“Pre” — A promising social app
Phil Siarri talks to Min Wei, cofounder of Pre, a San Francisco based app that makes it easy for users to meet up with friends.
Phil Siarri: Hi Min Wei, nice to meet you. Can you tell us about your background and professional experience as well as your team’s?
Min Wei: My background is in technology and consumer media. I’ve always wanted to start something and was fortunate to meet my two amazing cofounders to start Pre together. The three of us have very different but complementary backgrounds. My background is mostly in business, and my cofounders each have design and engineering experience respectively. As a team, we’re scrappy but methodical and are united in our priority of putting our users first.
PS: What is the story and concept behind Pre?
MW: The motivation behind Pre will sound pretty familiar to anyone who has ever had a frustrating experience meeting up with friends. Meeting up is not a pain if everyone is on time and nothing unexpected happens. But we all know that’s a perfect world scenario and does not happen often in real life. What usually happens is someone’s running late, or location gets changed last minute, etc. In those circumstances, wouldn’t it be nice to know what is happening without having to send hundreds of texts?
We built Pre to take the hassle out of meeting up. Pre lets you share where you’re going with friends, they will receive your ETA, your real time map, and automatically be notified when you arrive. Our goal is to organize and deliver all this information in a quick and useful way.
PS: Who is your target market?
MW: Pre is both a useful app and a fun/social app, so we’re seeing some interesting ways that users are utilizing the app. In addition to common meet up scenarios, some are using the app as a check in app to show off where they are to friends. We’ve heard coordinating pickups is an especially delightful use case, especially in traffic-prone cities. Safety is an aspect our users really appreciate about the app: going home after a night out and forgetting to text your friend when you get home — share a Pre and it’s automatic. This is just the beginning and we can’t wait to hear how more users are using the app!
PS: Who are your direct and indirect competitors, and what’s your unfair advantage?
MW: Pre lives at the intersection of location and communication. Our competitors include messaging platforms like iMessage and Messenger as well as location specific platforms like Glympse and FindMyFriends. But we are unique in that we focus the communication around location in a private (i.e., not always tracking) and useful (i.e., not about serendipitous meeting up) way.
PS: You are currently conducting beta testing in Montreal, Canada. What is bringing you to the city?
Yes! We are running a beta in Canada and with special focus on Vancouver and Montreal. Montreal is a beautiful and vibrant city with so much activity. In addition, it’s got an active student population so it’s been a fantastic place for us to reach the student community.
PS: Whats’s next for Pre in 2017?
MW: 2017 is an exciting year for us. We launched our beta in Canada, and we’re going to focus on listening to our users to make sure we build the best product! If anyone is interested in giving it a try, you can find it in the app store and can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for feedback.