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Don’t Yo See The Potential?

Don’t Yo See The Potential?

Yo A New Mobile App Is Making Waves…

The app is elegant in its simplicity, you pick a person from the app and they receive a Yo.

The big news is that Yo apparently has received $1.2 million in investment for this and many of the newspapers, tech bloggers and public have unleashed a Snarknado online and in print against the app.

Yo - Snarknado

Why you no like this app?

This is just a small sample of the comments and reviews that Yo is getting online:

Yo - Comments

The app seems simple and has left people puzzled about the buzz behind a one-shot app; both about the absence of features and how they secured funding.

Perhaps the most favorable coverage comes from Techcrunch who seem to have a more open minded grasp of the potential behind Yo.

Many of the people I’ve been reading who have taken issue with Yo and its funding are serious Startup entrepreneurs who sweat blood and tears to secure investment for amazing products and seem quite fairly frustrated at an event that could have negative ramifications for future funding.

The Warptest POV

What does Yo really do? I pondered this over a double espresso this morning. Should I be taking this app at face value?

Yo screengrab from Google Play Store

Yo - screengrab

When all else fails I look at the psychology and at the people involved.

What does Yo really do? It provides a solution to the signal : noise ratio in our existing digital modes of communication. Just getting someone’s attention to begin one on one engagement via email, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp etc is a challenge of monumental proportion. Assuming that Yo is adopted by many more people then this might be the use case.

It’s worth considering that in a world where the buzzwords of Lean Startup and Agile Methodology are so popular, Yo has managed to out-Lean and out-Agile everyone else. With Facebook Messenger and Foursquare’s Swarm just two examples of the new trend of splitting features into standalone apps, has this app delivered a first iteration based on this model?

If you consider that and then look at the people, one of the investment players is allegedly the CEO of Mobli, a company whose product is a cross-device, social platform for photo and video sharing.

Is it going to somehow tie into Mobli and offer users the ability to send a Yo to a friend and then share or exchange photo or video from Mobli as another one of these “feature as a standalone apps”?

Only time will tell but whether you are an early adopter of Yo or not, I would be keeping a close eye on the app to see if it is a fad or an app with much greater potential.

Oh, and Yo if you are reading this where is the Windows Phone love? You certainly have the investment to make this happen now, right?

UPDATE

Since this post Yo moved rapidly to release the Windows Phone version of the app and apparently an API and a Hackathon.

21/07/2014: Earlier today I got a tweet from a good friend suggesting I add an update to this post regarding current events.

A couple of weeks ago as the rain of missiles out of Gaza intensified over the South of Israel and spread northwards to threaten and encompass almost 2/3rds of the country, a pair of talented developers, Ari Sprung and Kobi Snir built on Yo to provide smartphone users everywhere (and not just Israel) the chance to receive Red Alerts of missiles launched at their cities. This provided an early warning to allow the 15 to 90 seconds (depending on distance from the launch site) to get to a bomb shelter or other safe cover but also exposed the frequency and geography of the situation to those outside Israel who chose to use this.

The story was picked up by ABC.

On a personal note, my hat is off to the pair of developers for using their imagination and skill to leverage an app many dismissed as frivolous into a public safety application. Well played guys.

It seems that as the founders of Yo say, it is about the context. New use cases are about your context and imagination.

 
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