Bindle

Microchats for everyone

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#2 Product of the DayAugust 29, 2014
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Chris ToyMaker@christoy · founder, @BindleChat @whatswilson
Hey everyone! Super excited to be here. We started Bindle to let people instantly create chat rooms for any topic or scenario. There's an entirely different connection that can happen when the conversation is less about the network (friends, family, followers) and instead focused on the context. So far we're seeing people use Bindle for everything from discussing shared interests to personal group messaging, and even as a communication tool for events. Happy to answer any questions at all!
Tara KalmansonMaker@tarakalmanson · Product @ POPSUGAR
Excited to see Bindle on Product Hunt! Thank you @eriktorenberg and @rrhoover.
Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Congrats on the launch and great meeting your at the happy hour last night, @christoy. I have to ask: does the world really need another group messaging app? What makes Bindle stand out (other than the name -- I dig it)? (I ask this not as a criticism, but out of curiosity. I'm happy to see more people explore different ways of communicating through technology)
Chris ToyMaker@christoy · founder, @BindleChat @whatswilson
@rrhoover Great question Ryan, at its simplest we want to build a communication platform where the network is not actually the focus but rather the context/need. Our sweet spot in the group messaging space is for groups larger than 10+. This is where group messaging apps start to creak a little bit; push notifications are coming in constantly, etc. We've done a lot of customer interviews and find a fair amount of dissatisfaction for people using current messaging apps for large groups that communicate on a regular basis. On the flip side, something like a Slack or Hipchat are awesome for closed organizations but tough for external use. For example, you can't put 100 people at an event or concert or party onto Slack as a communication tool. With Bindle, you can fire up the room, share the hashtag and be done.
Alex Cusack@alexcusack · Founder @ Hudel.co
@christoy nice! Seems like a useful niche. My experience with current conversations being predominantly facilitated via Twitter is that there's an inverse correlation between #of participants and ability to track the conversation. The conversations end up dividing into 1000 different threads of replies- so you end up only tracking how a certain user group's conversation rather than the conversation at large. Would welcome a better way! +1 for this idea!
Chris ToyMaker@christoy · founder, @BindleChat @whatswilson
@alexcusack Exactly! Couldn't have put it better myself, thanks!
Ross Rojek@sacbookreviewer · CTO, GoLocalApps.com, Apptoolkit.io
@rrhoover I can see this as a quick chat room for discussions with people on highly topical subjects, book clubs, events etc. I'd think a feature where you could kick the content of the chat out into a standalone webpage might be good too. Too often good conversations get lost.
Chris ToyMaker@christoy · founder, @BindleChat @whatswilson
@SacBookReviewer Great idea on kicking content out, we actually often talk about taking conversations "offline" to Bindle from Twitter but absolutely some of the content we've seen so far deserves eyeballs beyond the app.
Kevin Li@liveink · Co-Founder at Farmstead
Congrats on the launch, wil be playig around with it today! What prompted you guys to go into the space?
Chris ToyMaker@christoy · founder, @BindleChat @whatswilson
@liveink Hey Kevin! Great meeting you last night! I didn’t start with a deep desire to get into this space—instead I had a problem I wanted to solve. If I have something I want to talk about, and maybe my friends aren’t into it or I just want to hear some more diverse opinions, there was no clear place to go. I don't really even mind if the other people are interested in that topic, or are experts in it. I just want to have a casual conversation as I would in real life. We never talk about Bindle as being "interest-based" because its not about loving video games and coming to the same chat and talking about video games forever, like a message board community or even old school chat rooms. You should be able to start and join conversations about whatever you feel like each day and not think about it more heavily than that.
Kevin Li@liveink · Co-Founder at Farmstead
@christoy that's awesome. one question though, if you dont think of it as interest based, how do you build the shared context across the community?
Chris ToyMaker@christoy · founder, @BindleChat @whatswilson
@liveink Great question again! We’ve been taking a sandbox approach. The idea was to build simple tools to let people start, contribute to, or join these microchats as easily as possible, and we’ll build around where the crowd goes and what they do. So far we've seen a ratio of 1 microchat created for every 3 users, which we're finding pretty amazing. As you might expect, the most successful topics have been something anyone can relate to. For example, one day someone asked for help proposing to his girlfriend, another day a user started #Idaho and turns out we had a bunch of users from Idaho. As the community continues to grow and we analyze our engagement data we'll build to fill any gaps, improve discovery, add geo etc. Making context matching seamless and intuitive is one of the product areas we're most excited about.
Kevin Li@liveink · Co-Founder at Farmstead
@christoy great way to go about it, i think most interest driven chats while have great initial onboarding become too constrained over time (ie. any role play chats where sometimes you want to just chat as yourself)
Chris ToyMaker@christoy · founder, @BindleChat @whatswilson
@liveink yup exactly, once you stay interest based it begins to have the same constraints as the network effect. We'll have different challenges ahead of us by not leaning on that crutch, but that's why we're excited to build the platform!
⚡️@thejulielogan · dir. of brand strategy – giphy
How do you plan to organize the inevitable chaos? discovery, search, libraries...can I customize how I organize, so every experience is different? Or are you baking in a structure as more people join?
Chris ToyMaker@christoy · founder, @BindleChat @whatswilson
@thejulielogan great question, and definitely the latter. We're pretty data driven in how we build so we should see trends coming before they become a real problem. Even with our first base of users, we're seeing some pretty clear behaviors that have influenced our roadmap. For example we deliberately didn't build any retention features or marketing into the first MVP of the app specifically to baseline natural behavior first and then build from there based on real actions. At the end of the day, I dream of having a chaos problem as hopefully that means we've got a lot of active users :D