For the past few weeks my two buddies and I have been coding non-stop and last night completed the first iteration of our product.  Now it’s time to take a step back, get some people using the app and see if we’re on the right track.

What’s the product?

StoryStack lets people create beautiful digital stories together.  Groups or individuals can combine photos, videos, maps, and text to tell rich stories on just about anything – weddings, group trips, cookbooks, design portfolios, and more.

Why are you building this?

A few months back I went on a trip with some of my friends to the Himalayas.   While on this trip we made a few key observations relating to sharing and remembering experiences:

  • Content on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr are consumed individually and are therefor lacking depth and context.
  • If four of my friends go on a trip together and post their photos on Facebook, there’s a lot of overlap.
  • Slideshows are old-school, lacking interaction and are generally pretty boring.

How is what you’re doing different from Facebook/Flickr/Picassa?

There’s three main differences:

  • StoryStack is more then just a collection of photos and text you can add maps, tweets, check-ins, polls, videos and other widgets.
  • StoryStack is collaborative, multiple people can combine their content into a coherent narrative.
  • StoryStack stories are consumed from beginning to end creating an immersive, longer-form, contextual experience.

What are you doing next?

The plan for the next week or two is get user feedback and plan the next iteration of the product.  Should we focus on themes and improving the presentation layer?  Should we build in wikipedia style voting features to make this a platform for large events (like weddings and SXSW)?  Is this even a viable product?  We’re not really sure.  We also want to explore an iPad version.

Are you trying to raise money?

Not really.  We think delaying funding as long as possible is the way to go.  That doesn’t mean we aren’t interested in talking to investors.  We’ve been meeting with some VC’s just to get feedback on the concept and build relationships.

We’ve also applied to TechStars NY and are really hoping to get in.  The mentor list looks ridiculous and we think it’s an amazing program.

I want to try it out!

Sure, if you have low expectations and a sense of humor send me an email and I’ll send you an invite to a really buggy alpha (just don’t try it in IE).  Feedback on the product or concept is always appreciated.

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