handshakes.work

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Enrico Foschi
Enrico FoschiMaker@enricofoschi · CTO @ 4scotty, mentor @ Geekettes, maker
Hello hunters! I coded handshakes.work over the Christmas holidays with the goal to build a uber-simple platform to connect business individuals locally over a coffee. There are quite a few solutions around, but most of them are based on a Tinder-like approach that doesn't help people get out of their networking biases & bubbles. I have been inspired by Serendipity by @manasvinik and by weave.in by @zealoustiger. The goal is not just to connect individuals with random people, but also to focus on a more local approach, help them schedule their first coffee / lunch / beer and make it as easy as possible for the actual real meeting to happen! At the start, there will be quite a mix of automation and "human intelligence" (a fancy way to say "lots of manual work"). I plan to leverage on our learnings, successes & failures to then make a lot of things happen!
Silviu St
Silviu St@silviust7 · iOS Developer
@enricofoschi The idea is very nice but...well you need to have lots of users so you could make this happen. I'm in let's say a country where you can't find many peoples wanting to try those kind of things (except me 😇). Would love to see creating a the possibility of let's say a Skype beer meeting 😍
Enrico Foschi
Enrico FoschiMaker@enricofoschi · CTO @ 4scotty, mentor @ Geekettes, maker
@silviust7 @enricofoschi that's an amazing idea. I wouldn't want to do what other online services do already very well, but I do believe in the power of users' choice. I'm off to watch Star Wars now, I will add the option as soon as I get back.
Silviu St
Silviu St@silviust7 · iOS Developer
@enricofoschi I'm glad to see you're opened to suggestions 😀. (May the force be with you 🔦 )
Enrico Foschi
Enrico FoschiMaker@enricofoschi · CTO @ 4scotty, mentor @ Geekettes, maker
@silviust7 @enricofoschi happy users is the best rocket fuel a maker could get :). Thanks to @rrhoover and the @producthunt team, this kind of collaboration is now easier than ever ^^
JOE
JOE@joemellin · PM @ Visual Studio Mobile Center
@silviust7 @enricofoschi I second that one. If it is over 4 blocks from my office I would rather do a skype first meeting. The great part of this would be to do it every two weeks for a year. If that is the case then having it close is super important.
Timothy Buck
Timothy Buck@timothybucksf · Product Manager
Just signed up. Thanks, @enricofoschi
Ander Frischer
Ander Frischer@ander_frischer · Marketing Educator at Instapage
Conceptually, I love this. What will be your method of quality control? It would be great to build in a ratings feature to validate if the meeting was truly worth the time. Consider this like a private social endorsement. This both teaches your software and validates that someone is as qualified as their LinkedIn indicates. Quick suggestion re: the onboarding process. Once I submitted my LinkedIn, I was unable to get back to the home page should I have wanted to continue reading about the product. The link on your logo directs to https://handshakes.work/done. I also found it frustrating that manually entering the URL resulted in the same thing. I had to open it in an incognito window. I presume this is a quick fix :) Future integrations with services like branded.me would be neat as well. Good luck @enricofoschi!
Enrico Foschi
Enrico FoschiMaker@enricofoschi · CTO @ 4scotty, mentor @ Geekettes, maker
@anderfrischer thanks Ander - great feedback. Quality control is indeed the big deal and I see it as the "make it or break it" factor in this. I plan to do a lot of manual work and, initially, to get a lot of feedback, then trying to identify patterns and fine tune them to the point where they just work. Too optimistic? Maybe. I may look back at this comment and realize how stupid I’ve been, but I guess this is going to be a learning as well :) Regarding the automatic redirect, I understand exactly what you are saying. I was trying to be smart by redirecting users to the right step, ending up only to block them to a unescapable UX jail. Lesson learnt. I fixed it and now you can browse back and forward as you wish :) Thanks again for the feedback and hoping to connect you with some awesome people out there.
Nathaniel Blackburn
Nathaniel Blackburn@itsnblackburn · UI Engineer
Awesome idea, keep it up!
Drew Meyers
Drew MeyersHiring@drewmeyers · Founder, Horizon & Geek Estate
This reminds me of the early @treatings: https://www.treatings.co/ See this for more context: http://smallbiztrends.com/2015/0... It's worth noting they've pivoted away from coffee meetings.
Ander Frischer
Ander Frischer@ander_frischer · Marketing Educator at Instapage
@drewmeyers Treatings presents itself in some ways as a per-project-basis connection or meeting. I feel like Handshakes.work is more of an introduction for like-minded potential business relationships without expectations for immediate ROI. It's intended for a longer-tailed networking strategy. Thoughts @enrichofoshi?
Enrico Foschi
Enrico FoschiMaker@enricofoschi · CTO @ 4scotty, mentor @ Geekettes, maker
@anderfrischer @drewmeyers spot on with the purpose and good question. I think there are great tools out there to stay connected and everybody has their own network of preference. I am looking at this just as an initial introduction, something to help people connect with others that wouldn't otherwise have connected with, and possibly to open more doors to new opportunities.
Drew Meyers
Drew MeyersHiring@drewmeyers · Founder, Horizon & Geek Estate
@anderfrischer You should read up on the early iterations of Treatings, they were written about a lot (they penned a regular guest post on Pando, which is how I originally found them).... it was facilitating coffee meetings.
Drew Meyers
Drew MeyersHiring@drewmeyers · Founder, Horizon & Geek Estate
@enricofoschi "help people connect with others that wouldn't otherwise have connected with, and possibly to open more doors to new opportunities." There is absolutely a crowd of people interested in that. Startup entrepreneurs, and those in biz dev/sales roles, who essentially make their money by networking. But, most people in the world need a very specific reason to go out of their way to meet someone in the real world. "Connecting" is not a value prop the average person cares about. We learned that the hard way, and spent a lot of my own personal money. Figure out the "why", then solve that with an amazing product specific to that use case.
Enrico Foschi
Enrico FoschiMaker@enricofoschi · CTO @ 4scotty, mentor @ Geekettes, maker
@drewmeyers this is quite an inspiring point Drew and I do quite agree. The connection driver (aka motivation / why / ...) is the key here. It's too much of a guessing game for me at the moment, and by closely looking at what happens on the platform, I hope to steer the development in the direction that better serves a purpose and climbs down from a high-level "networking" platform to a more personalized experience aimed to network with a goal. Thanks for the feedback