“Emotish” is an iOS app that enables users to snap a self-portrait and tag what they’re feeling in the moment.
We are really happy here at Start-Ups.Co to see this kind of wonderful “human-touch” concepts finding their way into the tech sphere. Our world has become very materialistic and we are desperately in need for similar apps to remind us of our creativity, emotions and above all our humanity.
Below is the full interview that we have conducted with Mr. ‘Wegner’ regarding his start-up “Redrawn Labs” and their product “Emotish”;
1. What is it exactly that you do and what “Emotish” is all about?
Emotish is an iOS app that enables users to snap a self-portrait and tag what they’re feeling in the moment.
For brands, we are developing a specific platform through which they can launch an interactive, exciting, and beautiful mobile-social campaign built right into the user experience. In this way we aim to become the intersection where photo-sharing, brands, and consumers meet.
2. When has “Redrawn Labs” been founded? And what stage is “Emotish” currently at?
Redrawn Labs was founded in January 2012. We are currently in public beta, and Emotish is available for free in the App Store.
Its feature set includes taking photos, tagging the feeling, and sharing on Facebook and Twitter.
We will be launching an enormous update to the app in the coming weeks, though, which will enable users to follow each other, tag the context of the photo, and win exciting prizes from our brand partners.
3. What is “Emotish”’s business model and how does it work?
Emotish will disrupt the mobile advertising market by providing a platform through which brands can effectively promote themselves, connect with customers, and foster interaction around their products.
Our key aim with Emotish is to erase the divide between the user experience and the advertising experience. The two will not only integrate but also feed off each other.
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
The founders of Redrawn Labs met at a previous start-up.
Matt Hooper and I focus on business development, marketing, brand partnerships, and investor relations.
Dan Bretl is the Product Manager on Emotish and works on the front end. Michael McLarnon is our Lead Back End Developer.
Nishita Kavadia and Jerome Lockett handle design responsibilities.
5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?
Unlike so many other apps on the market, we are developing Emotish from the start with brands in mind, ensuring that they have a significant presence in the app that doesn’t impede on the UX but instead builds right into it.
Users will find inherent value in the app outside of the ability to win prizes and interact with brands because they will be able to share with friends, family, and people from around the world through the universal language of emotion.
Emotish can also serve as a form of emotional tracking, a growing part of the quantified self movement (http://quantifiedself.com), which Dan has been interested in for awhile.
As a Ph.D candidate in Clinical Psychology, I can see great value in a tool like Emotish, especially with disorders whose symptoms include impairment in emotional reciprocity and recognition like autism.
6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has “Emotish” achieved so far?
As Emotish is currently in public beta and in minimum viable product form, we are not yet seriously marketing the app, though we have received heaps of helpful user feedback.
Our goal was to launch Emotish as quickly as possible and to iterate based on how early adopters responded.
When we launch Version 2.0 in mid-August, we will begin to aggressively pursue user acquisition as well as brand partnerships.
7. Who are your competitors? And what is “Emotish”’s competitive advantage over them?
There’s no question that the photo-sharing space is a crowded one and that Instagram casts a substantial shadow over the rest of the competition.
Many of these popular apps, though, are solely focused on the quality of the picture (filters, editing tools, etc.) and the social networking experience.
Some enable users to add a funny or clever caption to your photo, which starts to enter into our territory a bit more.
What distinguishes Emotish from its competition, though, is the fact that, as I mentioned before, it has been built out with brands in mind rather than only users.
Emotion is what brands strive to incite in its customers, which is why this platform is perfect for them. Their presence in the app will be powerful and their ability to feature their products, engage customers, and increase buzz will be unlike anything they’ve experienced with mobile advertising.
Additionally, our users will find themselves with more ways to filter down the content in the app, including viewing trending feelings, trending hashtags, as well as most popular photos, users, and contests.
8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
I believe that our most significant, near-term obstacle will be distinguishing ourselves from the other photo-sharing apps out there.
I’m confident that our narrowed focus on emotion, self-portraits, and mobile advertising will serve us well as we take on this challenge.
