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This product has finally shipped! Its been in stealth for a long time. I remember an interview @ross did a while ago with @msuster - I assumed with was a slack competitor from the descriptions. Now seeing it... It feels more like a lighter, more mobile version of basecamp and many other products. Looks pretty cool. We're going to try it.
@lekanb Thanks Lekan. To clarify, we don't see ourselves as a Slack competitor. Any more than a wiki is a competitor to IRC ;-) And they are enterprise and we are consumer.
@ross Thanks for the clarification. Totally makes sense. I was wondering if this was consumer to start and biz as a pro upgrade. Thanks for the clarification!
Thanks Lekan. I'm the CEO and co-founder of Pingpad and here to answer questions.
@ross congrats on the launch! I like the idea of mobile, collaborative note taking. Can you speak to some of the ways Pingpad is different than apps like Evernote or Notion, and who some of your target demographics are, and how you expect them to make use of Pingpad. Further, maybe you can speak to your thoughts on Pingpad Pro?
@chrismessina @ross One thing I've learned is that the product you start with is the product you end with. Our starting point is Social Productivity which I wrote about here https://medium.com/@ross/social-... We have an affordance where you can use Pingpad as a single player game (taking your own notes and lists) and then move to the multi-player game when you are ready. But the emphasis is in that multiplayer game for real time collaborative notetaking, having notes in groups that you can link together like a wiki and lightweight task management for that group. And we'll be better at the transition between personal and social use because we are starting with both. By contrast, if we started with personal productivity it would be harder to evolve the product and users towards collaborative use. Our goal for the private beta was to develop a product that was engaging and retained users. This consumer app meant to support multiple facets of your identity with the groups you get things done with -- friends, family, coworkers, teams, vacations, events and communities. One of the biggest surprises in the beta was how college students took to it. I find their use for class notes, study groups, roommates, and student organizations fascinating. And perhaps it is natural for them to take to a lightweight mobile native app. Our hypothesis is that with the mobile shift, as 1B new users join the network with mobile as their first device, you will see a shift in apps. Just as we are seeing a shift from email (which won't die) to messaging, you will see a shift from Docs to something else. We've designed instant notes that are mobile native with that in mind. And we don't think it's going to be documents on your phone. This is a consumer freemium business, with apps designed for individuals. So Pingpad Pro will provide superpowers for the people willing to pay -- giving them more control to work across groups and removing a usage limit like storage. For now it's all free, and we need to learn from the growth curve to figure out the right line between free and paid and how we can better empower people to be productive.
I LOVE this app. My biggest issue, however, is similar to other social apps, how do you get someone who's just not interested in trying something new to get onboard? The "green eggs and ham" roadblock is one that frustrates me to no end.
@susanscrupski Susan, I think this was a bigger problem when we were in Private Beta, when there were huge hoops people had to jump through to get into the app (Apple Testflight). Right now you can create notes and add people to them, and those people receive them by email without having to become members. And if they want to join its fast and easy through the app stores or our web app. I think this is still too much friction for participation and we will reduce it further soon.
Congratulations Ross. Curious to know what sorts of decisions you had to make when you decided to be "mobile native"
@iankennedy Good question. We made a product mission statement to make Pingpad simple, instant and social and try to guide our decisions that way. We actually do our major designs first on mobile, then approach the desktop, then back again, etc. The constraints of the mobile factor are great for forcing hard choices. And I've really enjoyed how mobile prototyping has come a long way.