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15 Years

Looking back on the past five years

It’s wild to think about, but Lickability has now been in business for fifteen years. What started as two high school students building apps together over iChat AV has grown to a team of ten talented engineers, designers, and operations folks creating beautiful software used by millions of people.

I covered the first ten years of our history a previous blog post, which focused on our start as a small product team and growth into a small studio. The last five years of our story have been shaped by a global pandemic, and our resilience and ingenuity as the industry has matured.


2020 was the year we learned how to be productive as a fully remote team. In response to the pandemic, we closed our office and started using Zoom, held virtual happy hours, and released Buildwatch to help developers track and reclaim their time spent compiling.

We hired our first full-time designer, Sam Gold. And we worked with incredible clients like Clubhouse, Pair Play, Mixtiles, and Fountain to ship new mobile experiences that were informed by the pandemic and helped people find friends, dates, and jobs online as the world remained locked down.


As we closed our office and transitioned to being fully remote, we experimented with more ways to engage with the wider developer community with our live show Club Mobile, #iOSDevTips thread, talks at universities, and WWDC Discord.

We continued our long-running partnership with The Atlantic and took on new projects with clients like Mastodon and Flavrs, where we got to own both design and development. In May, we shipped another new app of our own, Scorecard, for tracking scores in tabletop games.


Our first company retreat in Brooklyn brought the team together in person, and gave us space to reconnect and plan for the next fifteen years of Lickability. Our engineers spoke at conferences around the world as the community began gathering IRL again, we redesigned our key documents, and dropped a playlist containing years of music recommendations that power our teams.

Ken joined the engineering team full-time, and our client roster grew to include Loop Golf, MusicSketch, and Direct Affect, broadening our experience in the sports, music, and philanthropy industries.


Taking the energy from Config and bringing it to New York, 2023 saw the launch of our Design Friends meetup, where we invite designers and developers to hang out and talk shop once a month at one of our favorite local establishments. We also hosted our first webinar on choosing the right technology for your mobile app, launched the Soft Serve newsletter to share insights and links from around the web, and prototyped an app idea within visionOS.

We shipped App Audit as a way for us to get started working with teams more quickly, and we became both a RevenueCat partner and recognized by Clutch as one of the best app development studios in the country.


Lickability continues to be my favorite place I’ve ever worked, and the only way to keep it that way is to keep improving the way we work together — just as we have over the last decade and a half. To keep treating our people and customers with respect, building software that feels as good as it looks, and having fun doing it.

Thanks for all of your support over the years in building this studio. If you’d like to work together on building better software, I know just the team who’d love to help.