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Idealog—in the ideas business

uSnap.us goes to market

"See your wedding through their eyes." That's the slogan used by uSnap.us, winner of the recent Wellington Startup Weekend, which has just gone public after three months of R&D work. 

The app lets guests snap their own photos at a wedding, which can then be played on a live slideshow, or shared with friends and family who aren't physically at the event via a livestream.

So far it has been used at six different events, including one in the US. Cofounder Nick Malcolm (pictured) says they've had 170 signups and processed nearly 400 photos to date.

"A lot of me wanted to delay the launch, get all my ducks in a row first. But I'm glad we didn't," Malcolm says.

It hasn't all been smooth sailing; at their first major event the uSnap-ers found that horizontal photos were appearing in portrait format on the live slideshow. Malcolm spent the day manually downloading, rotating and reuploading images to make the entire process run smoothly – the guests none the wiser.

The idea behind uSnap.us apparently hit fellow cofounder Owen Evans whilst he was in the bath. For now, they're all juggling full-time jobs (Malcolm is a developer at Southgate Labs, while Evans and lead designer Brock Abernethy both work at Xero) with the budding venture, bootstrapping everything along the way.

uSnap.us is targeting bridal parties for now at a price of $199 per event and Malcolm says they're currently testing their pricing model.

"We're starting A/B testing to see which price points and value propositions work best.T his also leads to our next steps, which really are market validation and trying to find where we sit in the market.

"We're looking into having someone on the ground in our key market – the US – so we can build our presence over there.We have a common problem – we're confident we have a great app, we just need to find out how to sell it effectively!"


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Comments

Was at a wedding in Napa (outside SFO) and this was used. Downside is those not on local phone plans means it is unusable due to cost.

This was major aspect as was a NZer marrying a local. Seems a good idea however.

We have a common problem – we're confident we have a great app, we just need to find out how to sell it effectively!”

For starters, I fail to see what problem this app aims to solve?
Is it common for people to struggle with getting wedding photos together? Most hire a professional photographer to take care of all that? But anyway…

1. I have to setup an event and tell all of my guests to download this app they never heard of. Many wouldn't be bothered in doing that, forget etc.
2. All my guests need smartphones to make it work, maybe 50% of them will, the rest miss out. Currently its only iPhone.
So you can email them in right, but who wants to do that after the event or as they shoot?
3. $199 is expensive! And for lots of poor quality iPhone photos. I might get 20-30 good ones for that price. I'd prefer to spend that money on a quality photographer for one of the most important occasions in my life.
4. People at the event might have their heads in their smartphones looking at photos rather than enjoying my event.
5. The lifetime value of customers is basically zero. You only get married once. (Hopefully)
6. People share photos on Facebook etc anyway. Where's your market?
7. What happens if your at the venue and there is no phone reception inside? It won't work? And if there is, could uploading all these photos as I go rip through my data allowance pretty quickly? Fundamental issue.
8. You might say the app saves money on a photographer, but I have to pay for a big TV screen to make it effective and worthwhile, hooking it up to the internet etc. Internet cost at venue? Time, hassle, money.
9. You say your next step is market validation? Shouldn't you have done that before you started building it?

I think the site looks really great but I just fail to see how this idea will work in real life, outside of a marketing video that glosses over all the fundamental problems it faces, but it may make a bit of pocket money for you. Personally, I can't see how I would ever find a use for it.

As a Sydney based geek who is having two weddings in the next couple of months (One in San Francisco and the second back in Sydney) I was looking for something that would allow me to display live photo taken by friends at the reception. I found uSnap.us and thought it would be a great options… BUT $199 is crazy… No chance I am going to spend that on top of all the other expenses. Someone has obviously suggested wedding are a time for premium pricing as its a rare occasion.. but not that premium.. $49 maybe.. $29 definitely… $199 no chance, no way


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