The Story behind Jepret Pivot

I had this story in mind since 7 months ago. But I was powerless to write it, my time’s so much consumed by works.

Allow me to share a bit of story about Pivot…

The Death

Since 2011 my company had a mobile app called Jepret. It’s basically a social photo sharing app, but designed and developed only for feature phones, esp. Nokia’s. Simply put, it’s Instagram for feature phones.

Everything went great. 1 million users in one year. Not bad, considering the minor marketing effort from our side. At that time, a lot of help coming from friends at Nokia Indonesia. Special mention and thanks for Narenda Wicaksono and friends at Nokia Indonesia for all supports during development and marketing.

1 million users, not bad, what about revenue? Don’t ask, very small! The conversion from free to premium (or in-app purchase) is less than 1%. But still exciting at that time.

But every party must be over. As we know, feature phones market is declining. Nokia Store will be shut down. The end of Jepret?

Logical obvious step is ported Jepret app, from feature phone to your smartphone (Android, iOS). But we are quite realistic on the “depth” of our own pocket and considering market photo sharing / utility app on iOS and Android is already very crowded. I have not calculated the total, but there may be hundreds of apps, or even thousands. Actually, we had ported and released Jepret for Android, but not really taking off.

The Reborn

Suddenly, on early last year I had a need for collecting photos and giving gimmick of printed photos for my wedding party. As a geek, the weeding should be geeky, right? I know there is a similar service – made by friends – which can collect and print photos, which is working really well and also help in my wedding party. But somewhat my requirement is a bit further than that. In addition to automatically collect photos from social media by hashtag (or other criteria), I also want to publish all the photos that were collected directly to the web in real time (as soon as it is collected), and still be able to curate by myself. So my team and I think, why not creating  such systems?

With two weeks left to D-Day, not quite possible to create such systems from scratch. Jepret, as a mobile photo sharing app, has the backend and API to store, manage, and serve photos. The backend is actually quite sophisticated and proven to handle million of users. So, me and my team thought why do not we leverage the Jepret backend? Then we retrofitted the Jepret backend to create a prototype for that needs. And it worked! supporting my wedding party, with the success of collecting and printing more than 200 photos.

Along the way, we’re perfecting that prototype, cover more requirements and use-cases, add more photo sources, make it more customizable, and eventually become Jepret Cloud platform. Since its creation, Jepret Cloud already support 16 events and campaigns. And we made money from day one.

We’re positioning the platform to NOT trying to compete in the area of photo printing or photo booth. That’s actually a good business, but we think we need to play on higher space, as the cloud-based photo collecting and publishing platform. We think that will be more scalable over the Internet, yet still be able to deliver real-world use-cases like automatic photo collecting and printing, photo booth, or even photo contest like we did with a brand for PinginEksis campaign.

The Journey

During the journey, we realised that with the abundance of photos collected to our platform, users can actually create story out of those photos. So far, Jepret Cloud is only able to collect photo from social media, not yet from smartphone gallery or camera. Then we thought, it would be great to have a mobile app that can leverage Jepret Cloud for photo collecting and publishing, and also able to collect and edit photos from camera and phone’s gallery, and create story out of those photos. Hence Jepret Story.

Since it’s conceived on August 2014, Jepret Story was the winner of Indonesia Next App. Then on Nov, we’re one of the 6 finalists in Singtel-Samsung Regional Mobile App Challenge in Singapore. Yep, we’re failed to the winner in that competition, apparently need more learning. But, it’s not bad for 3 months old product.

Btw, we made a video when we pitched in Singapore, here it is. If you watch it, please make sure to activate the Closed Captioning (CC) in YouTube player to improve clarity :)

A bit of story, I practiced a lot for that pitch so that I can deliver important messages in exactly 5 minutes, in English. Honestly, to me that’s very hard. It may be because of the abundance stuffs to tell with so little time, and I’m not too good speaking in English.

Closing

And… that’s the story behind Jepret pivot, from Jepret as feature phone app to Jepret as photo collecting and publishing platform, with two products in family: Jepret Cloud and Jepret Story. It’s NOT a success story, it’s far from success. It’s still a very beginning for us, but we’re really exciting for upcoming roadmap.

And yes, Jepret is not a global name, even not really “selling” :) Actually, we’re working on a new name. Apparently, naming thing is harder than coding :)

That’s it! Any feedback or comments, any collaboration opportunities are very much welcome.