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Kansas City Startup: Zippido Achieve Your Goals And Tasks With The Help Of Your Social Network

Most people, whether they want to admit it or not, find that achieving goals or getting tasks completed is easier with a buddy, friend or family member either cheering them on, rooting for them or actually helping out. Think about the last time you told your wife before you went to bed “hey honey remind me to call the care dealer tomorrow” or any other “reminder”. It’s this simple notion which led to the creation of Zippido.

Zippido founder, Ray Haynes describes Zippido to Nibletz.com as “ZippiDo! is a platform that brings the energy of your social network into your goals and tasks. Users of ZippiDo! can easily find, create and track goals – while sharing and discussing them with their friends.”

So think about something like organizing the community yard sale. If you’ve ever tried to organize one of these things it’s a daunting task. With Zippido you could create a task “community yard sale” and then from your social network get the help of your neighbors. You would know who’s making the signs, who’s advertising on craigslist, who’s advertising in the paper and who’s getting breakfast. With Zippido all the tasks are there for whoever you invite into them.

Although Haynes came up with the idea himself, and it’s got an awesome intuitive UI, Zippido reminds us a lot of what Google Wave would have been like if it was on Facebook. The downside to Google Wave was that you couldn’t bring the collaborators in as easy as you could with Facebook. This sets Zippido apart in it’s own right. Trust me, comparing Zippido in this way is a compliment.

We got a chance to catch up with Haynes, who is extremely busy with multiple startup projects. Here’s the rest of the interview:

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

I came up with the concept for ZippiDo! about two years ago.  ZippiDo! is an Invenitas company, which consists of myself, Jon Stutzman (Creative Director), Paul Santulli (IT Project Manager and COO), and Bert Weidt (CTO).  I am the chief development, and vision leader.  Invenitas is also involved with other startups such as 11Mhz Media which recently launched ElevenReasons.com.

More after the break



How did you come up with the idea for ZippiDo!?

The basic concept was born while searching for an app that would allow me to easily share a task list with my wife.  After thorough research I discovered a few things: 1. I had come up with a unique concept and powerful tool, 2. I found a way to let users have it for free, and 3. I was the only one in the world who can claim either of those things.

 

Aren’t their other “social collaboration” products out there, what is going to set ZippiDo! apart?

When you first launch ZippiDo! you’re greeted by a friendly, intuitive interface. Then when you create your first goal you’ll quickly realize what sets ZippiDo! apart – the seamless social integration and multiple third-party data enhancements, among others things. The secret sauce is truly secret at this moment, as there are still several aspects we’re developing which will be groundbreaking innovations. Here’s an exclusive tip though: we’re working with several partners to offer exclusive discounts and privileges associated with your specific goals and tasks.

Are you bootstrapping it?

Always, bootstrapping is the only way to go.  We have found that great ideas develop their own momentum, despite financial restrictions. We have made great progress in developing our concept and launching a beta web app. At this point, the right investor with the specific resources we’re seeking would increase our momentum. With the right investor, we might be able to drive marketing sooner and get phone apps out there faster, and we would be able to secure the deals mentioned above more easily.  Unfortunately, as we all know in the startup community, finding people willing to work purely for equity is difficult; so funding is essential to hiring good people to grow ZippiDo! into, and beyond, our ultimate vision. However, I am confident that my current team has the skills necessary to make all of this happen, it will just take longer.
 When do you plan on officially launching?
The first week of June.  Until then, we are in a beta phase.  Anyone can find us and join, but we aren’t doing any marketing.  While in beta mode, we are asking all users that sign up to provide their feedback, and we are making appropriate changes and bug fixes.  This is a very important stage in the evolution of ZippiDo! – after all, it is the users that will determine if we succeed, so we need this time to communicate and collaborate with the community to make sure ZippiDo! is meeting the needs our users expect. Jon also wants to make some creative changes, so we are taking some time for that too.
Without divulging too many of your secrets, tell us a reason or two why people should go register for the beta?
The first big reason to join early is that you will be a very important part of shaping the future of ZippiDo! by providing early feedback.  At this stage, it is much easier to make changes to the platform.  Once this takes off, the updates will have to slow down.  This is your opportunity to help influence the future of social collaboration. Also, you can be sure to secure a good profile username before they all get taken ;)
So after playing around with the Beta a bit, is ZippiDo! like a Google Wave for Facebook? 
This question is loaded! To be honest, ZippiDo! was built from the ground up as a solution to a specific need. If it seems reminiscent of Facebook or Google Wave it is because those aspects are elemental facets of the digital lifestyle. If I had to pick one I’d rather be like Facebook than Google Wave, but only because Facebook is still in existence.
You say you’re tweaking the Beta for public release can you tell us what you’re going to change or give us a sneak peek as to what may be in store?
Primarily creative changes, a better focus on goal management, and the first set of packaged goals which will include a few sponsored packages.  What that all means for our users is that things will look prettier, usability will improve, and there will be more interesting ways to set, track, and achieve goals.
Fun Question: If your parents used ZippiDo!, what kind of tasks would they do?
If my parents were to use ZippiDo!, they would create some goals for their summer.  For example, my father wants to build a deck on his house.  He could import our “Build a Deck” sponsored goal which would have all the tasks and checklists necessary for building a deck from start to finish.  For my mother, she would just use it to create a task called “Call your mother”, and assign it to me.
Did you catch that? Their sponsored goal? That’s a real innovative way of monetizing something like Zippido. For example if your goal was to learn to play the guitar Zippido could find a music store, or other guitar related business for a sponsored goal. As you can see they are definitely onto something from the startup angle and the user/consumer angle.
Linkage:
Sign up for the beta and stay up to date with Zippido here
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