Bat-signal for friends

#4 Product of the DayDecember 16, 2014
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Thanks for posting, Ryan! I built Red/Green. AMA.
I love that now I don't need to make excuses for why I can't hangout with my Android friends :)
"Red/Green, an iOS app that launches today, is looking to simplify telling your friends that you’re down to hang out. Like Yo — remember Yo? — it’s a dead simple app that gives you a simple social binary. You set your status to green if you want to chill, and red when you’re busy. When you set your availability to green, the app gives you a way to set a status and asks “what’s the plan?”" Go @maxstoller
I didn't realize you were working on an app, @maxstoller! (I also see a few familiar faces in those app screenshots: @msg, @nchirls). We've seen a ton of apps designed to help friends make plans and meetup, Swarm being one of the more recent, big launches. None of them have stuck with me and Swarm in-particular is disappointing in that you look slightly lame when creating an event and no one replies. I like that you only show "green" to people you select to avoid this self-conscious embarrassment. That said, why'd you build this, Max? :)
The social planning app category is a bit of a graveyard. I think of Red/Green as more of a communication tool. It's much less prescriptive -- all of the planning happens out of the app. Yep, one huge problem with Swarm is that plans are broadcasted to all of your Swarm friends. This is a dealbreaker for me -- I'm friends with people on Swarm that I would either never want to hang out with or only hang out with in certain cases (e.g. coffee but not 1 AM drinks). In Red/Green, you can selectively green friends. FWIW, I'm a big fan of Foursquare (I interned there 3 years ago!), but I don't think of it as a “hang out with your buddies” product anymore. That said, I've been told Red/Green is reminiscent of Dodgeball, which is high praise!
@rrhoover as sleuthed by Ryan, I have been testing out rlgl and love the simplicity and look forward to more friends joining.
*ding ding!* word of the day: sleuthed To follow @msg's point, the app is entirely reliant on having friends that use it (there's no single player utility like Swarm's check-ins). Other than word of mouth, how are you planning to grow the user base or at least make it easier for people to get their homies on the service, @maxstoller?
@rrhoover I hacked an sms invite together by copy/pasting this message and texting it to my homies: "Yo. Install this app. It will help us meet up more often: Red/Green -❤️💚 Jordan" Would love a nicer invite mechanic...
@msg @rrhoover Right. Your experience completely hinges on your network buying in. It's a hard problem to solve. I'm working on an update that includes: (1) An invite mechanism for users who want to recruit friends. (2) The ability to green people from your contact book that don't have the app installed. They'll instead receive a text message. Thanks for trying it out!
This is so well-designed. To me, one of the most interesting aspect is that you don't have to "green" everybody when you come out of being "red." This is such a subtle way to create what ends up being spontaneous, throwaway subgroups of people. I've already noticed it today when I was trying to find a time for a quick phone call and wanted to communicate that I wasn't ready yet, but when I was ready, it wasn't time to turn on availability for everyone, just the person I wanted to call. My second favorite part of the app is the thoughtful use of deeplinking. The design decision to leave messaging people you already know to the place where it's done best -- existing sms app -- means Red/Green enhances existing behaviors instead of interrupting them. @workflowhq, an app that launched on @producthunt recently, is an example of using deeplinking in a way that makes consumers' lives easier. The way Red/Green sends you directly into a text message with the person you are now ready to communicate with is another. Great job with this. So many of my texts are for coordinating when actual in-person or over the phone conversation is going to happen. I'm looking forward to communicating less about communicating.
@MattHartman Awesome! So glad you like it.