Starting a High Tech Business: Does Your Mom Use It?


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I'm starting a new business called Kynetx. As I go through some of the things I do, I'm planning to blog them. The whole series will be here. This is the eightteenth installment. You may find my efforts instructive. Or you may know a better way---if so, please let me know!

Yesterday, Steve had an interesting experience which proved one of our claims. We've always said that we were trying to build a Web augmentation service that even our Mom's would use. This is in contrast to, say, Greasemonkey, which is a great tool, but it's decidely aimed at hackers for their personal use. We're trying to do something similar, but allow developers to build augmentated Web experiences that they could share with anyone--technical or not.

Azigo announced their deal to provide their RemindMe service to AAA of Washington members. Kynetx powers the RemindMe service. Steve's brother Bob happens to live in Seattle and is a AAA member so Steve forwarded the press release to him. Without any help or prodding Bob downloaded the reminder and started using it. He was very excited and sent Steve a note thinking him for helping him remember about his AAA discounts.

What happened next is classic. Bob sent a note talking about RemindMe to the family mailing list. Not only did Steve's mom get it, but she also asked the key question: what else can this do for me? She immediately recognized that there was more to this than AAA reminders--as important as those might be.

We can now answer the key question, "but will your Mom use it?" with a solid "yes" because she does! That and the viral nature of the interaction are major milestones.