Slync app has been out for a week now and it would be nice to take a few moments and reflect on the app.
First of all, I am very thankful to all of our users who signed up. The number of people who signed up is very encouraging. The number of our users is increasing every day. We have more users than posts at this point, much more. Even got some requests from cities from around the US to add Slync support for their city… very cool indeed. This validates the need for the app while it also suggest that what I thought was important in terms of features was a miss in certain cases (see “more users than posts” remark).
Thankful to everyone who took the time to contact us with feature suggestions, kind words, and critique. I’ve read every single one of user’s emails. Ideas and suggestions are valuable and will be considered for future updates.
It is awesome to release something “new” and see the reaction of people who were never “exposed” to the idea, unlike all of my friends. These users (in their suggestion emails) talk about features they think are important with valid reasons.
A little history for inquiring minds. When Slync idea was born, I wanted to strip away from everything I know as “social” today to bring a new experience. When I thought of what “social” meant, it inevitably meant comments, likes, profiles, etc. While that was not “the enemy” of the Slync app, I really didn’t want the drama that comes with profiles for example (there were more valuable reasons, read on). Slync app is a place for a quick share of cool items for somebody else to discover. So I decided to forgo the comments system and profiles altogether.
Why no profiles, you ask? Good question. A couple of month ago I met Greg Gottesman from Madrona Venture Group to talk about the Slync idea. He suggested I go and talk the “sh*t” (kid you not) out of our potential users and get “strangers feedback”. Somehow that stuck with me. I mean, I talked to people before I started Slync app (obviously, I am not an idiot), but this was something else… he really meant talking to people, lots of them.
I am a developer. Talking to people isn’t one of my strengths. But it had to be done, so I went to our local mall and just started talking to strangers. I then met with a lot of “distant” friends and talked some more. I even recruited my wife to go to another mall and talk to people as well. Then, I built a simple questionnaire web page with a few simple questions and asked everyone of my Facebook friends to take anonymous survey… so did my wife. Altogether we talked to a good number of strangers and were able to identify a couple of interesting things.
95% of people said they would share their purchase with their friends. 1/3 of those users who would share with friends, would not share one of three crucial pieces of information – picture, price or location. Each group had its own reasons for not wanting to share all 3 pieces of info… for example, the group that would share the picture (lets call them “the Instagram” group) would not share the price. When asked why, they simply didn’t feel comfortable having their friends know how much money they spent on that item. That was understandable.
When I looked at the data I concluded that the user would be more comfortable sharing a purchase if people didn’t know who posted it. So this would be just a way to “help people find cool deals” without exposing the buyer. This however led to “currency crisis”. My good friend Lancen Anderson said something the other day that stuck with me… He asked me what was the “currency” of Slync app? In other words, what reward is there for posters. We all knew that consumers would be into the app for the ability to discover things… but what about content generators?
The “currency” dilemma led me and Peter (who is part of the awesome Slync app team) to come up with a simple “Thank You” concept. Users posting good content would be “thanked” by people who found their post useful. Good theory. Still is, although it needs work.
Alright, so this is a brief history of how Slync became what it is today. Tomorrow (literally) we are meeting with the team to discuss future improvements and pivot points in our initial direction. Always fun. Startup business is always fun.
Stay tuned. More to come.