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The Beginning (and end) of MemberDeck

Posted in The Story by Nathan

For nearly six months, we’ve been selling copies of MemberDeck via the IgnitionDeck + Membership package, and via purchase on MemberDeck.com. The product itself has been a hit, and has been successfully integrated into our white label crowdfunding product, IgnitionDeck Enterprise, enabling features far more advanced than the original IgnitionDeck product could offer.

But there’s a problem…

We never actually launched MemberDeck

When we finally completed the 1.0, we were head over heels in love with the product and had plans for a major launch event in which we’d proclaim its glory to the world.

But because we’re a small team with limited bandwidth, we found ourselves continually delaying the launch until we finished the website, which was delayed because of our work on the IgnitionDeck product suite.

Eventually, months slipped by and we found ourselves in a quandary. We could either shift focus from IgnitionDeck in order to finally complete the website, or rid ourselves of the anxiety by ditching the concept of MemberDeck as its own product, essentially killing it before it had the chance to survive on its own.

This was a difficult challenge for us, because we truly believe MemberDeck to be the best product we’ve ever created. On the other hand, our business is IgnitionDeck, and it’s important to us that the products and customers receive the attention they deserve.

So we let it sit, waiting for a solution to manifest, and biding time until it did.

The Origins of MemberDeck

When we launched IgnitionDeck, we had no idea whether we’d sell one copy or a thousand, so we cobbled our first storefront together using an old version of Wishlist Member that we’d purchased for another project many years ago.

But as traffic and revenue grew, we realized that our primitive solution was a major break point in our operation and that we had to make a change.

As much as we wanted to like Wishlist Member, it’s a crude product built for a time when the web was different. It just isn’t built to take advantage of modern websites and shopping carts, and it’s user experience, both for admins and visitors, is horrendous.

What’s worse though, is that the product is encrypted, rendering customizations useless. It’s a product built to lock people in to a solution they may outgrow; something we stand against philosophically and pragmatically.

As we examined a variety of WordPress e-commerce and membership plugins, we realized that, just like before we built IgnitionDeck, the product we wanted to use did not exist.

So we started building.

We set out to build a WordPress membership plugin that would display all purchases from a single dashboard, making it easy to sell and deliver digital products like ours. We made it possible to protect almost any kind of content, including custom post types and BBPress forums, deliver products via Amazon S3, and even created our own instant checkout.

By the time we integrated it for IgnitionDeck plugin sales, the product was incredibly powerful and a major improvement from the archaic Wishlist product we’d been using. All in all, it was a win.

Or so we thought…

MemberDeck is No More

Our intent in selling MemberDeck was to offer the same functionality to our customers that we offered to ourselves. We love to dogfood our products, perfect them, and release them into the wild.

The same is true in this case.

So how do we ensure that you’re able to harness the power of MemberDeck without sacrificing the quality of our other products?

The solution that came to us is one that would not have been obvious had we acted in haste, but is one that allows us to keep MemberDeck’s functionality without sacrificing the quality of IgnitionDeck.

In fact, it does quite the opposite.

So say hello to MemberDeck, as we give it the official launch it deserves, and then say goodbye.

Effective immediately, we’re saying goodbye to MemberDeck and rebranding the product as IgnitionDeck Commerce (IDC).

As part of this move, we will be (eventually) removing the commerce and other duplicate functionality from the base IgnitionDeck product in order to provide a more consistent and reliable experience for both our customers and yours. IDC will no longer take a back seat and instead take it’s place at the head of the table, managing commerce for our entire product line.

For those of you that love your base IgnitionDeck product, have no fears, as this change will not take place immediately. The only change you will see is a modification of nomenclature, as we’ll be referring to IgnitionDeck as IgnitionDeck Crowdfunding (IDCF).

Otherwise, the rollout will be slow, and we’ll be as communicative as we can in assisting you through the transition and into a far superior product and experience.

In conclusion, not much has changed in the short-term. Long-term, expect to have your mind blown, as this isn’t the first of the changes we’ll be announcing this year. So stay tuned, we can’t wait to share the future with you.