Did the web just get taken for a ride over the last 24 hours by two women? The web series documenting the development of Peeple has the answer.
The Washington Post ran a story about a new app that would rate people like Yelp does for businesses. The story caused an uproar of seismic proportions. The hot buttons are the ability rate people that are not signed up and that vague handling of bad reviews and bullying.
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Twitter is still pumping out Tweets about Peeble at a high frequency as the whole world chimes in with expert opinions ranging from privacy to legal concerns. The newest topic is though the question if Peeple is real or if it is a hoax. Snopes has a run down of the holes they found in the Peeple story.
The Peeple founders run a web series on Youtube documenting the development of Peeble starting with the first episode back in August 9. The web series is kind of superficial and at points actually feels fake.
But then there are very real moments. In the first episode Peeple founders Nicole McCullough and Julia Cordray met with Project Manager Tim Walsh at the Y Media Labs office in San Francisco Bay Area to discuss the wireframes for the app.
Y Media Labs is a Mobile App development company with 140 employees founded in 2009. Tim Walsh is working there according to his LinkedIn profile.
The plan is to launch the already controversial app late November. This is a possible time frame for the development of an app like that. There are no technical issues besides scale and efficient admin tools to actually keep the bad comments from slipping through. This is where the problems will be if Peeple is actually going to launch.
Peeple the app also has a trademark issue with another product that also has an app. Peeple the gadget is an internet-enabled peephole that lets users see on their phone who is at their door. According to Wired, they are getting mixed up with Peeple the app and suffer all kinds of abuse on email and social media.
The stunning aspect of the Peeple story is how quickly it got that amount of attention. We deal with new product ideas each day. Most struggle to get just a little attention. Peeple managed to get with one article on the Post a colossal amount of attention. Sure most of it is negative, but as they say: there is no bad PR. The Peeple founders have now something to work with.
They will likely have to adjust the app, and maybe end up with a completely different value proposition, but they got users and users means value.
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In the 9th webisode of the Peeple web series, Julia Cordray talks about joining the Y Combinator Winter funding cycle 2016. They can likely skip this with all the publicity they got now. The latest tweet from Peeple says that 100 beta testers are signing up per minute for the app.