Now you can see for yourself, we’re happy!”

How sweet is that? Everyone at Bristlr wishes you both all of the happiness!

Bristlr, bringing people together.

Celebrating Bristlr!

Did you know that the idea that grew into the Bristlr you know and love happened exactly a year ago today? Now you do!

Just a few weeks after the idea was born, Bristlr officially launched. Since then with the help of you beard lovers out there we’ve grown in to much more than just an idea.

Just for fun, here’s a list of the names that were thrown in to the hat before Bristlr became Bristlr:

  • BeardWithFriends
  • BeardTouchingExchange
  • BeardX
  • XBeard
  • StrokeBeardToUnlock
  • ToBeard
  • NiceBeard
  • StrokeMyBeard
  • EveningBeard
  • ToBeardOrNotToBeard.com

Aren’t you glad we went with “Bristlr”?

In less than a year we’ve had countless success stories, in total making half a million matches, our big #BareYourBeard competition which made some beard owners very happy (and popular!), we’ve had international press coverage and recognition, been through Europe’s best pre-seed start-up accelerator, and we even had a party to celebrate 100,000 Bristlr users. We’ve come a long way, and are continuing to grow from strength to strength.

So, with our birthday coming up this month we’ve certainly got a lot to celebrate! That’s right, if we’ve learned one thing this past year, it’s knowing when to party.

But what kind of party would it be without guests? If it weren’t for our beard fans, we wouldn’t be here today. So we want to invite you to our year-and-a-day party to say thanks. Free up your Saturday 24th this month and come on down to Manchester’s SpaceportX, we’re throwing a party!

To get in, just mark yourself as attending on our Facebook event. See you there!

stuff and things
From an idea to an app, competitions to parties and plenty of Instagram loving! We’ve come a long way!