The Start of Ketchup
I’m connected to pretty much every person close to me via some type of online network. And with all these connections, I still feel like I have no idea what anyone is doing each day. I see the NYTimes article they shared or the photo they posted of the wedding they went to over the weekend. But if any of them asked me, “Billy, what did I do yesterday?” I wouldn’t have a clue.
This left me with a strong desire to try and fix that. How can we make people feel more connected to what we are actually doing every day?
There’s a lot to change, but I tried to boil it down to the main roadblocks.
Frequency of Posting
Part of the problem with current ways to share online is they don’t support sharing often. From potentially bothering people to broken filtering algorithms, most networks gain unwritten rules on what’s a normal posting cadence. However, sharing often is important, because our days are made up of tons of events, both big and small. I want to see things like when my nephew is off to kindergarten, or my sister is cooking something, or my girlfriend is studying at a café. These smaller events often don’t make the cut when we limit how often we post.
What if no matter how much anyone posts, you only ever see the most recent thing from them? This works nicely with the idea of a true status. Everyone has just one status. It’s the thing they are doing at this very moment.
We naturally share different things with our friends, family, coworkers, schoolmates, girlfriend, boyfriend, strangers, etc... We don’t speak the same way to our parents as we do to our friends. Building groups in apps is always a hard thing to get right. It needs to be effortless and make sense. Nobody wants to spend tons of time managing groups. It should just work.
All the things we do each day don’t need to live forever. It may be something I’m eating, or a feeling, or where I am. Just like a catch up phone call, we don’t need to keep an archive of everything said.
Privacy should be dead simple. I want the things that I share with each group to only be seen by those people. My content should be secure and its privacy should never change.
From those issues (and lots more), I came up with the idea for Ketchup. It’s a simple app that lets you share what you’re up to with your different groups. I have two co-founders and we’ve been cranking away on the first version (currently available on iOS, but we are working on Android too).
You can download it here or search for Ketchup in the App Store. I’d also love to know your thoughts, so please share here or email me at billy at ketchup (dot) is.
With any new network, the hardest part is growing the network. Luckily, phone books make it a lot easier to find and invite friends. If you like the app, please share it and help us get the word out. From using it with my close friends and family, I have definitely felt more connected to what they are doing throughout the day. Nothing will ever replace that catch up conversation with someone, but this feels a lot closer.
Thanks! I hope you enjoy it.