For a startup that wants to help other founders avoid startup pitch mistakes, the aptly named Feedback Fast itself bombed out big time right out of the gate. They launched the app in Dec 2013 and called it “Intercourse,” and priced it at $0.99 on the App Store. It’s a testament to the app’s usefulness that it generated a whole lot of publicity that was mostly about the innovative nature of the app rather than its punchline name.
The app essentially allows people to watch your presentation and give their feedback anonymously, and the reactions get time-stamped at the proper place in the recorded video. You can go through the video to see how the audience reacted to different parts of your presentation. Obviously, it’s a useful feedback tool for any kind of presentation, speech, debate or any kind of show that’s being watched by a bunch of people.
A Brilliant Idea for Improving Startup Pitching
The television industry has been doing this all the time to get audience reactions for live and recorded shows. But now there’s an app for that. It was a brilliant idea, but then they went and named it Intercourse and the website was Intercourse.io. If you were a user sending people links to see your pitch, you’d be asking them to visit yourname.intercourse.io.
Founder Murray Hurps says on the website – Quote – “If only we’d used it to get feedback on our name.” Well, they learnt fast from their feedback anyway, provided by a ton of users, many of whom found the app to be extremely useful but didn’t really find the name acceptable.
So Intercourse is now Feedback Fast and it’s free. It’s being pitched as a must-have tool for founders looking to nail their startup pitch.
The way it works is pretty simple and easy to understand. If you’re the presenter, the app records a video of you making the presentation. You get a link for the presentation that you can send to people whose feedback you’d like in real-time, as you’re making the presentation. These audience members can load the website link on their smartphones, and provide their feedback while you’re speaking.
The feedback may be provided in the form of quick emoticons such as “Like” or “Meh,” or the audience can add short comments. All of this, from all the audience members watching the presentation, gets time-stamped on the video that is being recorded, allowing you to study it and see how you can improve the speech.
Two Very Experienced Individuals Into Making History
Hurps and Ronald Suwandi who together developed the app have more than a little experience at this sort of thing – as in startup pitches. Hurps has been working on software for 15 years, and has had plenty of experience putting aside the coding to make a public pitch or presentation.
Secondly, they’re both from Fishburners in Sydney. It’s the largest co-working space in Australia with a bustling community of startups, investors and mentors, with a calendar full of events and speeches by experts.
Hurps says his favorite part of the week is the Friday night pitching competitions at Fishburners, where three people get up and pitch their startups to all the members watching. They’re now using Feedback Fast to capture feedback from this knowledgeable audience.
Asked what makes Feedback Fast stand out as an app, Hurps says their app’s best feature is its ability to address a need which no one has addressed until now.
“Anybody that presents publicly can benefit from honest feedback about their efforts, and I’m honestly amazed that nobody has addressed this need yet,” says Hurps.
They have tested it by simulating as many as 1,000 concurrent users, and everything worked just fine. It should theoretically work for an audience that’s ten times bigger, although the huge amount of data that would flow into the video in such a case would make it feedback overkill. But that’s a problem for the future, if the app becomes popular enough to be adopted for use in such situations.
As of now, Feedback Fast works just fine and is free. Hurps says they plan to keep it that way for now, and will only charge for premium features that are really worth paying for. One of the features they’re planning to add is video upload and sharing.
Another thing they’re working on technology which Hurps says will take audience measurement to a whole new level. A whole new dimension towards startup pitching, Feedback Fast is surely one app startups would crave for.