Let’s be honest, business cards suck. How in a world where we all carry around these super computers in our pockets, are we still exchanging information using bits of paper?
Now the ‘digital business card’ isn’t a new challenge in the world of tech. Bump was downloaded over 125 million times and was a radical and exciting utilisation of technology to tackle the most basic of daily interactions. However after being acquired by Google and subsequently shut down, with it ended the ‘bump’ interaction.
Bump was the poster child for a generation of novelty in mobile. With this immense technology in our hands, and the potential to do so many wild new things, it was (and still is) easy to get carried away. That said, the learning curve and habits that needed to change for ‘bump’ to become truly mainstream was always going to be an uphill battle. In tackling this challenge, we wanted to leverage habits that exist, but still use technology to create value and delight.
What is Ping and why is it better?
“Eventually everything connects — people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.” — Charles Eames
By simply entering an email address, Ping enables you to do 3 key things:
- Share your profile and information with your new contact via a customisable email, including a vCard attachment.
- Learn more about your new connection, as we use their email address to search the web for open information.
- Keep track of the people you meet with a chronological contacts list, as well as the ability to add a note at the point of contact.
Ping was born from an observation — less people are carrying business cards nowadays, and as such firing a blank email has become the new ‘share your info’. That experience is crappy for a whole host of reasons, yet the fact this habit exists felt like something powerful to capitalise on.
More importantly, we knew the experience must be significantly better for people to actually use a new product regardless, and thus had a few key areas of focus:
- Remove dependancy on both users having application —Requiring more than one person to have the product is the most fundamental barrier to the mass adoption of any genius solution when it comes to the ‘digital business card’. When the modern internet is now a vast open trove of information on pretty much any human on the planet, we knew this was something we could utilise.
- Set the tone of a community, not a network — We believe being connected is more than just exchanging emails and phone numbers. It’s not just those two nodes coming together, but the strength of that connection that really matters. We believe the vulnerability surfaced in ‘Things I want to learn about’ and the generosity shown in ‘Ways I can be helpful to you’ shows the user in the best possible light to each new connection, and we hope inspires collaborations and conversations that would have otherwise not arisen.
- Provide a new perspective on contacts —Our immediate focus is to supplement other experiences, not replace them, and as such didn’t want to just become another contacts app. That said, we knew we still wanted a contacts list to be useful, which is why we’ve opted for a chronology. Being able to answer questions such as “Who did I meet last night?” or “Who was that woman I met at SXSW in March?” is currently poorly served, and thus we think an interesting place to start.
What does Ping mean for Wurqs?
Ping is painfully simple product — but we all have to start somewhere. We just knew that ‘somewhere’ had to be something that was simple enough to be useful to users, meaningful enough to resonate with our core purpose, and powerful enough to create a strong foundation for the future of Wurqs. Our vision for Wurqs will not live or die based on the success of Ping, but we know learning from it whatever happens, will be key to helping us build momentum.
Wurqs is on a mission to transform the way people show who they are, and work on who they want to be. We believe the two are so intimately connected, yet the products and services we use today do not reflect that. There is undoubtedly a way to make it so — one that is aligned with the habits and attitudes of an authentic and mobile generation, and one that is laser focussed on creating value and supporting just one person: you.
We aren’t a professional network.
We’re a personal development community.
p.s. Feature request here!
We’ve got a huge pipeline of features and ideas we’re looking to explore, but now is your chance to have your voice heard. Simply highlight the features below you’d like to see in future updates.
- Search — by name, tags, company
- Weekly/monthly reminder email, featuring everyone you met that period
- Add geo-location to connection
- Usernames — ability to connect/add other Ping users via handle
- “Connections you can make “— Based 0n ‘ways I can be helpful’ and ‘things I’d like to learn about’ of your connections, get alerted when there is a potential valuable connection you can make between two new people
- A-Z Contacts (duh)
- Greater email customisation — send and receive from own email address, and more content flexibility
We’re an incredibly open, candid and transparent team, and one that encourages feedback. If you have anything for us — on product, communications, brand, anything, we welcome the opportunity to learn from other perspectives. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.