Behind the scenes: How WizzMe has been a total failure

essay, maker, lessons

A year ago, I started learning SwiftUI by building a small app called "WizzMe". It started as an over-a-weekend Hello World project that soon turned to be an April Fool project due to a kinda-perfect-timing. Here's the story of this project's failure.

We tend to read thousands of articles, podcasts and videos about successful projects because these are the kind of motivational content that shines the most. But reading failures and understanding the reasons behind is also teaching some good lesson on the long-term.


Back in 2018, I was very active in the maker community, either talking with peers, discovering and reviewing their products or even sharing my own products.

But with time, I invested less and less time on my side projects, going from dozens a few years ago to zero nowadays. Reasons are pretty simple: I've lost motivation, I feel like the maker commuity evolved from passionate to a toxic result-oriented growth-hacky thing, thus investing more on my day-to-day life.

That's where the story of WizzMe begins.

Remember, it's the time where Product Hunt was very hype. iPhone just got fully redesigned with no more home button. That kind of year in tech. Like 2024 is for XX with AI, 2018 was XX with no bezel.

At first, I wanted to make a "funny" April Fool shop website called "Bezel-less t-shirt" where I would sell a unique product: Marcel tank top. Yes. So French, right?


The very first draft of Shopless clothes, the 24-hour long shop that would sell a unique shirt.

In the last moments before April 1st 2018, I thought it would've been a very bad joke that would have mislead people. And that's how that first April Fool project idea was ready to thrown away.

Ok, what about that WizzMe thing you keep talking about?

You're right, I rambled. Back in May 2018, I started drafting a April Fool To-Do List for the upcoming years. And that's where WizzMe started to take shape.

The discussion (with myself) went like:

Remember the good ol' time of MSN Messenger? We were having so much fun, far from the shortcomings of today's communication. Status, messages, wizz and winks. Either behind a screen and chatting, or offline. No overcrowded notifications etc.

Wouldn't be fun to have MSN Messenger back, just for 24 hours?


And for years, the item was gathering dust, left on its own like the whole to-do list.

Not until early 2023 where I decided to give a shot to SwiftUI (Apple language to build apps for their platforms). I challenged myself to build a very MVP-ish version of the app with authentication, friendship, chat, wizz and notifications. Not to mention that design and experience was not part of that MVP.

Then I felt very confused about whether it was a good idea or not, because there's IP behind wizz and winks (you know, those short videos we were sending to each other like the dancing pig). And Microsoft is a very huge corp. Moreover, the app was a very basic chat app with close to no design.

And then I decided to leave the app as is, on the side. Having proven to myself I could make a basic iOS app was enough.

Months went by, continuing into April and the rest of 2023, the project remained unmodified.

2024 and the revival of WizzMe (now Concizz)

Long story short about the rebranding (if we can call this like that): the app couldn't be published on the App Store because the name was already in use, thus forcing me to switch to the alternative codename: Concizz.


During the first quarter of 2024, I invested a lot of time to make Concizz usable for a long life of one-day, before self-sabotaging itself the night after, by making code more robust (even if it's still very dirty), designing a better interface inspired from few Figma files available out there and implementing those winks we mentioned earlier. So you could feel the MSN Messenger nostalgia.

Early March 2024, I set up a plan to release the app with a schedule to respect so the app would be available on time on the App Store.

I would record a (very) short trailer to share on Twitter, followed by a sequence of timelapse of me coding the app with a rythm of one-per-day until April 1st.

Apple saying "No we won't publish your dumb app", circa 2024

Alas, as it was hugely predictable (afterwards), Apple refused to publish the app for two reasons. The first was because of the lack of features available to customers, which I definitely would agree if it was a real app. The second was because the use of content that I was not licensed to use, which is the sad truth.

I still kept the plan going on, sharing one video a day, even if Apple decided to refuse the app release, and rather switched to releasing an article detailing the story behind that failure instead of a link to the App Store.

Now what?

I'll leave you with a little snippet I've written back on January 31st, 2024 about Concizz:

April is approaching very fast and what better timing could be than April 1st for this app?

So I’m trying to keep consistency on working on this project, Concizz, and hope I’ll be able to make it on time for the deadline.

Because I needed to turn to a new page and wanted to close this chapter correctly, the best option I found was to write about Concizz.

Now that this project is considered "done" in my mind, I can move ahead to a fresh start and write the story of yet another failed project...and start a new journey! :)