Inside 3.0

Real-time mobile news app, entirely redesigned

#4 Product of the DayFebruary 26, 2015

Reviews

Discussion

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Ryan Hoover
Hunter
@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
I had the pleasure of getting a sneak peek at the new Inside app a few days ago when @Jason visited our office to record a podcast (listen on Soundcloud here and catch more PHR here). The redesign looks much better and now includes following of curators, journalists, and topics. There are so many places to find news (both long and short form) and somewhat ironically, @mg just launched CircaNews.com 20 minutes ago, a company you invested in which shares a lot of similarities, imho. Why will Inside succeed where others haven't?
jason
Maker
@jason · ceo, writer, event host & angel
@Jason @mg @rrhoover First, thanks for featuring both Inside 3.0 and Circa Web (2.0 & really awesome!). 1. No one has won smartphone news here in the US. It's wide open. The unicorn for mobile news is not yet here. That's why I'm in the game! 2. Flipboard has won mobile news on tablets, but tablets are a bust on a traffic basis (they are 1-3% of most Apps usage). Complete bust, completely unexpected but there is a silver lining: large phones -- they are gonna win it all. 3. There are three or four very good products in smartphone news in the USA in my mind: Feedly, Inside, Circa & Nuzzle. Here's why they're all going to win some solid % of marketshare: a/Nuzzle is the feature that Twitter forgot to build (what my friends like), but I think it can move from a very slick feature to a fuller product when they collect data from many places (say Reddit, PH, Feedly, etc) and normalize that friend graph data. Boom! That would give you a really fascinating look at the "linkconomy." b/ Circa is a more efficient--perhaps even *better* for some--version of the New York Times. That's why I invested--MG is just a great product mind and the editorial team there is really tight as well. Their news "objects" are similar to Inside's, but we are two sentences and they are full stories. Truth is they are journalists and we are curators--it's two different layers in the stack of news. People curate Circa stories on Inside.com all the time and Circa will probably never cite us as a news source (because we are not a news organization, but a curation platform). It's fairly clear NYT Now is a reaction to Circa -- and I think that says a LOT. c/Feedly is great for the 1%ers of news. It's old school, it's very well executed, and I think Google should buy them and rename them Google Reader -- but this time not shut them down. :-)
Ross@GoLocalApps@golocalapps · GoLocalApps
@Jason @mg @rrhoover @jason As mentioned below, you may have to add yahoo news to this list. Granted I haven't used yahoo in years, but millions still do, and not only did they make a decently looking news app, but they also added it into their email app.
Ouriel Ohayon@ourielohayon · appsfire, CEO/ isai (VC) co-founder
@Jason @mg @rrhoover @jason Jason do you think a "unicorn" can be built on Mobile news? any company out there ever been a unicorn by doing agregation vs content production?
Max Ogles@maxogles · Marketing at Mobile Coach
I definitely agree re: Yahoo News Digest. It's stuck with me much longer than Circa, for example, though I'm excited to try this new version of Inside.
jason
Maker
@jason · ceo, writer, event host & angel
@Jason @mg @rrhoover @ourielohayon Reddit is worth $500m without a mobile app. tumblr was some % curation (plus blogging) and they sold for $1b i think mobile news could produce a $10b company in fact.
Ouriel Ohayon@ourielohayon · appsfire, CEO/ isai (VC) co-founder
@Jason @mg @rrhoover @jason I read reddit had only 10m USD in revenues (!!) but i guess their value lies in the insane engagement of their community and their network effect beyond agregation. Tumblr is by far not a curation engine. I used to be on the board of a large aggregation service based on news. It s a tough one. the value is really limited at some point. The business of news is mostly driven by breaking news and hot content. i am not convinced agreggation is enough not matter how well it is done to build a unicorn. I do agree it is a good starting point (which seems to be the case for companies like flipboard and feedly). but there has to be more to it
Adam O'Kane@adamokane · product strategist & writer
@jason, what role did you play in designing this product? How hands-on are you in product design? Also - what sort of feedback do you (or whoever leads Inside's product) consider when making product decisions?
jason
Maker
@jason · ceo, writer, event host & angel
