Company: Co-founded and lead the startup, Bumpr, to solve the growing fragmentation of social networks.
Solution: Unlike aggregators, Bumpr managed communication across networks – breaking down the walled gardens.
Timeline: Jan 2009 - May 2010
Bumpr was a social messaging utility that helped people manage communication across social networks. Unlike simple microblogs like Twitter or aggregators Friend Feed, Bumpr managed incoming and outgoing communication across multiple social networks to create lasting communities regardless of network feature preference.
- Team management
- Raised capital
- SSNiF identification. This process was developed by Philip Haine to help focus designs by forcing every feature to be explained with a stakeholder and situation that informs the need (Stakeholder, Situation, Need, Feature). Ultimately, the needs become the primary focus of the design.
- Visual design
- Usability testing
- Front-end development
Example Problem: Communicate across walled gardens
Take an example user, Sue, who has friends on Facebook, Twitter and Myspace. To update her friends, Sue must update her status on three separate sites. A conversation with friends on different networks is practically impossible. Sue could try to convince her friends to join more networks, but some of her friends prefer the pictures available on Facebook or music available on Myspace. Each new network Sue joins increases the amount of time she spends trying to stay in touch with friends and family exponentially.
Solution: Break down the walled gardens
Bumpr dramatically simplifies the problem by allowing Sue to create a list of people from multiple networks. She can share her status and have conversations with one or more of these friends without ever considering what networks they might prefer using. Those conversations are automagically conveyed to all participants across the network divides.
- Lists composed of people from different networks
- Conversation threads across networks
- Simple communication management
- Recommended people with similar interests
Prototyped with limited functionality, and released a strong proof of concept / early beta in 2010. This helped raise capital and interest, but failed to build enough momentum to get the project off of the ground.