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Interview With Atlanta Startup StoryMark, A Novel Idea For Photo Sharing

I was just telling StoryMark founder Dana McIntyre the story about when my mom turned 60 five years ago how all the kids got her one of those groovy digital photo frames that allowed 30 second narration on each photo. It was a cute idea and we were able to get photos from each couple in our family and the grandkids. We were then able to narrate what the photo was about.

Well, the reason we are writing about another photo sharing app is because StoryMark does virtually the same thing, but now instead of a clunky novelty digital photo frame, it’s on your iPhone or Android device where it will be way better utilized. In fact this year in September we are getting my mom an iPhone (yes she’s ready) and StoryMark will definitely have a place on her phone.

StoryMark allows you to take photos and then add up to 30 seconds of audio to send with the photo. It’s great for pictures that tell a story. Say you go on vacation you can send those loved ones back home a great photo and an audible description. Maybe your son or daughter is just laughing away, now with StoryMark you can audibly annotate the photo for years to come.

StoryMark has so many use cases it’s absolutely ridiculous (in a good way) McIntyre tells us in the interview below you can use it for those family moments, doctors can use it to get advice and collaborate with other doctors, even the know it all leader of your neighborhood organization can use it to audibly talk about how your grass is a smidgeon too high.  Teenagers could use it to pitch their parents on that must have shirt, sweater, or video game at the mall.  Again this is one of those ideas so good you think, “why didn’t I think of that” well that’s because McIntyre did.

Check out the interview below


What is StoryMark?
How do you make a photograph tell more of a story?  Just add sound!  Available on both iPhone and Android, StoryMark is an app that allows you to add up to 30 seconds of audio to any photo – either with new photos you can take with the app, use ones from your personal library, or even through your Instagram library.  A big plus:  it’s very easy to use.  We call it “mom proof”.  If our mom’s can use it, then anyone can!
StoryMark has the ability to take something as sentimental as a family photo and add a personalized voice message to it.  It’s about adding emotion to something already emotional.  Imagine having your grandmother’s voice as she tells stories about her old photographs or your child telling stories about a drawing they have created.  The possibilities are endless and can even include vertical markets.  We have come up with everything from Doctors using it during surgery to get a second opinion by sending a StoryMark to a colleague, to even a garbage man who needs to document someone in violation of trash policies.  It’s very open ended.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
Co-Founder and President, Dale McIntyre is also our Senior Developer, and has been writing software for almost 15 years and has worked for several Fortune 500 companies.  When the idea came around to work on StoryMark, he jumped at the opportunity to create something new.
Co-Founder and Social Media Director, Dana McIntyre:  Dana handles all social media including FaceBook, Twitter and well as blogging.  She has been a Featured Writer on BlogHer, BloggyMoms, as well as several other blogging sites. Her blog can be found at http://danamcintyre1.wordpress.com
Co-Founder and CEO, Jonathan Kalish and his wife, Co-Founder and Social Outreach Director, Cathy Kalish, came up with the idea for StoryMark when they found a miniature picture frame that held a small photo and allowed you to record 10 seconds of audio.  They waited for the digital equivalent but it never came, so StoryMark was created.

Where are you based?
We are based in Atlanta, GA
What is the startup culture like in Atlanta?
The start up market in Atlanta is growing constantly.  Major players like TechCrunch, Mashable and Digital Summit have annual events in the Atlanta area to help startups get noticed.  Groups such as ATDC (The Advanced Technology Development Center is a startup accelerator that helps technology entrepreneurs in Georgia launch and build successful companies.
What problem does StoryMark solve?
Many people have asked “why not just use video?”  Well, unless you are using a tripod (which most people using smartphones are not) the end result is a shaky, dizzy video that it usually too big to text or even e-mail.  With StoryMark, the file is condensed even smaller than the original image from your smartphone so it’s easy to share over text, e-mail, Twitter, & Facebook.
What is one challenge that you’ve overcome in the startup process?
Funding!  We have been self funded from the start and are currently preparing and hoping for VC or Angel funding in the near future.  Therefore, we have relied on Twitter, Facebook, and every social media avenue we could find.  We have found that blogging has increased our SEO tremendously so I have joined every blogging site I can find.  It’s all about getting the name out there.  Make it interesting and people want to find out more.
Who are your mentors and role models?
Several family members are our mentors, but business wise, we love people who use random things to make their products better.  We love the Dyson vacuum guy.  He is the only one that found something that looks like it came off a child’s toy and made it work for his product..  That’s just one of the things that makes him successful.
Whats one thing the world doesn’t know about you or your startup?
We started this company just for our family while sitting at the kitchen table.  When we realized that so many other people could benefit from it and it could be used in so many different ways, we decided to put it in the app store.
What’s next for StoryMark?
We are always trying to add new features to StoryMark, so a typical day is made up of figuring out what else we can add to make it easier or more fun to use.
We also hope to obtain funding, because this bootstrapping business is hard!!!
Linkage:
Check out StoryMark here at their website storymarklife.com
Here’s the Google Play page
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