The past few weeks have been overwhelming! So much has happened. I haven’t written anything on my blog, and some of you might be wondering what’s going on. Some of you even began to ask my colleagues about the lack of updates or questioning if I have stopped being transparent.
I can answer all of those questions for you, and I will try to do so in order.
In a previous post, I wrote that I wouldn’t be able to post an update every week. This is because I’ve been exceptionally busy orchestrating all of the big changes that we’re undergoing. I didn’t have the time or the energy to write a blog post, even though I did have things I wanted to share with you all. I did manage to write one more post about Hipture, but then things got very complicated. We had to make some difficult decisions, and writing a blog post was not even on my mind. I know that my readers are waiting for updates, and I should have written something, but I hope that this post now will help to explain my absence.
First, I would like to share what has been going on in the past couple of weeks. The post might be a bit chaotic because there is so much to report, and I am not very good at writing.
After I had written about Finic, I received a lot of feedback which allowed me to think more deeply on the subject. I was thinking about it for maybe a couple of weeks. I had a few discussions about the business model of this project and started working on furthering the project and changing it. After all of this, we arrived at an idea that was entirely different from our original concept. It’s so different that instead of considering it a new direction for the original project, it has become something entirely separate. It was like a light bulb came on when we went through the new business model. We realized that everything we had before this moment was not solving any problems. The problems that we planned on settling were not fixing serious issues.
Thoughts on our new project came to us when we wanted to hire a product photographer for Hipture. We wanted to find someone local, but couldn’t. We ended up finding a company in California, but then we had to pay for travel expenses for two, so they could come and meet us and talk about the details of what we needed done. It took up more time than we anticipated, and of course we spent much more money than we planned.
At first, I didn’t have any thoughts regarding this situation, since my focus was on something else. But after I thought about it, I couldn’t but wonder why we couldn’t find a local photographer to do the job. Why was there no service that could help find the right photographer? So, after a lot of research, a new project was born, with a brand new name: PICR.
We were going to use the name Finic, but after a few team discussions we agreed to give it its own name. Plus, this project doesn’t need the Finic background.
We were lucky to buy the domain for $7,000. For a four letter domain, I consider this an excellent deal.
What is PICR?
In short, PICR is a platform that helps customers find photographers and book service with them in just a few clicks. It’s useful for the photographers too, as it helps them to receive more orders from a wider array of clients. The photographers don’t need to worry about marketing, management, and payments; PICR will keep track of all of that for them.
What are the main problems in the photography industry?
Lots of talented photographers are unfortunately never noticed because of marketing trouble. These photographers don’t get jobs doing what they do best merely because they run into roadblocks or issues trying to market themselves. Most don’t have experience in marketing and business, which can make those aspects of photography very difficult and frustrating.
Clients often have to spend a lot of time researching individual photographers for the jobs they need done, contacting each one to discuss prices and contracts, and this doesn’t even guarantee that the client will get the result they’re looking for. Spending so much time shopping around should yield better results, but that isn’t always the case.
What will change with PICR?
Each photographer will be able to secure orders when they want and as often as they want. They will be more in control of their own time, especially because they can cut out all that extra time spent on managing and marketing. The more time they have to work with clients, the faster they can get paid for what they love to do.
The client will spend much less time searching for a qualified photographer since photographers will be all categorized in one place. This saves time and money for the customer and photographer.
What happened to Hipture?
In my last blog post, I wrote about another project, Hipture. It was a small project we were putting together alongside Finic. Initially, we planned to develop this idea into prints and photography and have it be under Finic with the option to order a squared framed print from your smartphone. Since it was a separate app, we gave its own name.
There were two to three people working on Hipture over the past few months. A couple of months into the project, we had the idea of promoting it on Kickstarter. We started preparing for Kickstarter while also working on the development of the product itself. Unfortunately, we then had to postpone the Hipture launch due to the Socality event we scheduled to attend in San Diego. We ended up launching Hipture a day before the event on Kickstarter.
Four members of the team including myself flew to San Diego. We were there for four busy days with a packed schedule. I’ve never spoken as much English as I did there!
Plus, I was one of the guest speakers, and I had prepared a one-hour presentation called “The Power of Failure.” This was a brand new experience for me since I had never done a presentation in English before! It was a great opportunity and great practice.
Everyone in San Diego loved the Hipture idea! Most people were excited about it. But, we encountered a problem: everyone wanted it here and now. Nobody wanted to wait until the Kickstarter was over. There, we understood the Kickstarter was a mistake.
During our trip to San Diego and after our return, I thought a lot about my presentation. I understood I was working on three projects at once. Yes, three! How did that happen?
At first, it was just one idea, one project: Finic. At that time, we didn’t consider Hipture a different project since it was just meant to be a mobile version of Finic with the same printing idea, same backend.
After we made a big pivot, it turned out we had three projects going at once.
Finic: The web portion faded away, and it became just a printing company.
Hipture: A mobile app allowing users to print mobile photos.
PICR: Photography on demand.
And here we understood that we have a significant problem. We don’t have that many people, so everyone was just rushing between three projects at once. It was hard to focus on just one thing, so time was being wasted.
The decision was difficult, but we had to make it. We closed Hipture and Finic. As a result, Hipture on Kickstarter was closed. At this time, we are actively working on PICR. The goal is to launch mid-October of this year.
Before then, we need to gather as many photographers as possible, which led us to pre-launch. It is a simple page where photographers can leave us their email, and for this they receive six months of free service. If a photographer invites five other photographers to sign-up, he or she receives FREE lifetime service at PICR. To further understand PICR, in this next video Paul answers some of our most common asked questions.
Also, we started a blog, where you can keep up with this awesome new project.
What Will Happen Next?
Since I am focusing all of my attention on PICR, I don’t have much time to write. I try not to get distracted, and just focus on one thing. However, I will try to find time to keep you updated at least once a month.
Other than PICR and closing of Finic and Hipture, we have had a lot of changes in the office. I think this is something that will be of interest to you, especially if you are interested in businesses and startups, but this will be in a different post, so stay connected.