Happy Birthday, Pokki!

By Darrius Comments 6


Two years ago today, in the sweltering Las Vegas desert, a squirrel (and app platform) was born. Pokki launched in beta at the Future of Web Apps 2011, bringing a modern app experience to the PC.

We’d like to thank the 20 million Windows users who have downloaded Pokki, the hundreds of developers who have created awesome apps and games, and the device manufacturers like Acer now preloading Pokki! Let’s keep making the PC better!

Our team is in San Francisco this week for Microsoft Build and has been asked on multiple occasions, what led us to create Pokki? I’d like to share some quick thoughts as we look back at where Pokki came from and consider where it’s going next.

First, what is Pokki? Is it an app? Is it an operating system? Neither really. Pokki is an “apperating system” – “a software platform that sits between the operating system and the apps.” We borrowed that term from Wired but you can ask our investors – our pitch decks have said “app system” for years!

So what would cause a small San Diego startup to try to build an apperating system?

A key problem that has been keeping us up at night: the mission impossible that app developers face in getting their apps in the hands of the right users. And, on the flipside, the way users access and discover apps – starting on the PC – is due for a major overhaul.

Not only do we believe Pokki can make the PC app experience better, but in the long run Pokki aims to bring developers and users closer together, no matter the device or OS.

It is no secret that the number of computing devices per user continues to increase. Users own multiple devices (PCs, smartphones, tablets, TVs) running multiple OSes and frankly don’t care as much about the OS as they do about the holistic user experience of accessing and discovering their favorite apps and services.

The device and OS fragmentation makes the act of connecting developers to the right users even more challenging. With 4 million desktop apps, 800,000 iOS apps, 800,000 Android apps, and 100,000 Windows 8 apps, the problem is only growing in each of these ecosystems, and across all ecosystems. Ultimately, every app developer faces the seemingly insurmountable app distribution problem head-on.

This is where Pokki comes in. Of course, we’ve decided to start on the PC, the ironically overlooked device that 1.4 billion people sit in front of daily. The PC app experience is far behind when compared to superior mobile app experiences but we’re working on that, and the PC presents a massive channel for developers to reach users.  In fact, we’ve already made 500,000,000 app recommendations for developers in Pokki in just the past four months.

Team Pokki is looking forward to the next wave of challenges and opportunities on the PC and beyond, while we continue to help app developers reach users and help users access and discover their favorite apps. As we prepare for the greater journey ahead, we want to thank you for your support, and hope you continue to share your feedback with us.


Darrius Thompson

Co-Founder and CEO, SweetLabs (makers of Pokki)