I also think that the prospect of winning exciting prizes through submission of users’ most creative photos will bring a lot of value to Emotish.
9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
I think that brands will soon understand how important and beneficial a successful mobile campaign can be.
Eventually, it will likely be a primary source of customers acquisition for companies in my mind.
We spend 10% of our time on mobile devices but only 1% of US ad spend goes to mobile. Soon these numbers will line up, and we hope to be among those who capitalize.
10. Why are you going to succeed?
We are going to succeed because we are passionate about our product and will do whatever it takes to get our name out there.
Our core attitude is that quick iteration is the best strategy, and we really listen to the praise as well as the criticism we receive from current users. This is an approach we will never change.
11. If “Emotish” succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
I think we will be able to expand further into the mobile advertising market and devise new ways to run exciting campaigns for brands if our model proves successful.
We also want to delve into analytics and examine the data Emotish will contain, such as the most common feelings on a given day or hour.
We will also be able to provide brands with quick feedback on how they are perceived, which can be valuable information for how they want to portray themselves to the public in the future.
12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build “Emotish” based on?
Dan Bretl had the original idea for Emotish, and it was something that excited all of us for different reasons.
The concept initially blossomed out of his love for board games, believe it or not, as he wanted to document how people were feeling while playing. Soon enough, the notion that Emotish could actually be a business and a platform for brands emerged.
13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?
We’ve learned what people desire in an app like this through their enormously helpful feedback. So much of their input informs our upcoming update.
14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
Six months from now, I hope that our biggest problems will be scaling Emotish efficiently and managing the influx of traffic as we solidify exciting brand partnerships! If we are successful, we will then have to keep our leg up on those who attempt to emulate our model.
15. What’s the benefit for the customer/user?
Users are not only able show what they feel, track their emotions, and share with friends but also win exciting prizes through our brand-sponsored contests.
16. How did customers/users find out about you?
Mostly through social media and word-of-mouth at this point. We will become much more aggressive with user acquisition when we release the new version of Emotish.
17. Who are your current customers/users? Who are your target customers/users?
Our current users are quite diverse in terms of gender and age. We will initially be targeting girls/women aged 13-30 after we release the newest version of Emotish.
As a result, we are in talks with cosmetics and beauty brands not only because they will offer prizes our targeted demographic will be excited about, but also because so much of their advertising is based around photography, faces, and emotion.
18. Where do new customers/users come from and what makes new customers/users try you?
Our users come from all over the world. We have representation in the app from over 20 countries.
I think our current users are excited about the concept and interested in interacting with others through the creative depictions of how they are feeling in a given moment.
19. What do your customers/users say about your product and/or service?
Well, we have a five-star rating in the App Store. People seem to like the design, the intuitive user experience, and the unique interface.
20. How are you going to scale?
We plan to scale Emotish by plowing through errors and bugs that emerge as more traffic comes to the app.
Additional hires will be made as needed. We will also look to advisors and investors as we move into uncharted territory.
21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/users keep asking for?
The ability to follow other users, which will be included in the next update!
22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?
Emotish is by its very nature a universal app. We think it can be a destination where people who speak different languages can interact for the first time through something we all understand: emotion.
Down the road, we will seek to partner with brands in other countries to launch campaigns in their native language.
Seeing as we already have adopters in over 20 countries, we have begun the process of translating our App Store copy into other languages, a small but necessary step!
23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?
Of course, we all believe in this product because we think it has the potential to be a great addition to the other wonderful apps out there.
We want to be among the first start-ups that really gets mobile advertising right. We plan to achieve that by integrating the advertising experience directly into the user experience.
24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?
No not at the moment.
25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?
We are currently looking for brand partners who are interested in launching a new kind of mobile-social ad campaign through Emotish.
We are also seeking funding, either from VCs or angel investors. Contact us at hello(at)redrawnlabs(dot)com
26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
Try and hold on to the excitement you felt when you first began to brainstorm around your intial idea.
It’s easy to get mired down in the detail a few months into your work and there will always be sources of discouragement.
Remember why you got into this in the first place!
27. Finally, do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
Thanks to Start-Ups.co for the opportunity to talk about our app!