We’ve just released an alpha version of a concept we’ve been working on for a mobile app focused on geo-temporal messaging. Huh? It lets you leave messages in the world for your friends to “pick up” and receive via their smart phone. We’ve dubbed it Kapsule (kapsuleapp.com) as a play on the time capsule concept.
We’ve really embraced the “Lean Startup” approach on this one…this is quite literally the minimal viable product. It’s a stripped down version of the ultimate vision which is an app that captures all of a user’s authorized services to pull in content for a particular time and place in one consolidated discoverable message (i.e. all the twitter posts and facebook images they created during their trip to Italy). The alpha version is more like a sticky note concept and just focuses on text based messages rather than the multimedia and other services driven vision of Kapsule’s future.
Why release the alpha? Well, for a few reasons:
1) How are people going to use this thing? We’ve certainly got some concepts about how we might use it…but we’re bias. We want to get early adopters to just start using the app (or not) such that we can decide to pivot or persist.
2) The earlier we validate the overall concept the better (and less costly) it is. We’ve set ourselves up with a minimalist feedback mechanism such that we can get some early data.
3) Experiments. Will users even take the first leap of faith? How social can we make it and get away with it? Is the temporal messaging cooler than the geographic messaging? Is that all people actually want?
4) Define the business model…how does it make money? Can we get some angel funding to capture the ultimate vision.
I’m excited to see how this progresses. We’ll be looking to explore either Kickstarter or the angel circuit to move forward (and having results from our alpha product certainly can’t hurt either of those prospects).