Swackett was an accident.
January 6, 2011 : Swackett was launched as a special project — a side hustle — an idea — a hunch — by Swackett’s founder, C. Scott Gilbert. Swackett was an initiative to explore new emerging mobile app markets.
Surprise! Swackett was an instant hit on launch day with 30,000 new users — 100,000 new users in the first week. After a year Swackett had garnered more than one million unique users.
It was a blessing and a curse.
Supporting a new rush of users is expensive. Infrastructure to properly service a million users requires significant resources. Because Swackett started as an experiment very little planning had gone into monetization of the brand. As often happens in situations like these, a founder of a company needs to find investors to keep a promising new enterprise operating. And just as often, a founder looses controlling interest in the company that they’ve poured their heart and soul into. Equity can be a tricky thing.
Such was the case with Swackett.
In the first few years Swackett’s unique user base grew to millions of people. Swackett partnered with major brands to promote clothing, eyewear, movies and TV Shows**. Swackett “peeps” became famous — even appearing on NBC’s TODAY Show. Swackett was ranked as the #1 weather app in 67 countries worldwide.
Sounds great, right?
It was and it wasn’t. Over time conflicting leadership ideologies and revenue generating priorities collided — and all Swackett products suffered. Eventually, after 10 different Swackett apps and tens of millions of downloads, the core team of developers and artists left to pursue other interests. Swackett Headquarters in Brookville, Pennsylvania closed it’s doors.
2016 : A New Beginning
Five years after the original product launch, Gilbert (Swackett’s original founder) launched a brand new company to bring Swackett back: sweaterjacketorcoat.com, LLC. This new company calls Bakery Square it’s home — the heart of Pittsburgh’s new center for technological innovation — and home to companies like Apple, Google, Uber, Carnegie Mellon University, UPMC Enterprises and Management Science Associates (MSA).
The Swackett product line was immediately narrowed to allow a focus on core-products — in the same way Steve Jobs narrowed Apple’s product line after he returned to that company in 1997. More than half of Swackett’s product line was depreciated and will no longer receive updates (a complete list of Swackett apps and their status can be found here). All remaining apps were scheduled to be rebuilt from the ground-up and relaunched.
Then came the modernization of Swackett’s core technologies. All of Swackett’s core systems (apps, servers, weather logic) were carefully re-built using state-of-the-art tech — code designed with a user’s privacy as a chief concern. Affectionately referred to as the IQ Weather Engine, all modern Swackett app releases feature IQ Weather Engine assets and logic.
A Renewed Mission
The mission of this new Swackett endeavor is to surprise and delight our users with innovative weather forecasts: to return to what made Swackett great when it launched in 2011. Our strategy revolves around making weather forecasts fresh and fun with superior design and humorous illustrations.
With our new IQ Weather Engine and our renewed focus on innovation — we hope to surprise and delight our users for many years to come.
2018 : Swackett version 5
In 2018 Swackett will launch all new Swackett apps based on the new IQ Weather Engine. Swackett for macOS will be the first new app to utilize the IQ Weather Engine — and will add a fun new dimension to Swackett peeps. We can’t wait to share it with you! Coming soon.
UPDATE: Summer 2018
Swackett 5 for macOS launched in May 2018 and was immediately selected for recognition by Apple in the Mac App Store.
Selected as one of “New Apps and Games We Love”, Swackett 5 was featured on the Home page of the Mac App Store for a month — and quickly rose to be the #1 Weather App in 55 countries worldwide (based on AppAnnie Rankings).
UPDATE: Fall 2018
Swackett 5 for iPhone launched in October 2018.
UPDATE: Fall 2019
Swackett 6 for iPhone launched in September 2019, featuring full support for iOS 13.
UPDATE: Spring 2020
Swackett 10-Year Anniversary Apps: Swackett 7 for Mac, iPhone and iPad are coming soon, featuring full support for the very latest Apple technologies.
**Swackett Brand Partners have included majors brands line American Eagle Outfitters, Warby Parker, and 20th Century Fox.