In early 2012, Wanelo was recently funded by Floodgate, First Round Capital, Forerunner Ventures, Naval Ravikant and other phenomenal investors, and the new Wanelo team was coming together with some incredible engineers and designers joining the team.
We knew that to grow as a social platform we were going to need to be ridiculously agile, with aggressively short cycles of launching features daily, measuring impact, adjusting and so on. It was also clear that our old platform was far from ideal to achieve the desired agility and productivity.
Whether to rebuilt the Wanelo platform form scratch or simply extend our existing platform was an incredibly controversial decision for our new team. Many really smart and experienced entrepreneurs and engineers were convincing us against pursuing a complete rebuilt citing legitimate dangers and risks of such a path.
After extensive consideration and exploring of this question, we decided to move forward with a complete rewrite of the platform on a new tech stack. We froze all new product development and for 2 months I was holding my breath waiting to see if we could really pull this off. The team kicked some serious butt, staying focused, cutting features, making difficult decisions along the way and generally moving forward at an impressive speed.
Two months later, I got up at 5am to greet our visitors on live video chat. I couldn’t believe that this day actually came. The video chat was a blast as we got to talk to hundreds of users visiting the site during the migration to the new platform and the new website was up and running with only minor issues along the way. I was almost a bit disappointed at the lack of dramatic mishaps :)
In the post below, our CTO tells the story of the relaunch, the new architecture and the migration of the full site. Enjoy!
The Big Switch: How We Rebuilt Wanelo from Scratch and Lived to Tell About It
The Wanelo you see today is a completely different website than the one that existed a few months ago. It’s been rewritten and rebuilt from the ground up, as part of a process that took about two months. We thought we’d share the details of what we did and what we learned, in case someone out…