Hello, Operator

In recent years, we have seen large messaging platforms emerge like Whatsapp, Snapchat and WeChat. These applications are great for communicating with friends, but we still don’t have a smartphone based system for connecting people with businesses in a personalized way.

Looking at the landscape today, this is what we see: some businesses have websites, some have Yelp listings, but all of them have a landline phone number. It is still the primary way for customers to talk to businesses.

So much more could be done if this communication was based on a rich data platform rather than just voice. Consumers could communicate with images of what they are looking for, with their location, and seamlessly wrap payments in the conversation. Businesses would be much smarter on servicing new customers and keeping ones they already have. A transaction simply becomes an expression of high fidelity communication between two sides.

Messaging will be the future atomic unit of modern commerce.

We chose the name “Operator” because we see a world where you push a button and get routed to the right products, the right people, the right businesses. In our rush to move to the internet and software, we lost the “0” button where a human being was there to assist. Now you can click the Operator app and get routed to a network of people to help you.

The timing for a major shift in consumer and business adoption is finally here. People now prefer to communicate via messaging and the technical barriers are low enough for any business to get set up. Both sides understand that anything built with the smartphone as the starting point will be, well — smarter than the landline model we live in now.

We are introducing Operator with retail partners first, to give people a taste of how interacting with a store can be richer and more efficient. We invited a handful of friends to try it out over the holidays, and hundreds of transactions later, we think we are onto something.

Let Operator find it for you,

Robin Chan, CEO Operator