It has been a hectic month since we launched Bridger. Hectic and exciting with some real highs and lows. This post is to give you a little insight into the life of a startup over our first month as a company with a real product.
So what's happened and perhaps most importantly what's been learnt?
The first bit of good news is that our users have found a number of our features very cool, and some unique. The consensus list of Bridger 'good stuff' (in no particular order) is:
- User selects their own documents
- Supports multiple document types - and PDF support is unique to Bridger
- Understands a wide range of subjects.
- An extensive number of semantic targets are identified giving a rich picture of the document contents
- The mark-up of detected targets in document summaries and the full text is very useful
- Our dynamically generated profiles are unique
- It's mobile
- It's multi-platform
- It's free - costs nothing and there are no ads
So we are all over the moon with this initial feedback from our users.
Unfortunately (and also inevitably) this is not the end of the story. There are also some issues. These include:
- Users are limited to selecting documents from Dropbox or webpage urls
- There are too many steps to get documents analysed
- Only short documents can be processed - some people want to process whole books
- It takes too long to get results - 10 seconds seems to be the limit
- Results have errors that make you doubt all results
- Smartphone screens are too small
- Some people don't understand what Bridger does
- A lot of users don't know that profiles are available
- The sixdegreesofdata URL is too long, and requiring user ids and passwords make accessing Bridger ATH (all too hard).
A few things to take on the chin but OK, the team can take it but the lack of instant fame and fortune is disappointing ...
Now some of these things are inherent in the nature of semantic analysis and linked open data. Others are 'fixable' through either the user experience (UX) or how we explain (market) Bridger.
So stay tuned as we work on a radical redesign to the UX.