This is becoming a really great discussion. Thanks @Nachiket_Vartak for the link. It's great timing with the latest release of Chrome 53 just a few days ago. It seems to have addressed the battery issue.
More generally, I have to say that we are not just building a product we are building a company. And to have a great product in the long term you need a robust company. So clearly business decisions go into the product decisions.
Some decisions are hard because there are always many options you can choose from. However, some are really easy because the data is so clear.
@Oliver_D: You are right many academics are using Macs but that does not change the fact that only 10% of all our potential users use Safari to begin with. I don't know why that is, but this is what we see.
Second, mobile is not for writing papers is for reading papers. I've checked, in total we got 7 requests for Safari in the past 3 years. We get multiple requests for mobile every week. So the demand is 1-2 orders of magnitude higher for mobile apps than for Safari. That's not us hating Safari that's just the market we are operating in. If it was the other way round we would release a Safari app in October instead of an iOS app.
@Nachiket_Vartak Technical decision are based on so many factors that it's hardly ever possible to judge them from outside. You are right, Electron is cross platform.
But that's just the basic runtime there is lots of stuff going on which needs to be built specifically for macOS and Windows. Word for Mac and Windows are extremely different and we need native modules in Swift and .Net to communicate between Word and Electron. Packaging and updates require completely different server components. The UI paradigms are also different. We use the task bar on Mac as central UI element because it's visible all the time. But on Windows it's hidden on the bottom of the screen. Also we have been a Linux/Mac shop until now and we have to establish our development process on Windows. So with this information I don't think anyone would be perplexed that we ship our Word plugin on Mac first.
Another decision Paperpile made is their extremely tight integration with Google Docs, which no serious academic can use to write papers. Word and Libreoffice integration would have much more "sell-able".
We have many thousands of academics who have left Word for Google Docs and Paperpile. They would not be happy to be called "non serious academics"
And they are all paying customers and we fill a quickly growing niche. So I would strongly disagree that Word or Libre Office are more "sellable" in the current market. Actually our Word plugin will be free like our sidebar Docs add-on is.