Kabutar is a product by CIIE (IIM Ahmedabad)-incubated startup and the iOS app lets you do a bunch of things with photos.
- The Daily feature helps users take a photo of themselves everyday and set that as their status message on a variety of social networks. It also creates an awesome time-lapse video of how they’ve changed over a period of time.
- The Photos feature helps users make their photos beautiful through a series of filters that they can apply and then share with friends.
- The Ask feature allows users to ask friends and followers anything from ‘How does this dress look’ to ‘where can I buy a lamp that looks like this’
- The 4Sale feature is a simple classifieds section that allows users to quickly and easily take a photo of an item they want to sell and post it online.
In essence, the startup (site: Kabutar.in) is trying to be Picasa (for editing)+Flickr (community/feedback)+Smugmug for photos (selling) and Facebook (sharing) – all rolled in one product and while that sounds ambitious, here is a QnA with the founding team (Karam Lakshman and Shubhendu Sharma).
Pi: Aren’t you trying to do ‘too much’ with the product? That is: photo editing+sharing+selling+community building?
[Kabutar Team] The idea started with what all can one do with a photo. Honestly speaking even we are not sure about the user adoption at this point of time. By the time we figured the product skeleton, we were sure about two things 1) to build a platform where medium of communication is visual. 2) try and challenge user behavior.
Pi: What is 1-big USP of the product. I mean, why would somebody use this as-opposed to 1. picasa for editing, 2. FB for sharing, 3. several services available for selling 4. Flickr for feedback/community.
[Kabutar Team] As you correctly pointed out, 4 different application for one common task i.e “photo”. another pain point is all these are web based and are not cross platform. We have started with iPhone and web and soon launching android and other versions. Wouldn’t life be simple if you can do all your photo related activities on a single platform and connect with like minded individuals?
Pi: Idea behind the name.
[Kabutar Team] 1) Indian name 2) strikes well 3) pigeon has been used as a postman since accident period. 4) symbol for love. 5) connects one with other emotionally.
Pi: Target segment you are running after? Future plans?
[Kabutar Team] We have just launched and believe our target age group is 14-30. We are focused to reachout school and college kids. Immediate plans include build user base & user activity and raise seed money.
As far as Photo sharing apps in the market today like Instagram or Path are concerned, they are solely focused on sharing memories with friends. Kabutar differs in its approach by tying a broad set of use-cases around photographs and tying all of these use cases in one app.
My recommendation to the team: It seems that the current hypothesis is that people want to do ‘everything’ with photos – i.e. take feedback/sell/share/QnA etc and I’d say that this hypothesis is grossly extrapolated. Maybe I am wrong, but the team needs to validate the hypothesis before they go full steam in developing the web+android version of the app.
When it comes to product vs. features, whole need not be greater than sum of the parts, as parts very often appeal to different user intents. Solving for all is a thing of the past and should be left to big companies (and their big budget$).
At the core, Kabutar’s idea is very appealing (plus a catchy name), but the key is to introduce features gradually, to define use-cases around user intent and go after them one-by-one.
What’s your take? What are your use-cases of a mobile app for photographs? Do give Kabutar a shout (download link) and review the app on Appnomy.