Check In to People

As I wrote in yesterday’s post, I’m going to build an app in four weeks. Now I’ve chosen the idea that I’m going to build: check in to people. This will give you an archive of when you met people. After you check in, you can add notes and maybe pictures.

Yesterday I’ve thought about the next steps and about the minimum viable product, and researched existing apps.

Existing Software

It looks like there is one app that does something similar, it’s called FellowUp. However, it doesn’t include the time aspect as much as I want to.

I also stumbled on a blog post by Loic Le Meur, founder of Seesmic and LeWeb.net, who describes a Personal CRM system. This is some nice validation. People like Loic are my potential market.

MVP

The Minimum Viable Product is an app with two features: check in and review. If you press “Check In”, you can choose a person from your Address Book (or add somebody). Then you can choose the date and time (which is pre-set to the current date and time). You can add notes directly, or later on.

If you press “People”, you get a list of your contacts. You can browse them alphabetically, and selecting a contact gives you the full history of your check-ins with that person.

Finally, if you press “Archive” you get a list of your check-ins, sorted by date. For example, if you use Getting Things Done you can use it for your weekly reviews.

There are a lot of other features I thought of, but this will be the MVP.

Business Model

I can see two straightforward options for the business model: a free app that allows you to purchase extra features or a paid app. A third option would be to have a subscription service, but I think that should only be done if there is a server component included (for example, a plugin in GMail). I have to think of a good price. Because it’s a niche app, it won’t be 99 cents, but probably something like $4.99. Any tips on the pricing would be much appreciated.

Next Steps

  • Start drawing prototypes
  • Think about who my market is, exactly, and how to market it to them
  • Think about the branding of the app (name, visual design, icon)
  • Build a working prototype

As always, the marketing will be the most difficult for me. I’ll have to think hard about that.

Update

Right after publishing this post, I found out about Hashable. It’s a very similar tool, however, it’s a service that requires you to login, and it’s social (you can share things with people). I envisioned a product where everything stays on your iPhone. I’ll have to think if this is a good reason to quit the project or if it’s the perfect validation.

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