Profiled

Whistle: Man's Bestfriend's Bestfriend

As part of a goal to build up my passion presence I am going to give my thoughts on up and coming Start-Ups that I find awesome. I mostly find them through friends and blogs but if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear about them. 

After getting turned on to Whistle by a socialite of a friend and growing up as a dog owner it seemed appropriate that I take a look at the company that launched June 5th. My initial thoughts are very positive. Whistle is laying the ground work for our dogs lives to become much more data driven and social. 

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First Impression

Whistle’s opening page has a beautifully laid out web design that greets with you plenty of dogs. Parallax scrolling guides you down the page to show you what they are all about. The message is clear without reading a word, “this device is for your best friend.” As you keep going down the page and your interest spikes you’ll see all of the features that Whistle has. Simple graphics allow your mind to envision your dogs life with this piece of tech. First impression? Whistle is a legit product who’s timing could not have been more perfect to enter the market.

Website/App Design

Like I said before Whistle’s website tells you everything you need to know with beautifully spaced out flow. High quality pictures show dogs and their owners living lavishly and bonding over Whistle.

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The mobile app gives you every chance to love your dog. Through the app you can take pictures, share stories, track the health progress of your dog, and organize the K9’s information. All of this data will even make grandma a believer. The clips of its use in the product demo video are awesome. Swiping through the display you’ll find all of the different dashboards that show you metrics and pictures about your dog. My favorite features so far are being able to check out the activity of your dog while you’re at the office and the “timeline” feature to check out your pups life events. 

Your Dog Is More Social Than You

Whistle is basically bringing you and your dogs relationship into the 21st century. Now you can strap a piece of tech to your dog and track what it is doing through all hours of the day. Part one: With this information owners can make more informed decisions about the activities and health of their hound. Part two: Whistle is making your dog more social.  At first I thought that no one could possibly want to update what their dog is doing all the time. Then I thought about all the instagram and twitter updates I get about dogs and their owners. In reality a lot of people want to share the love. What will be really interesting to see is how people use this “timeline” feature to track and share their dogs life over a long period of time.

A differentiation point for Whistle is the emphasis that is placed on the relationship between you and your dog. Other companies, like Tagg, focus mainly on location services and don’t effectively give life to their message. Comparing these two companies is a prime example about what a good marketing team can do for you. I want you to take a look at the websites of Whistle and Tagg and tell me which one you think does a better job at branding. I agree. 

PS.Don’t get pissed when Buster checks in at the Robinson’s house more than yours on foursquare. Little Buster is going to get a lot more social and doesn’t even know it yet.

Other Thoughts/Suggestions

  • $100 price tag - Initially thought it was a little steep but pet owners are crazy about their pets. Not only that but everyone needs ideas for presents.
  • Awesome idea of having the actual device detach from the collar for charging. Simple to charge. One suggestion (and I have no health/science backing at all): Have a wireless charging pad that goes under the mat/pillow that your dog usually sleeps on. Charges while he/she sleeps and no need to ever worry about it. Finally with the collar, make sure that the Whistle necklace can have dog tags that hang from it.
  • Suggestion - I could see people talking about Whistle at dog parks. How cool would it be if multiple dogs at the dog park were wearing Whistle and you could track when your dog was in the vicinity(playing) with other dogs. You could see who your dogs best friends were and track when they got to meet up with them on the timeline feature.
  • Suggestion - Right now it looks like you can pair one phone with one dog. I know that multiple people will want to track one dog or even multiple people will want to track multiple dogs. I suggest that many different users be able to track different dogs and the “owner” can allow read/write/edit access to these other spectators.
  • Thoughts - 1. It is very important to maximize the sharing possibilities for users to broadcast what is going on with their pets. Non-users need to see how much fun they are having with Whistle. 2. It is equally important that a “doggie network” gets created in which users can compare and contrast the activities between the dogs and the dogs friends. It’ll be awesome to see who is in a dogs network by detecting which other Whistle devices are near it the most. “Doggie Networks?”….

