[Interview] Found: A New Found Startup
It’s been a rough time for the founders of Singapore-based, mobile location-based check-in service foound. After a spectacular launch at Echelon 2010, the startup floundered and had to reinvent itself over the past year. Now rebranded as Found, the team is now looking at a new breath of life.
What exactly is Found?
Danny Tan: Found is a mobile application that helps you share where you are going so your friends can find and meet you easily! We also help you see where your friends are going and discover interesting hangouts around you to meet new friends.
How is it different from other check-in applications?
Found gives you the ability to share where you are going in advance. This is a small but important difference which allows your friends to make plans to meet you, thus moving away from vanity and games to really improve your social life. We’re making check-ins useful!
So what’s new with Found?
We realized that friends often meet-up spontaneously when they know where each other is going. The new Found is designed to facilitate this behavior by making it easy to share and see where your friends are going.
Beyond helping you spend more time with your friends in real life, Found is addressing the larger problem of “urban isolation” which is a result of the way modern living has evolved. As more and more people live in cities, our urban and social landscape will continue to change, causing us to feel lost and alienated. There needs to be a rethink on how we integrate technology into our real lives, particularly with the emergence of mobile computing. We believe Found is closest to being the next generation social network that can help solve these problems.
The new Found is much more natural and spontaneous. We really like the fact that helping users share where they are going helps their friends make plans to meet them more often.
What did you do differently this time?
The new Found puts together everything we have learnt from our previous experiences. From understanding users’ needs to making it easier to use Found with their friends. We spent six months developing the new Found (as compared to three months for the previous one), and also roped in Pivotal Labs to help improve our development processes. We think that the end result is a much more reliable and polished experience.
We are constantly looking to improve the user experience based on feedback and are also eagerly preparing for our US launch. Our long term objective is to build a service that facilitates meet-ups in real life and help our users get found by their friends every day!
Found is re-launching after working on our latest iteration from March 2011. The re-launch is a completely new app (though previous Foound users are fully migrated) which helps users share where they are going so their friends can find and meet them easily. This re-launch puts together the experiences since the earlier release.
Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.