@adamokane This product is really my vision for what mobile news should be, executed and influenced by a passionate team and user base. The best products come from founders with an "itch to scratch," but this strategy has a limitation: there might not be a lot of people who want what I want! That being said, our API will open soon and I think that could be a break out moment for us like it was for Twitter. You will be able to hit Inside.com and say "give me every author that has written a story that mentions Elon Musk, Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity or the Hyperloop" then print the "Lead Sentence" from their three most popular stories in the sidebar to "elonmusknews.com." There are 10,000 versions of Inside.com waiting to be built... it is unlikely I came up with the best version for you -- I came up with the best version for me and news junkies ( I hope!). Here are some the key pieces in my mind: 1. The Curator class of users. We're not just authors, sources and readers, we're a platform for curators to share the best authors & sources with others. Platforms like Pinterest for shopping, Reddit for anything, PH for products, etc. tend to scale better because everyone can "lead." 2. The follow topics model. People are really following a lot of topics. When they do, they stick around. We just copied Twitter since they figured it out, but we added email like Google News alerts (which is a great product... if we were living in 2007). 3. Updates: The anatomy of the atomic unit at Inside.com is the update. It's 240 characters, has a small piece of media, topics, an author, a source and a curator. These updates are written by our team of 50 writers who we pay. Their work goes on 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and make every update easy to read and dense with facts. This really is a major innovation in the product: we spend six figures a year making these clean atomic units. 4. Time to Truth: our goal is to get people to as many facts from quality writers as quickly as possible. If you go to inside.com/drones or inside.com/marijuana our hope is you get a TON OF INFORMATION quickly.
Adam O'Kane@adamokane · product strategist & writer
@jason Got it. So, so you obviously had a team that built 3.0, but did you give them wireframes to work with? A list of points you wanted to hit? Just curious about how hands-on you were in that process, because I find Inside to be an interesting business with a unique back story.
Ryan Hoover
Hunter
@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@jason - open API = SMART. Excited to see what people build off of it. Maybe someone in the PH community will mash together our API's into something new. *hint hint* 😃
jason
Maker
@jason · ceo, writer, event host & angel
sd@adamokane Oh... I have a product manager and designer who are amazing at wireframes and designs. I have a general idea of what matters in curation of news and they build ideas... then I look at them and ask questions, give feedback and ask for iterations. I do this all inside of InVision [ use this link, they heard my love for their product and gave my listeners a free deal http://www.invisionapp.com/twist ] inside InVision we have discussions, debates, etc. Now that my version of the Inside.com is done (3.0), I think we'll see some members of my team make THEIR VERSION of the world: expect there to be a "light" version, a "tinder version" and a "flipboard" version of Inside.com's data in the coming months from the public and my team... thanks to the API Our team is 75% remote, serious news lovers... so, I hired everyone because they love news which means we whip through discussions of the product.
Joe Anderson@anderson760 · Designer
@adamokane @jason how do we become beta testers of the api ;-)
Ben Parr@benparr · Co-founder and CMO, Octane AI
Congrats again, @Jason!
jason
Maker
@jason · ceo, writer, event host & angel
@Jason @benparr thanks pal
jason
Maker
@jason · ceo, writer, event host & angel
Thanks everyone... I'm awake, I've got a big cup of joe and I'm ready for any questions you might have!
Eric Willis@erictwillis · Working on something new
@jason Anything planned for Android? ...and is that Chrome extension still in the works?
Steve McGarry@stvmcg · Entrepreneur and coffee snob
@jason When it comes to balancing content creators and readers, what are your plans for @inside?
jason
Maker
@jason · ceo, writer, event host & angel
@inside @thestevemcgarry we are going to give our readers controls... if you don't like my curation you will be able to block / mute me. If everyone hates my curation we might step in and turn you down a bit. In all cases, we review EVERY SINGLE LINK added and spend 10 minutes writing a summary. So, it's like Reddit if 50 people checked every link: smaller, but cleaner.
geoffclapp@geoffclapp · Co-founder, Better
@jason There are hints of Mahalo in here - using people+great tech to find what they need & want. How did your learnings from Mahalo flow into Inside, and do you consider it sharing a common DNA? Any key things you learned from Mahalo and human curation that lead to big wins in Inside?
jason
Maker
@jason · ceo, writer, event host & angel
@geoffclapp when Mahalo started we didn't have a user base with smartphones.... but we knew that a human layer of content on search would help. it has... google is doing it all the time now. but search is hard to break into... which is why no one has. Google has it locked up, from browsers to mobile. news is wide open..... and mobile, social and email/dark web allow you to really grow a product outside of SEO today. curation is the big theme: some humans are really good at -- and motivated too -- curate content. this release make us a platform. so you could go and add your stories to inside.com/heath inside.com/healthcare and build your brand in that vertical by sharing links that you find. over time we think we will build the next generation of "youtube stars" on inside.com who is the best curator of inside.com/drones? of inside.com/space? wide open...
Anuj Adhiya@anujadhiya · Engagement/Analytics at GrowthHackers
@jason Gonna be curating the crap out of /travel - watch out!