On April 27th, Pushed was officially released. I’ve been wanting to write this post since the very first day Pushed was online and now, in the middle of a flight and with no internet connection, I find the peace to do it.
First of all, I would like to say thanks to all the people that trusted Pushed from the very begining. Investors trust ideas, but mostly the person behind these ideas. And I will be forever thankful for that.
It’s surprising how accurate I am when I talk about when I came up with the idea of Pushed. Since I finished university, I’ve always wanted to be part of the Internet (if that thing exists). I did found several companies and internet-based projects, but they always came with Partners. The first lesson that I have learned the hard way is that you have to choose carefully with whom you want to start a business.
Moving on. It was December 17th, I was tossing ideas around in my head and the Christmas holiday was around the corner. I was parking my luggage to spend a couple days in Barcelona. A few days befote, I bought an interesting home camera to monitor the house while I was away. Setting it up was pretty easy, but gaining high value from it wasn’t. The camera worked well considering it’s value, but I wasn’t interested in continually watching the feed from the mobile app. Rather, I wanted to be notified if something happened on it. I am a telecommunications engineer and I’ve been coding since I was 16. Thus, my first approach was to develop a code-solution to take a picture every time there was movement on the camera. Great, I had a plan.
After a few hours of exploring, solutions came along. I was able to post to an FTP the images every time there was movement, but if I wasn’t notified at the right time, it was useless. E-mail is the first option in terms of messaging, but it is no longer the only option in the new Internet era. E-mail usage is heavy, and in my opinion, mail communications shouldn’t be used for casual notifications. They need a new and more suitable channel, light if possible. The answer is Push Notifications. Push notifications don’t get permanently stored in an inbox; they are technologically designed to be real time, and are relatively easy to use.
Perfect, push notifications then. I started to look at apps that can connect to a third party and found a few options. At that time, I had known IFTTT for a long time, but honestly had never used it. I tried to concoct a recipe, but the IFTTT platform is not conducive to building new channels, rather it only allows users to use the official ones. Next option: Pushover. Pushover is a simple app that lets you send/receive push notifications and, at the beginning, it fit my needs with a simple setup with which I could send notifications to myself. But, I wanted my girlfriend to also receive notifications, and also some nearby friends so they could check out the home if something happened. Mmm, now Pushover is over, as long as I have to buy the app for every device and track them down. Not cool.
That’s when I thought, why don’t I create my own security cam push notification service? The idea grew to be larger in scale. I discovered that this kind of notification system could be useful for more ways than just security cam purposes. Imagine, for example, a place where I could be notified if my last online order was shipped or when car taxes have to be paid. Then I said, wait, why don’t I create a platform where users can publish their own notification apps and let others subscribe for free in an open marketplace?
And there you go, after a few months, during March of 2014, I quit my job, looked for some investment (FFF) and bet all my earnings on Pushed.
What is Pushed? Pushed is a platform that allows you to send real-time notifications to iOs, Android and Desktop devices. With Pushed you can send Push notifications to your users for free and without writing a single line of code. The workflow is simple: content creators create their apps using the Pushed Developer portal, and users subscribe to these apps using Mobile Apps (available for iOs and Android) or Desktop Devices (Safari Browser Notifications).
My main goal was to make an easy to use platform so everyone could send their own notifications and share their apps with others, or keep them private, if the users wanted. More complex integrations are also possible using Pushed API, the real game changer in terms of business connection.
The welcome Pushed received was overwhelming and I got a lot of feedback from users, friends and developers. There’s no such thing as bad feedback, I really appreciate every single comment people make to me about Pushed, even if it’s to say they don’t like it. Although, I have to say that I haven’t received any I-don’t-like-it feedback, I did have some issues with Pushed’s main goal comprehension.
When I pitch Pushed, I like to sum it up like this: Pushed lets you be notified when something important happens by sending you push notifications. At least that was my main message during the last months of development.
So on April 27th, when I released Pushed people expected to be able to subscribe right away to some apps that send push notifications. The problem was that such services didn’t exist in Pushed yet. At this moment, I recognised that I failed to explain exactly what is Pushed. I built the platform to send the notifications, not the services. People expected the services from minute one, but it will take some time to develop buzz around Pushed and interesting services to be created. I got conscious of that the day after I released Pushed. It wasn’t a big mistake, in fact, it was a necessary mistake in order to refactor the marketing strategy. My current goal isn’t final users, but users who can create and develop services in Pushed and spread the word about it in their niches.
And so we did! We completely redesigned Pushed’s landing page to carefully explain what Pushed is and focus on the PaaS (Platform As A Service) message. Pushed is a tool to create interesting Pushed notifications, but Pushed itself is not a content generator.
Over the weeks since the release, we have stuck to solving minor bugfixes, analyzing user behaviour and rescheduling features updates to fit feedback needs. It’s been a hell of a month, in a good way of course. And I have to tell you, every time I see Pushed’s sexy logo it makes me horny!
More about Pushed to come. Stay tuned.