The first mistake is thinking you can fix it yourself. A kitchen sink is an understandable device, one you can surely wrangle. 30 minutes later you are down a sink, and looking for a plumber.
In those moments, you wish that the world shared your sense of urgency to remedy your problem. That wish might not be granted but your other wish will be. Streem can beam an expert into your (augmented) reality to help you assess your damage.
When you contact a plumber, they can send you a Streem invite link via SMS. Once you download the Streem app, you press one button and you’re connected with that plumber in a video chat. The plumber can see and assess the damage …
Can a text message create a safer, shorter commute? Researchers at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) think so, and they’re proving it to thousands of Texas drivers each day through a support contract with TxDOT to bring innovation and best practices to a major highway reconstruction effort.
Some 60,000 to 132,000 vehicles travel the hundred-mile stretch of I-35 from Hillsboro to Salado daily. An eight-year, $2.1 billion project is currently underway to increase mobility and facilitate economic development along the corridor, as well as make commutes safer for Texans. During construction, getting timely, accurate information to travelers about slow-downs and traffic incidents has been a primary goal.
As part this communications effort, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recently implemented real-time alerts about construction-related issues via text. The system notifies drivers about …
Imagine you’re arrested and your cell phone is taken away. You have only few minutes to make one phone call through a public line to a number you know by heart. Who do you call? Have you memorized their number? Do you have a qualified lawyer available to represent you?
These are the questions that four social tech entrepreneurs set out to solve with Good Call, a free 24/7 legal hotline serving New York City’s Bronx borough.
“We heard dozens of stories from people arrested for either really trivial reasons, like hopping a turnstile or forgetting to pay a ticket, or for no reason at all—just for fitting ‘the description,’” explains Gabe Leader-Rose, co-founder and project manager of Good Call. “They all said how hard it was to get in touch with …
There’s a critical shortage of doctors in developing countries which puts those in need of medical care in a compromised position. In urban and rural regions, patients struggle to find the medical care they need. This shortage of doctors has opened up an opportunity for predatory con artists posing as doctors.
In the middle of this fraught ecosystem is a small team of developers and doctors focused on getting lower income families the care they need, while trying to put fake doctors out of work.
Fake doctors rely on the financial and logistical barriers to medical care in developing countries. MyZindagi, based in Pakistan, is taking that advantage away from them. It’s easier to fight bad guys when you have better tools to work with.
Bringing Health Care To The Masses
“We started this service to provide healthcare to the masses,” says MyZindagi COO Haseeb Sattar. “It provides reliable …
On September 1st, 2016, Relay had sent a total of 0 text messages. The day after the United States Presidential Election, they’d sent 15 million. Scaling a peer-to-peer texting platform from zero to election-season level traffic isn’t light work, but it was easier than Relay CEO and Founder Daniel Souweine expected.
“When organizers find something that works, they’re not afraid to go big. So it was great to build Relay on top of Twilio, where millions of messages a day is just par for the course,” says Souweine.
The Power of a Peer to Peer Texting Platform
He first saw the power of peer-to-peer texting on the Bernie Sanders campaign, where he ran the national volunteer texting program, aka Text for Bernie. After the campaign ended, he joined with a several former campaign staff and volunteers to turn the lessons they learned into Relay.
Getting people to rally behind a …
Massive floods are common during Indonesia’s monsoon season. Houses and roads are often inundated with floodwaters, and extreme weather sometimes displaces thousands of residents and causes dozens of fatalities each year. Government early warning systems exist but are unreliable, rarely reaching those living in the poorest and most vulnerable communities. However, most Indonesians have a mobile phone, making SMS communication a natural fit for critical communications in the region. Realizing this, Atma Connect turned to text-based communications to deliver locally relevant alerts to its users.
The organization’s flagship tool is AtmaGo, a web- and Android-based social networking app designed to foster neighbor-to-neighbor communication in traditionally underserved urban communities. Users have taken to AtmaGo to share real-time information about floods and other disasters, help community members find jobs, keep others informed about food …
On Saturday, they had the idea. On Monday, they started working on Qeepsake.
Jeff and Stephanie McNeil, along with Duncan Street, founded Qeepsake together. Jeff and Stephanie are the proud parents of 5 young children.
As you might imagine, they don’t have a ton of time to sit down and write in a journal when a moment of parental pride strikes them. But, that doesn’t mean they can’t write that memory to record. Jeff and Stephanie built Qeepsake as a more convenient way to log those parental thoughts via an SMS-based journal.
When your child does something so adorable it deserves to be memorialized, you can whip out your phone and text your Twilio-powered Qeepsake number. The image you sent, and text you included are logged in your Qeepsake journal. Qeepsake also sends out prompts asking parents questions like “What are two words that describe your child’s personality??” Keeping …
You can pitch your MVP to a room of investors. Or, you can ask Grandma.
Back in 2013, Michael Perry was trying to figure out where his company, Kit, would go. At the time, Kit focused on making it easy for small business owners to buy and run Facebook ads through an online dashboard.
Michael was constantly trying to figure out what aspect of Kit he could streamline, tweak or even remove. Any unnecessary action could cost Kit users time. For small business owners who often wear multiple hats and do everything from sales to marketing to store room restocking, time is in short supply.
Then Michael had the Grandma epiphany that would lead him to turn Kit from an online tool to a solely SMS based tool.
The Grandma epiphany was this: anyone can text, even his Grandma. If Michael could make managing social media marketing as easy …
Something’s broken when you get a “you up?” text message — from your customer.
It’s awesome your customer feels personally connected to your business enough to text you. But, no one is doing business at 1am on a Tuesday — and not from their personal inbox.
Scaling text messaging for businesses, and the personal relationships therein, can be tricky. With the right set of software, you can have all the good parts of texting your customers without waking up to text messages in the middle of the night.
Heymarket co-founder, Amit Kulkarni, founded Heymarket to scale messaging for businesses. This was after Amit got a text from the person who delivered his furniture. The delivery driver was apologizing for last night. This text was not meant for Amit. But, The Heymarket Team figured they could code snafus like this one out of existence.
Building Texting For Businesses
The Heymarket team …
If a phone rings and there’s no one there to answer it, does it make a sound?
I mean, yes. Obviously. Why are you focusing on the sound issue? You should be asking who called and what they were calling about.
If you got a Slack notification every time a lead called, you probably wouldn’t miss that call. If that phone call popped into a Slack channel where any one of your co-workers could grab it, you definitely wouldn’t miss that call.
That was Netguru’s operating assumption when they built Callio, a Twilio-powered app that forwards your inbound calls to a Slack channel. Callio made it far easier for Netguru to track and manage client communications and inbound leads.
How Lukasz Built Callio from an Idea to a Production App in a Few Days
Now, Netguru’s team is spreading the wealth and sharing all their code. Head …