It’s amazing when such a simple application comes along and re-invents the wheel. This was the case earlier this year with Twitter. Now the same can be said for Pownce. Though still in private BETA and inaccessible to most, the features and functionality have amazed thus far. Actually, what is most amazing is the simple concept and implementation. Kevin Rose has struck gold again. His most heralded start-up to date, Digg, was developed from a simple idea. Pownce is no different - and it is poised to take the Internet by storm.
I know I am hyping this pre-launch service without even trying it or giving it any adoption time (although I have seen a demo and some screenshots). But from my point-of-view, I see this as a service people need and will use. The basis is very simple. Pownce operates using the tagline:
“Send stuff to your friends.”
They list four possible items that you can share: messages, links, files, and events. In addition, you have the flexibility to share these items with one person, a group, or your whole list. There is a web-based version, as well as a small, downloadable app.
Primary competitors include IM clients (i.e. AIM, GTalk, Skype), as well as e-mail clients, both desktop- and web-based. These include Outlook, Hotmail, GMail, and Yahoo Mail among others. Secondary competition comes from P2P and private file-sharing programs, include KaZaa, Limewire, Pando, and AllPeers to name a few.
There are many problems when sharing using IM, e-mail, or P2P. Some of the problems that Pownce attempts to solve include:
- Control - Pownce gives you the flexibility to decide who you want to share with.
- Documentation - Pownce provides visual documentation of your sharing history in chronological order.
- Disorder - Pownce provides a centralized area where all discussions, links, file transfers, and events can be managed.
In other words, this product is tailored for sharing things. Unlike IMs, e-mail, and file-sharing programs, Pownce enables an individual to share numerous items using only one service, saving time and hassle. Add to that the fact that Pownce leverages a clean, simple interface with AJAX functionality, creating an intuitive service that is quick and easy to navigate.
Monetization will come in the form of advertising with the web-based version or downloadable app. A premium subscription ($20/year) will eliminate all ads and provide added functionality, including larger file transfer sizes.
I am REALLY looking forward to the launch. I am even more excited to see the response. Sign up for an invitation on the Pownce homepage. I have no doubt in my mind that this ‘little’ app will change the way we share things on the net.