Opinion on an idea for mobile-phone application

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by Bkadv2, Feb 12, 2019.

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Opinion on Mobile Phone App idea?

  1. I would like something like this

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  2. Great Idea

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  3. Bad idea

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Other

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  1. Bkadv2

    Bkadv2 Been here awhile

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    Hey guys,

    I returned like 6 months ago from my trip from my lengthy motorcycle ride on my crf250l through Japan, Russia, Central asia, EU, UK and across USA. Something like the long way around i guess.

    I apologize if this is the wrong section to post this into or if its even not allowed to do this, I will delete it immediately or you can just lock down the thread

    I been working on a side project for a bit now and I see something in it, where I can probably launch it like its the real deal. It would be nice to get feedback, perhaps it might help you with your day to day life and please do mention if it interests you.

    The app idea is simple:

    Create Events(Title, Date, Time, Location), send out invitations to your friends, colleagues and family. It has group chat built in where you can share pictures and files.

    Able to send a poll of different Dates, Event Types(custom polls as well) to see what fits best for the majority of your contacts

    The group chat will be end to end encrypted. What this means basically is, I as the owner of this app cannot actually see your messages. Only a secret key, which is stored in your phones storage can understand the messages you send and receive.

    Why is this a big deal? Most apps and businesses money model is to sell user data or share it with other companies. If I cannot read your messages or understand them, I cant really sell gibberish. I give users breathing room and assure them I wont mess with your data for profit. There are other ways to profit.

    My goals are, not to have investors as this can ruin my end game. Which is user privacy.

    As of now, I have a working prototype and currently working to make it work reliably on iOS. My mother has already used my app and she has been sending me invitations to breakfast and going to the local Costco.

    I never explained or showed her how to use my app because I was just using her phone as a test phone, she found it and started to use it. This makes me very happy as one of my goals was simplicity for users.



    I know its a long read :(

    TLDR version:

    Can i get an opinion for an App I am making?
    Create events, send invites and has built in end to end encrypted group chat where you can also share photos and files.
    End goal is to not sell user data

    Thank you,

    -BkAdv
    #1
    VxZeroKnots likes this.
  2. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Armchair Adventurer

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    Like Whatsapp ?
    #2
  3. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target Supporter

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    First things first - where the link for your trip?

    :dirtdog

    Second, this sounds similar to Evite but with some extra built in functionality - is that correct? Im not even sure that they have an app but this sounds better than that
    #3
  4. PoundSand

    PoundSand Long timer

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    Sounds good. Which is probably why FB Messenger can do literally all that already, including optional end to end encryption, with a built in 1B+ userbase that does not need to convince their friends to install another app before getting an invite.

    Tough competition... Good luck.
    #4
  5. Bkadv2

    Bkadv2 Been here awhile

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    Well whatsapp is worth like 20billion dollars with built in end to end encryption... as a programmer, I can easily see how they profit off their app but thats an opinion because they are not open source

    Facebook owns whatsapp, instagram and messenger and who knows what else small company or big company out there!

    The fact zuckerburg announced to merge instagram, whatsapp and messenger should be scary. Messenger has optional built in encryption, Instagram I believe does not have any.

    If they merge it, its only end to end encrypted if sending messages on whatsapp to whatsapp, if sent from whatsapp to messenger/insta or messenger/insta to whatsapp, it cannot be end to end encrypted

    they will reek in profits of data gathering, which im sure many people are fine with

    im a very private person!
    I also made my facebook profile public, i can send you a link if you want which has more history of my travel
    https://www.instagram.com/brooklyn_adventure/?hl=en

    some photos, i posted in just crf250l thread time to time to report on bike

    Met so many of my family members which i saw last when i was 12 yrs old across EU

    I met up with some advriders and also use tentspace in USA on west coast

    I dont know about similar apps like mine, thanks for the awareness of Evite. From my experience, nothing is free!. I will look into their privacy clause later...

    From my google skills, the top competition seems to be MeetUp and doodle. 1 of them sells data, other shares it. (its publicly written on their website privacy section)

    Meetup charges like 9.99 a month to create events, doodle allows sending polls to others to figure out a best time(they do have a subscription model as well)

    This is what most of my friends said, so I changed my whole model and for the past 2-3 months I been implementing end-end encryption(baseline) for user data. My model from beginning was to not sell user data nor share it with other companies.


    I had a request for interview with some google cloud sales person from google(I guess they saw me messing with their servers), he asked me about investors and started off talking about selling user data(this seems to be baseline for majority of companies which has given me so much awareness of how MOST companies make money).

