This is a call to action, startup founders. I challenge you to put your startup to the dry martini test: I say that no startup should ever be dryer than the driest martini. If transparent, cold liquid can be loaded with personality and deliver ecstasy, there’s no good reason why any Internet product – no matter how simple, no matter how similar to its competition – should ever fail to inspire us to at least take a second sip.
I get it. You’re a serious business. You’re unique. Sure, we already have 10,000 project management tools, but you are different. Let’s say we agree. You’re onto something great. You’re rightfully excited. Will anyone care? And for how long? Just how different are you? If a 5º separation in functionality is all you bring to the market, you’ve got your work cut out for you, friends. Scientists tell us that it only takes a change of 2º to the planet’s temperature to wreak catastrophic, worldwide havoc, but has climate change really captured our hearts and imaginations – properly scared the shit out of us and mobilized us all into action?
How do you feel about your product now? Are you confident we’ll like you enough to invest our time, limited interest, and money in what you have to offer?
Notice served: Knowtify.io passes the dry martini test. Knowtify is an Saas application that enables other online applications to send highly-personalized emails without exhausting engineering resources. A simple API allows app makers to integrate user data, segment the user base according to data triggers, then quickly and easily send both personal and relevant daily emails.
Driving user engagement through email is good. Email easy to read on any device is good. Freeing engineers to focus on core functionality by eliminating the need to build a custom email notification system is good. But … drive user engagement? Daily digest emails? These sounds strikingly like yet-to-be recognized mantras that cue the brain to waste time on personal Facebook accounts. So why does Knowtify, not fully developed and still in beta, hold my attention?
First, there are the best testimonials I’ve seen in a long time:
“Since using Knowtify, I’ve increased user engagement by 20%, received a 25% pay raise, lost 12 pounds, and got over my peanut allergy. Overall, I’m very pleased.”
-Said by no one…yet
And an appearance from Chuck Norris (seen below):
Behold! Signs of life! Human wit and personality underneath a very useful but (let’s be honest) otherwise dry tool. I’m not suggesting that every company needs a resident comedian, but character does no harm. Nearly every online space is crowded these days. I’m constantly amazed at how little so many new sites try to make themselves approachable – offering no evidence that robots haven’t assembled the product from concept to execution, no sign of humans ready to have a conversation about what their website is up to.
San Francisco-based, Knowtify is co-founded by Derek Skaletsky and Dane Lyons. This is Derek’s third SaaS startup. Dane previously developed and designed apps Kosmix’s TweetBeat and Saygent’s voice analytics platform. Dane’s Twitter account announces that he will not shave until the company sees revenue. Another delightful touch.
I hope for Dane’s sake, Knowtify continues to truly engage us – after a promising, not too dry start.