When I go to my grandma’s house, one of my favorite things to do is go through all of the old photo albums she has upstairs. Both she and my great-grandma are prolific catalogers, so I get glimpses into the lives of the past three generations of my family.
It bums me out that my grandkids won’t have something like that to look at. Let’s face it: I haven’t made a physical photo album since even before Facebook existed and, since then, everything is online.
So what are you gonna do about it?
Ward Chandler—a prolific internet entrepreneur with an impressive resume that includes tech products from that far away time before the internet was popular and Cashadvance.com in 1997—seems to have had similar sentiments. He set out to do something about it with his new product, SeeMail, which lets you take photos and then record their story in your own voice.
My grandma’s photo albums are all black with white writing on them explaining who’s in the photo, where they are, and what they’re doing. SeeMail reproduces that idea but takes it to the tech level: instead of spidery white script, the viewer can hear your voice telling the whole story.
Simple, Innovative, Interactive
The idea, like pretty much all successful apps, is simple. You take a photo with your iPhone, record the story and any other sounds you want to add, mark the location and add a written caption if you feel like it needs something a little extra.
Then you can instantly share it on Facebook or whatever social media platform you prefer. Your friends can comment too, making it interactive.
Spreading the word
The SeeMail team has two venues for getting the word out about their new product: online and in person. They’ve sent out online campaigns using social media marketing, but their app is really something that is about the physical experience, so they’re doing the footwork too.
They’re showing up at music festivals like Coachella and other big events where there are lots of people taking lots of photos on their iPhones, complete with their fleet of “SeeMail Mobile” Smart Cars. They park in a visible place and promote their product, right in the midst of a group of people who they can pretty much guarantee will be into the idea.
Ahead of their time, and right on time
One of the cool things about this product is the fact that Chandler came up with the idea in 1998. I don’t know if you remember 1998, but that was still in the days of dial-up connections, AOL, Yahoo ruling the search engine world and cellphones that only made phone calls and only if you were willing to pay a lot of money.
For whatever reason, Chandler had the foresight to see where the tech world was going way before it got there and he’s set to reap the benefits now. Lesson to be learned? Keep an eye on what’s going around you and make sure you’re always thinking and analyzing because what seems crazy now could be totally possible in 15 years.