    I told him off the bat, how i plan to monetize and my end goal was user privacy. There arent many companies out there who will not sell their users data or share it, he liked my idea and supported me. The video call lasted 1 hour 30 minutes of a planned 10 minutes


    My only turn off to other people is, I want 0 investors. I hope to fund this with my salary(To market and advertise my app to masses) and I will focus on NYC in beginning. This app will be released in Canada and America at first

    also those notifications you get in your phone while your phone is turned off, most companies use third party companies to handle those push notifications. Those third companies have a clause they will sell the data in those notifications/gather info unless you pay them a certain amount..not sure how much.

    Mine is all in house.


    All you would need is to download the app, verify your phone number. Anyone who has downloaded the app and you guys are both mutual contacts(based on your device contact list), they will be shown up as a user of my app so you can send invites out.



    I plan to call my app: Project Meet while i hope the trend word would be PM for short :D
    #5
    Marto71 likes this.
  6. RVDan

    RVDan Long timer

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    If you launch it and manage to get a couple hundred users, Facebook will buy it for about a million bucks and squash it.
    Congratulations you’re going to be a millionaire.
    #6
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  7. PoundSand

    PoundSand Long timer

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    As you acknowledge, most people seem fine with the data collection - they largely don't make much use of the privacy settings that exist on large platforms. So where do you see this thing going and what's the plan to get people to adopt it? especially whenwit sounds like you're planning a subscription service (not a showstopper - that's what WhatsApp used to do). How are you going to advertise in a market like NYC and get critical mass when there's somany disconnected people around? Perhaps something more targeted (ala Facebook with colleges, Twitter at sxswi) to start (easier said then done I know)?
    #7
  8. Bkadv2

    Bkadv2 Been here awhile

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    indeed easier said than done!, I should leverage my university name as I see some have done so in greater NYC. Where other alumni can come in to their business to support them.

    I do have a sister teaching at a uni in manhattan and I hope to get some exposure over there as well. She promised me to force it on her students :(

    That would be cool but I hope to never sell out and even outsource my programming. I have built everything around scalability. I have run many math models and I can confidently say even scrubbing toilets for minimum wage, I can easily support up to 100k users without making profits from the app. If 10% of those users convert, such people as event organizers, schools, small companies who need to organize their events/plans knowing that the data is only theirs would be marked as success!(from me :D)

    I plan to market in NYC perhaps via the private taxi cab network, I am leveraging my dads experience here. Put my logo so passengers can easily see it, where people can scan the logo to download on their phone. He will spread it out to other drivers, I will go hard on every cab driver i find because as a pakistani-american its easy for me to connect with them. Target certain neighborhoods and go out from there.

    Project Meet - Plan your events, send out polls with built in end to end encrypted group chat. We dont sell your data and we dont certainly share it!

    selling user data vs subscription plan..usually selling data is more profitable for companies.

    Hopefully if I save enough money, I can start investing to market on the public metro stations.
    #8
  9. PoundSand

    PoundSand Long timer

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    I don't see how an end to end encrypted service like you describe is going to work for event organizers and (especially) schools when you don't have a master key - they need students and parents to be able to access events from a wide range of devices, including a variety of browsers. You could theoretically have local decrypt, but you'd need a way around the 5mb limit in browsers for local storage, which might be tough given you want to share media. It'd also limit the features you could offer (like spam filtering, online backup, search, etc) in a web interface.

    And now I think about it more, you mention matching contacts. Which means uploading and storing user addressbooks (and annoying users with that prompt like LinkedIn and Facebook), which would then create a web of contacts, which seems whack for a privacy first app.

    A lot to think through to make a compelling case here.
    #9
  10. Bkadv2

    Bkadv2 Been here awhile

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    The app will only be for iOS and Android which requires phone numbers to sign up with.

    Biggest con for my app is, you have to send out invites to the contacts you already have. Cant let strangers come in. I will allow the option for members in an event to invite their own contacts as well.

    Event can only be accessed through the phone WHICH you used to verify your number with. Because the secret key is stored on the phone.

    Online backup is for paid version but the con is, only the phone you made the event with can access the online backup. Or I can tell the user to create a password, then I can use the password to encrypt the Event room secret key and store it online, therefore the user can access the backed up events with any phone as long as they remember their password.

    This is how I will plan to manage contacts, thanks for bringing it up

    I will ask for user permission to ask your device contacts(normal for any app). I will extract all phone numbers. Crypto Hash these phone numbers on your device, truncate it(cut some pieces off) and upload it to my server. I didnt make this idea up, I am closely following an open source company called Signal, which i also believe the old owner of whatsapp has helped start it to raise awareness of user privacy :D

    I will not be sending your contacts names or any other information saved. Just extract their numbers and upload a truncated crypto hash of the numbers to my servers(so hackers nor I cannot undo it to figure out your contacts phone numbers)

    If these hashes match with any other Project Meet user, then you are friends!