I’d love to hear your thoughts and have a conversation about what you think about Whistle. Reach out! @gregkamradt

ConstaSharing and SnapChat

SnapChat…You know the app that all the kids are using to send sex-texts and nudies? Well here is the deal, I may have jumped on the SnapChat game late, but I have yet to receive a dirty SnapChat from a rando that you constantly hear about in the news. My loss? Possibly…But this article is not about how to try and get lucky. This article is about how SnapChat is showing us a preview of the Constantly Sharing (ConstaShare) world to come. I’m not talking about sending scandalous pictures to your friends, I’m talking about the qualities that define SnapChat. We will continue to see these qualities built upon in apps that have yet to come. The bottom line is SnapChat is currently version 1.0 of a ConstaSharing world that is on the verge of a breakout. Ok so what are these qualities I am talking about?

Lose the Friction Man

Send Images quickly - SnapChat prides itself on being able to send “MMS up to 10x faster.” Basically, SnapChat allows you to send a picture to a number of friends quickly. When you reduce how long it takes to send a picture you tend to send more of them. SnapChat goes further and let’s you draw and add comments to your pictures easily before you send them out. No filters, no fuss. The UX of this process is a beautifully basic one compared to a standard text message picture.

Possible Improvement – Taking a picture or video with SnapChat is about as easy as it gets. Any hope of less friction will have to come from hardware advancement.

One Group, Two Group, Red Group, Blue Group

Able to select a subgroup of friends – We saw it early with Google Circles and we continue to see it today – selecting subgroups of friends instead of broadcasting your media to the entire world. After a SnapChat is taken the user must pick who they want to send it to. Different pictures call for different crowds. This personal selection of friends allows you to have less inhibition and send more photos. When I say less inhibition, I mean, some people send some no shame, goofy photos.

Possible Improvement – Be able to select groups with one check box. Different groups for different occasions. Conversation threads between groups.

More Instant than Insta

Let’s take a little look at the trends in photo sharing…image

*Guess

Check out what is happening with the quantity of pictures being taken and the size of the group they are being broadcast to: More pictures are being taken and sent to a smaller group. People are sharing more real time updates and sending these updates to a closer group of friends.  The future of this trend is a ConstaShare, small social groups constantly sharing what they are doing in real time with friends. “Oh this sounds like way too much work,” some critics might say. What do you think will happen when you are wearing a camera on your eye and sending a picture to friends is one button click away?

Hardware Improvements – So far up until this point people have had to take out their phone in order to take a picture and share a moment. It seems almost clear as day that Google Glass is the next advancement in this area. You will literally have your picture taking device at your eye already which will simplify this process even more. What would the SnapChat world look like if you didn’t have to take out your phone?

You can’t savor all the… little emotions.”

Non-Verbal Communication - Lastly I want to emphasize that these aren’t just “pictures” that people are sending to their friends, these are emotions/memories. The snaps are real life emojis that are being sent.

Emotions – A picture is worth a thousand words. Sending your standard text along with a facial expression you are able to get a message across that was not possible before. I have noticed that 50% of SnapChats are taken showing something external (what you are doing/seeing at the moment) and 50% of the pictures are faces (how you feel about something). What does this mean? It means that users are finding creative ways to get across a message that isn’t possible through words. This new avenue of expression is a very interesting topic to try and theorize the future of.

Types of updates – You would think that the only thing that was sent over SnapChat was pointless pictures of dogs and food. Although those do get sent, there is a huge range of pictures in addition to those. Every holiday, concert, birthday, vegas club, song on the radio, hike, you name it, initiates a flood of SnapChats that are sent displaying what that person is doing in real time. You get a 10 second glimpse of what they are doing at that moment. SnapChat is getting the world ready to start entering a ConstaShare environment.

Weird sexual pictures getting sent all over SnapChat? Sure. But to be honest, what channel of sharing didn’t have to get acclimated to it’s new audience in the beginning? What SnapChat is proving to us however is that people are willing to share very intimate random moments with a close group of friends. As technology allows moments to be shared more easily we will see a constant stream of shared information flowing between users.

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