Sqwiggle - Product Stars
Best products of April 2018

Sqwiggle

24/7 Video Chat for Remote Teams

Upvotes 117 PH Page >
Ryan Hoover
Hunter
The enterprise/business messaging space is hot right now with several players like Hall, Flowtab, Campfire, and Quip. And for good reason. Several startups struggle to communicate, especially with remote teams. What I love about Sqwiggle is that it's taking a drastic departure from traditional, heavily text-based online communication. I describe it as a hybrid between IRC + Skype Video except it's always on. Simply tap on a teammate's video feed to jump in to a video chat. This is far more effective in communicating as demonstrated by this well-known graph in Agile methodology - http://www.qualitystreet.fr/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/communicationmodes-ambler1.png. BUT Sqwiggle's product is so unique that it's attempting to drastically change peoples' behaviors (imagine how you would feel or act knowing your team can always see what you're doing at your desk). It remains to be seen if @tommoor and team can overcome that hurdle.
Tom Moor
Thanks for adding Sqwiggle Ryan! Happy to answer any questions that people might have about the product - I think you did a great job of describing it! :)
Ryan Hoover
Hunter
Too bad we can't do a Sqwiggle AMA embedded inside Product Hunt (cc @nbashaw). Too meta? :) @tommoor - I'm very curious to hear how you've changed the product since you launched the first version and what influenced those changes.
Tom Moor
I think a lot of the biggest shifts we've made so far were in the first month or two as we stumbled around trying to find something that felt 'right'. One bigger example - the first version was full video, all the time! We gradually kept reducing the frame rate until we hit upon something that felt 'present' whilst keeping mental and data bandwidth low... once we had this core piece things started to slot together nicely :) The other thing is that the first versions didn't include any form of text chat at all, this was very much by design to 'force' people into using the video. One thing we've realised is that no matter how great/seamless the video is there will always be times when text chat is more appropriate when you use Sqwiggle to communicate all day.
Ryan Hoover
Hunter
@tommoor - I'm waiting for the Oculus Rift integration. ;) What's your acquisition strategy? How are you getting customers and convincing them to change their existing habits and processes?
Tom Moor
Right now we're very focused on content marketing as our main acquisition channel and really we're just getting started there. We're pushing out relevant content on our blog almost every day of the week, we also have graphics and ebooks in the works and are trying a bit of everything on that front to see what resonates with people that are interested in remote working... In terms of changing habits, that's definitely a tricky one that we haven't quite solved yet but we're doing solid analysis around what makes a sticky user, for example last week we changed our flow to force you to invite at least one person on signup - after all there isn't much point being in a communication app with no-one to talk to :)
Ryan Hoover
Hunter
@tommoor - Ironically, today's Startup Edition topic (http://bit.ly/18zlPZc ) was on remote working. :) You previously co-founded Buffer which is well-known for its distributed teams. Is this where the idea came from? How did you ultimately come up with this unique video form of communication vs. a more traditional text-based approach?
Derek Shanahan
Looove Sqwiggle, which I called The Sqwiggs:) Great team that lives in my hood (Eric does, anyway), killer product. The ambient video feed is brilliant. Did you guys ever implement the email invite with the inviter's ambient screenshot in it?
Ryan Hoover
Hunter
@dshan - Haha! Emails with ambient screenshots is genius. Transactional emails are often so predictable and monotonous. Serendipity is fun and engaging.
Tom Moor
@ryanhoover - I know, I totally meant to write for it, sorry :( For me the inspiration definitely came at Buffer, when we were moving about we really only 30mins or so on video with some team members and the rest of communication was done over email/chat - it really didn't feel as connected as it should have done! In a previous life Matt (one of my other co-founders) was working on Sqwiggle as a consumer social network built around video... Whilst that implementation didn't quite work that's where the idea of a persistent video connection really evolved from...
Tom Moor
@dshan - we still don't have that but damn it that would be cool!
Ryan Hoover
Hunter
Sqwiggle's now free up to teams of three. Radical. http://thenextweb.com/apps/2013/12/20/sqwiggles-mac-browser-based-remote-workplace-app-now-free-teams-three-people-less/
Tom Moor
For those that come across this, we now have a free plan with no limits on the number of users. https://www.sqwiggle.com/pricing
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