You know those conversations you have with friends? The ones that are really arguments about the most mundane and trivial of things, things that you’d never bother arguing with a stranger, but with a friend can be an amusing way to pass the time. We thought those were in danger when mobile data networks allowed us access to Google, Wikipedia and IMDB anywhere at any time, thus shrinking a friendly argument down to the time it took to tap a few key words into a search engine. Now with the release of a mobile app called Quindo they might really be doomed.
Of course Quindo aren’t trying to take the joy out of friendships, their mission is to help you ‘embrace your curiosity’. IMDB can tell you who acted in a certain film or TV series, Wikipedia and Google can provide you with basic facts if you know the right words to search with, but Quindo is for those more subtle of questions. Examples given on their website include, ‘Can I wear a dark blue suit to a black tie event?’ and ‘I’m at a fancy restaurant meeting my future-in-laws, which fork do I use for salad?’
With Quindo you don’t just ask the questions, you also form part of the community that provide the answers. The developers behind the app have worked hard to build a platform that encourages and rewards participation. The number of questions you can ask is limited when you first download the free app but as you answer questions posed by other users you are rewarded with credits which allow you to ask more questions yourself. Speaking to CEO Damon Amoui he assured us that just spending a few minutes every other day engaging with the community would earn you enough credits to continue asking questions. If however you are the type that prefers to lurk on forums, watching but never participating, then you can still use the app as well. Quindo allows you to purchase credits if you really want to ask lots of questions without joining the community, but they hope that most users will enjoy responding to other people’s questions and never need to pay to ask any themselves.
We covered Mancx a long time ago, a startup that sought to make money from creating a Q&A platform that would make money by taking a cut from customers that paid for the answers they received. Their business model didn’t work and they’ve pivoted away into a new field. Quindo aren’t looking to make their money by charging users, they intend to become profitable by selling advertising. As people use their platform Quindo will learn what subjects they know about, are curious about and are interested in, this knowledge will then allow them to provide information to advertisers that will result in well targeted advertising that is more beneficial for both parties.
This is similar to how Quora, quite possibly Quindo’s main competitor, intend to monetize as well. Both are Q&A services with mobile apps, however Quindo have their focus firmly set on the short form, mobile question. Unlike Quora they have no online forums and no interest in getting bogged down in long detailed questions. The aim is to be the service you turn to when a question pops into your head and you’re on the go, somewhere you can ask that question and receive an answer quickly from an interested community.
“We have aspired to make Quindo the perfect on-the-go, mobile experience for the user,” said Damon Amoui. “Asking, answering and exploring new knowledge should be easy and quick. Our slogan is “Embrace Your Curiosity” and we worked hard to make this a reality; by allowing our users to simply embrace their curiosity in the easiest, most enjoyable way possible. We will continue to actively work in making the pursuit and sharing of knowledge easier for the user.“
Once a question has been asked the community is welcome to give answers and to judge the answers of others. A top answer is awarded, first by the question giver, and then by the community if the questioner fails to award one. The gamification system built into the app is intended to incentivise activity as users are given credits and rewards and I’m told it is the biggest part of the system still being developed. Quindo know that for the app to take off and become successful they need to motivate users to engage with the app and increase its usefulness by giving answers to other users questions.
Quindo is out now on Apple’s App Store and an Android version is in the works. Quindo’s small team is spread throughout the world, Swedish CEO Damon Amoui joked that he often works from the sauna while other members of the team contribute from London to Melbourne. They’ve bootstrapped development so far but early in the new year will be starting an investment run, so we’ll keep an eye on how they do amongst the wolves.