Behind the Scenes at Xobni

There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes at Xobni. This work isn’t seen by our users, but greatly contributes to the success of our product and our company.

Nimda: Our internal admin toolset

Bryan, our web developer and designer, spends about 20% of his time working on the pretty Xobni website and other outward facing projects that our users enjoy. The majority of his time is spent building internal tools that help our marketing, product, and support teams perform at the top of their game.

If you are a data nerd like everyone at Xobni (seriously, people come into Xobni and are shocked by the level of data collection and analysis we do), you’ll appreciate the effort we put into collecting, tracking, and analyzing data.

The internal tools Bryan has built remove him from the critical path for many important projects: getting data for board meetings, A/B testing a new homepage design, launching new invitation messaging, or surveying users. I’m sure Bryan appreciates the reduction in emails that start with: “hey, can you query the user list for ___.”

One nice thing Bryan has built are the tools we use to monitor uninstalls and installs over time for each version of our software.

xobni installs

He has also made great interfaces for setting up Xobni invite campaigns. This system allows us to easily A/B test the conversion rates on several variables we can tune. Bryan has reduced the complexity of running an A/B testing campaign across thousands of computers to a simple web form.

invite campaign

There are a lot more pretty graphs, but they contain some data we aren’t quite ready to share yet 😉

LunchBotr: Automated food ordering

Another example of behind the scenes effort at Xobni is something Ryan our lead QA developer built “for fun” during the weekend: LunchBotr.

At Xobni we provide lunch and dinner for our team every day. Not having to think about where we are going to eat helps us to focus on the thing we are best at: building great products. As our company has grown from 2, to 5, to 8, and now 15 people, the task of feeding the team has become more challenging. La Donna, our office manager, is in charge of coordinating lunch everyday. She emails the whole team the menu of the location we are ordering from, and everyone sends back their order (I know this is getting boring, but hold on). This process started to get cumbersome for 15 people, especially because La Donna also takes requests for the lunch restaurant of the day. There was a lot of back and forth. However, Ryan solved this problem with a little weekend project: Lunch Botr.


LunchBotr is awesome. The first employee to submit a lunch request can choose the restaurant of the day. Then an email is automatically sent to the team linking to the lunchbotr page for the day. This is just great. The LunchBotr page also has links to the retaurant menu, yelp review, and it shows what you last ordered from that restaurant. Finally it shows who has already completed their order, who hasn’t, and what everyone ordered. This makes La Donna’s life easier and it is really fun to use.

Software is awesome, and the guys who build it are awesomer.

8 Responses to “Behind the Scenes at Xobni”

  1. 1 DA March 11, 2008 at 4:27 am

    Are you going to release those applications though 🙂 especially the lunchbotr?

  2. 2 Matt March 11, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Hey DA,

    I’ll have to ask Ryan, but I could see us opensourcing the Lunchbotr. Every startup should have one!


  3. 3 Paul March 11, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    AWESOME … You are all hired … get on a plane to South Africa now! 🙂

  4. 4 Phil v. Sassen March 13, 2008 at 3:33 am

    Looking forward to the opensource Lunchbotr.

    Regards, Phil

    Ryan already owns the domain “LUNCHBOTR.COM” …

  5. 5 Simone Avanzi March 14, 2008 at 11:55 am

    LunchBotr! Great thing…
    We had a very similar thing at my previous company for years… so happy days 🙂

  6. 6 Phil v. Sassen May 14, 2008 at 7:17 am

    Any news regarding LunchBotr. Do want to use the tool for my office crew in Berlin …

  7. 7 Chip May 21, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Ok, that is just too cool. We do lunch every friday and it would be a great help for just one day a week! Please release soon. Thanks!

  8. 8 Joe February 2, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Xobni is cool but I could really use LunchBotr! Please release! Thanks.

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About Xobni

Xobni’s contact management products offer lightning fast email search and organization of your inbox, as well as an innovative and comprehensive address book for the mobile device.


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