    If you add a new contact in your device and your friend doesnt add you(i.e you just met in real life), your friend will get some sort of friend request or suggestion in my app to add you as well. Then you can start making events.

    This is the hardest feature to program. No amount of googling for answers came to a solution. I finally found a solution(i came up by myself) and this is how it will be programmed. Thanks to Signal for the head start.

    Only people you allow, or are mutual contacts in device can engage with you :D

    So technically my app is not only compliant for end to end encryption, it also has elements built in to protect user Identity.
    #10
  11. PoundSand

    PoundSand Long timer

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    For schools... Boy, that sounds fraught with peril. Po' kids much less likely to have access, and can't get access even at libraries. And if they lose their phone, have no backup way to access school events. Seems like you'd at least need to look at a chrome app or something.

    Sounds like a solid plan for data security. But that means:

    With event planners - every body would have to be friends with the event planner(?!), and would need the app, or they wouldn't be able to get an invite, only an invite to be friends to get an invite? That basically means you couldn't just use just this app for events if you want to count on all your friends even seeing the invite - you would need a second platform, so why double up?

    Businesses could enforce devices and access - but now I'd have to have everybody in the business as as a phone contact and vice versa to add them to an event seamlessly (are you expecting everyone to upload a global ldap directory (!)?)? And everything is still only on a phone, so adding files to an event is a pain.
    #11
  12. Prime Mover

    Prime Mover Always hopeful, yet discontent Supporter

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    I'm not overly sure people are worried about encrypting their 12:30 luncheon with grandma, butI could be wrong. The number of folks concerned about data collection is down, way down. In fact we purposely share this info nowadays. Those photos of grandma eating her "eggs over my hammy" will want to be shared.

    How will this be profitable to you? If the only slant you have is privacy, you might have a tough go.

    Nonethesless, good luck and keep us updated.
    #12
  13. Bkadv2

    Bkadv2 Been here awhile

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    One thing i hope is, casual people download to have an awareness of this app. So its easier for event organizers to ask "please download the app, it has built in chat functionality where you can communicate to our organizers"

    Thanks for bringing it up, I do see the issue now.

    If you joined an event, lost your phone. Yeh, basically lost all access!(not data). One thing that might be saved would be, if you added the event to your calendar so you will know what date/time the event is, as it is usually synced with gmail/ios email. But if you get a new phone, you get a new identity. Just ask for an invite back to the event. Everything will appear and was left as before. Just have to use the same phone number to verify again!. You can also inform the admin in the event room, to kick out your lost contact from the room. This will wipe it from the phone.

    I will add this information to my future website. Thanks for bringing it up :D

    For the other bit:

    "only an invite to be friends to get an invite" and "now i'd have to have everybody in the business as a phone contact and vice versa"

    I think i have an idea. I can allow the paid version of the app, for the user to create a unique name(like a forum name or display name or whatever). They can share this with other people.

    "Hey we have an event coming up, follow us on Project Meet. Our unique name is #imnotapro".

    If you gave me your unique name "PoundSand", I will go into my app. Go to a tab called "Follow Others". Put your name in it and now I will be following you.

    Now you can see your followers such as me and others. Therefore then should be allowed to send invites to these followers. They wont be able to send you invites though :D.

    You will also be able to see their phone numbers and name so you can contact them just in case.

    Baseline of my app:
    -Dark/Light theme baseline
    -Add the events to your device calendar
    -Real time push notifications

    Limitations for free app would be something like:
    Invite up to 6 people
    Create up to 2 on going events at same time
    After 24 hours the event expires, the events will be deleted off the phones of all users and off the server as well. The pictures and files shared will stay on phone.

    for paid version, something like:
    invite up to 50 people
    assign organizers/admin privileges up to 4 people
    Chat room controls, such as limiting how many messages can be sent by users to avoid a mess
    Create up to ~6 on going events at same time
    Automated Cloud backup(only for event creator)- Might be good for auditing purposes. I might and probably will go the route of asking/creating a password, so they can access the backed up events from any phone/device. Perhaps even on my future website, they can login to view chat logs etc.

    Meetup(a organizing event app/website) charges I believe 9.99 a month to create events and invite up to 50 people
    Doodle(scheduling app/website) has 'private' subscription for about $4 a month which grants no advertisements, send calendar invites and some extra things

    I think I can go for a price of 4.99 a month to perhaps even 6.99 or 9.99. Not sure yet. If I can get 10% of my user base to convert, I will be very happy and have way more than enough money to run my servers..and live a cozy life.

    Please let the replies keep coming in. Helps me brainstorm!
    #13