Friends, classmates, relatives, colleagues, neighbours, distant relatives, older classmates, older neighbours, teachers, the security guard, the milkman, your favourite Bollywood actor, everyone is on Facebook. This noise was the trigger behind the phone-only Path, a calmer social network where you could symmetrically share things with 50 of your closest friends (later ‘upgraded’ to 150), and you could not share with second degree connections aka friends of friends. Path boasts of 3 million users as of June 2012.
Path showed the path to Pair, limiting the number of users to just two: you and your loved one, that provided texting, sharing, videos, photos, sketching together, thumbkissing and more ways to stay connected with your partner. Pair is popular too, and was downloaded by 220K people in its first month after its launch in March this year, and has been able to amass $4.2 million funds in the kitty.
If Pair was a Path for couples, Cofounderly is a Pair for, well, co-founders. You can stay in touch with your co-founder and send messages to them, answer questions set up by the IceBreak team about startups in general and cofounder relations in particular, and get scored, as a team, on the quality of your relationship with each other.
- Privately share sketches, messages, and photos with each other
- Enhance cofounder communication and understanding by answering icebreaker questions
- Connect with the community, and see how others feel about startup topics.
- Keep an eye on your cofounder health with your “cofounder score”
The iPhone app currently has four major pages: Your Wall, a private wall that shows messages between you and your better half in your company; Icebreakers, that lets you answer icebreaking questions; a public Stream that lets you go through answers by other users on the app, and a Moments section where you can capture and share moments in the form of pictures, either privately with your you-know-who or the entire community in general.
Cofounderly offers questions like, “Which one is a higher priority for startups — retention or growth? Why?”, “What is your ideal liquidity event: IPO, acquisition, or happy hour?”, and offers suggestions like “Come up with & serve a company-themed cocktail.”
Needless to say, the cofounder-to-cofounder communication is very useful in the case of them separated by geographical boundaries. However, it is also useful to keep track of communications among the founding team at a common place.
Cofounderly is not actually inspired by Pair directly, but by IceBreak for Couples, a Pair-like app by TheIceBreak, the developer who would later go on to tweak IceBreak and launch Cofounderly.
But do you really need a dedicated app to communicate with your co-founder? Christina Brodbeck, co-founder Cofounderly, says “Cofounderly is supposed to encourage real-world conversations, rather than replace them. Ultimately, the app should be leading to more in-depth, in-person conversations.” Logically enough, she just has one co-founder, Dwipal Desai.
Since based on a ‘monogamous’ social network for couples, the biggest limitation of Cofounderly is that you can only add one co-founder to your network. While this would be suitable for most entrepreneurs, some will cry foul. Another limitation is the non-availability of an Android app. As with most mobile apps, including Instagram, there is no web app for Cofounderly. So unless you have an iDevice, you will be devoid of the pleasures of Cofounderly.
If you are a startupper, and are in a ‘relationship’ with your co-founder, try Cofounderly to keep in touch or discuss important things. Also give the cofounder community a spin and share your experience.