Happy 1st Birthday, Sensay!
One year and one million users later, here’s what we’ve learned
One Year of Learnings
We began with a core belief that humans are awesome and when given the chance they will help each other. Last year we began this journey by releasing the first Sensay bot to a small, private group of beta testers who shared our vision.
Humans > Bots
Sensay is made up of many friendly bots with one purpose: match you to another human as fast as possible. We believe human conversation is the most powerful way to get the help you need.
One million users and over 40M messages later, we have lots of data to quantify our optimism. Our community has connected to give each other advice and unique opportunities. Sensay has matched people for recommendations, jobs and timely life advice. We even hired our last team member using Sensay.
The Turing Test has yet to measure empathy or relevant life experience. Sensay bot matches you to humans who have those qualities in spades.
Messaging > Apps
The first Sensay bot was launched in SMS — the messenger that everyone uses. We’re in the business of rewarding conversations, so we wanted to start right where conversations happen, rather than add an extra app download step.
When we started off as an invisible app purely layered into messaging, most people thought we were insane. Today, it’s called conversational UI.
It was a difficult decision to dump our gorgeous app wireframes and abandon building native apps. Our product team continues to push the bounds to evolve messaging interfaces. We’re continuing to increase delight and dynamic elements as we partner with forward thinking companies like Slack, Kik, WeChat, Telegram and others.
Options > Answers
We started off thinking we were in the answers business. It turns out, humans need options more than answers. Our users want the optionality that you can only get in a conversation with someone with relevant life experience.
Tell Sensay what you need and the bot matches you with the person most likely to help someone like you right now. We call them needs instead of questions because they are made of intent, they are complex and characteristically human.
The most satisfying Sensay conversations are those where you get from your normative need (thing I think I need) to your effective need (thing I actually need).
We have fancy math around this and heaps of practical examples. When someone needs “the best tailor in Santa Monica” that’s not really about top rated tailors nearby, it’s about learning that you can buy a suit for the same price as the alterations in Downtown L.A.
Transactions > Ads
Sensay is a distributed knowledge marketplace. It’s a marketplace for human experience, knowledge, service and compassion. It is the marketplace of marketplaces.
Conversation is a transaction including a value exchange between two parties. All Sensay chats contain advice. Half of them have advice plus some kind of physical or digital transaction.
The internet evolved from broadcast medium to a personal feed to a conversation. Conversation is a stream with all types of objects, many of them commerce-able.
Users exchange product links, coupon codes and an abundance of digital assets with one another; in fact 25% of Sensay chats contain contact information to conduct offline transactions, in the way you’d imagine an instant Craigslist or Thumbtack.
Sensay users help each other experience events, buy big ticket items and get gigs. We believe this peer-to-peer value exchange is the future for smart consumers who know exactly what they want — not advertising.
The Year Ahead
One year and one million users is a great start. This year, we’re rolling out new products, adding to our team, and growing our thriving community.
As Sensay grows, the network effect increases exponentially. Every user who joins invites other users, and every good experience leads to more minds open to the collective consciousness. In one more year our goal is to report back with 100 million users.
Look out for Sensay in all of your favorite messengers. And be helpful to each other!
Yes, you. Thank you to every human in our incredible community for supporting us and each other. Thank you for the conversations you have with Sensay bot and each other. May we celebrate many milestones together.