Pocket DECODED: saving the internet, one article at a time

3 min read
December 15, 2016

Also catering to your need to hoard articles you’ll never read.

It’s been 9 years since Nathan Weiner’s Read It Later came to life as a Mozilla Firefox browser extension, a handy tool intended to be a TiVo for web content, or as The Verge once put it, a save button for the Internet.


It was eventually rebranded to Pocket, as it basically allows you to pocket articles, videos or pretty much any other content you please and save it for later, both from your browser or a mobile app like Twitter or Flipboard.

Or at least to save them for later and then forget all about them until you’re stranded on an airport with patchy Wi-Fi and a several hours delay on your hands.

The simple, yet popular concept raised funds from Foundation Capital, Baseline Ventures, Google Ventures, and Founder Collective, and has managed to live quite a lifespan for a startup — almost a decade!

And during that time, it has not only survived, but also gathered and retained 17 million registered users.

The tchochke you find in your Pocket

The app is free, but comes with a paid subscription service Pocket Premium, which adds a server side storage for the articles you really want to keep, as well as more powerful search tools, and some nice-to-have customization options.

But it has also long surpassed its role of your virtual content junk drawer and is pivoting towards a social recommendation platform, allowing you to connect your Facebook, Twitter and Google account to get content from the people you already know, or to pick from a list of popular influencers.


Once again, we used Firebase to cut the cost of developing a hefty back end, just like we did with WhatsApp and Strava:

Strava DECODED: How to Build an App That Gives You a Run for Your Moneya

The web app has pretty much similar features, as the whole point of Pocket is to enable you to access your saved content regardless of the device you’re using. It’s no wonder that web app development takes as long as for that of a mobile app:


Press “Save” in less three months

Let’s sum all those features and tables into one clean count, shall we?

If we put 2 iOS, 2 Android and 2 web developers on the job, it would take a bit over two months to develop the whole thing.

And the final numbers would look like this:


As for attracting 17 million users, that’s a secret we can’t decode for you. But for all development intents and purposes, we’ve got your back ????

Written by

Marko Strizic

Co-founder and CEO

Marko started DECODE with co-founders Peter and Mario, and a decade later, leads the company as CEO. His role is now almost entirely centred around business strategy, though his extensive background in software engineering makes sure he sees the future of the company from every angle. A graduate of the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing, he’s fascinated by the architecture of mobile apps and reactive programming, and a strong believer in life-long learning. Always ready for action. Or an impromptu skiing trip.

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