Martin SFP BryantFounder
Martin SFP Bryant is the founder of UK startup newsletter PreSeed Now and technology and media consultancy Big Revolution. He was previously Martin SFP Bryant is the founder of UK startup newsletter PreSeed Now and technology and media consultancy Big Revolution. He was previously Editor-in-Chief at TNW.
There has been no shortage of polling apps launched in the past few years and one of the most interesting was Poutsch (we called it “Quora for polls“) but with a name that was difficult to pronounce and spell for many English speakers, it was bound to struggle. So, today it’s relaunching as Voice.
While Poutsch felt very much ‘desktop first’ with an ‘encyclopedia of polls’-type approach and a simplified iOS app, Voice is putting the mobile experience front-and-center. Firstly, the iOS app (nothing for Android or Windows Phone yet) feels perfectly in step with the new desktop website. Both offer a feed-based interface that allows you to browse new and popular polls, plus those from your Twitter and Facebook contacts and those posted to themed channels.
Co-founder Melchior Scholler says that the pivot represents a shift within the company. “We have stopped optimizing for us and started optimizing for our users… Poutsch had a great UX but limited scalability. We were only three behind it and we built it without money. It was an HTML5 app… so pretty slow. Now, the team has grown to five people and we have all the talent we need to build beautiful and snappy native products.”
The name change came as a result of speaking to investors. “They were all positively impressed but they all thought that the name was shit. Ask 10 people to spell ‘Poutsch’ and you’ll see that they were right,” Scholler observes. “We just raised funds with a bunch of cool people including Wellington Partners, so it was just the perfect time to open up a new product cycle and find a more universal branding.”
A better name and a more streamlined product is all well and good but user-generated polling is a competitive space. The likes of Wedgies, Polar and the grandfather of them all, Polldaddy offer similar functions but Voice’s selection of answer types (two answers, multiple choice, a sliding scale and star ratings) allow for more variety in the questions that can be asked and its feed-like social approach stands out since GoPollGo was acquired and shut down by Yahoo last year.
“We would not have been capable to go up to a billion opinions with Poutsch,” says Scholler. While the amount of competition out there means Voice still has a challenge on its hands, at least it now has a fighting chance.
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