相信有唔少人都同我毒仔一樣曾經對DC滿懷期望,有望打破Marvel電影長久以來既壟斷,不過結果都係不要再說了,雖然起碼日後係真係多咗選擇既。

不過正當你對DC既期望由高處墮下既之時,Marvel表示"Hi,又係我呀"佢地今年英雄電影繼續維持著一貫作風,一部續集作品緊接著一部全新既作品。唔洗講等睇《美國隊長3:英雄內戰》都係指定動作黎。睇完意猶未盡Marvel再整多個《變種特攻:天啟滅世戰》(X-Men: Apocalypse)過你歎下。更令你滿心期待既係 《奇異博士》(Doctor Strange)終於出現了,Marvel最近就發放咗首條預告片出黎,未睇可以click下面睇睇先。


Marvel 既《Doctor Strange》由 Benedict Cumberbatch 主演,飾演著神經科醫生Stephen Strange,起一次嚴重既交通意外之後失去咗自己既神經科專長,康復過程就比佢遇上 Ancient One 學習神秘的超級技能,而電影會於 11 月 4 日上映。

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未完,

Marvel Studio 同 Sony 起啱啱過咗既CinemaCon公佈新一套蜘蛛俠既官方名稱:《Spider-Man: Homecoming》,透過即場係咁依播出一小段片段可以見到Peter Parker 翻屋企去搵 Aunt May 既時候撞正Tony Stark出現搵佢,咁即係話黎緊既蜘蛛俠繼續玩番Marvel英雄既crossover。而《Spider-Man: Homecoming》預定會起2017 年 7 月 7 日先至上映,大家等下添啦。話說講到呢到DC又真係輸蝕咗d既…

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《蝙蝠俠 VS 超人》人物劇情支離破碎大檢閱

筆者原不太喜歡 Ben Affleck,覺得他身腫、口腫、面腫,可能真是 2003 年的《Daredevil》所象太深,不過,看了《BvS》後,又覺得他演活了原著漫畫(1986 年的 The Dark Knight Returns)中年版本 Batman - 點點的固執、多慮 - 那種被時間洗禮過的超級英雄味道(但現在他要面對被劣評洗禮的滋味了);原也想讚 Gal Gadot 演的 Wonder Woman,但她出場的感覺和當年《Sucker Punch》Emily Browning 出場畫面有七分相像,扣回 50 分。

讚完,就要開始彈。

要彈要「插」,就不理劇透不劇透了。

DC Films 在看到 Marvel 的 MCU 大成功後終於「的」起心肝,也來一個 DEU(DC Extended Universe),不望他們能和 Marvel 爭一日長短,但起碼說給人知 DC 不是「廢」的,可惜 -「心急」成為了他們最大敗北之處。有關的製作單位,希望用只有兩套戲的 DC Extended Universe,就想追貼/鬥贏用了快十年時間、擁有十多套 Feature Films 的 Marvel Cinematic Universe…DC,你實在太天真了。
明白 DC Films 想快快集齊角色就可以開拍《Justice League》,但《BvS》心急到一個點,令整個劇本出事,角色背景結構全部支離破碎,大家會一邊看一邊問,角色們為何會無緣無故這樣做?頭上問號像 Facebook Messenger 的 Like 愈吹愈大…

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角色…

Slideshow 7 photos

Batman

一開場,又是那個熟悉情節:小時候的 Batman AKA Bruce Wayne 看著雙親被殺,沒錯,那些畫面很唯美又淒美,但根本和戲中的蝙蝠俠沒直接關係,因為他已是中年的蝙蝠俠了,如果能講述多年來當蝙蝠俠的心理重擔/負苛會更適當,但編劇要這樣做,目的只為之後超兒戲又不合理的劇情鋪路。期後發夢那兩場戲,可以說是看得人「眼凸」,之前在玩具展看到了那個沙漠造型蝙蝠俠人偶,以為戲中會如何厲害,原來夢一場,真是 What The…未完,再夢中夢見到疑似 Flash 的物體,觀眾腦海中就只有問號。

Superman

原本可以更多著墨於他為打壞人而和百姓產生矛盾,但為了要和 Batman「開戰」,那個原本可作超人心理刻畫的橋段,在聽證會上一個爆炸 -「轟」一聲 - 便草草收場了,更奇怪的是,爆炸中只有超人生還,他去聽證會的原因是因為懷疑他殺害平民去救 Lois Lane,但國會爆炸又沒人懷疑是他做的,Why?

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Lex Luthor

戲中以他射一下籃球,就「介紹」了出場,角色好像是石頭爆出來,要之後才知原來他是 Lex Corp 的老闆、是超人和蝙蝠俠大打出手的幕後黑手,但 Lex Corp 怎來的?沒說;他為何要兩大英雄打?又沒說;為何要用他的血來製造 Doomsday?又沒說…只有 Lois Lane 一句:「你是變態。」就交代了整個 Lex Luthor 角色設定…亦因由 Jesse Eisenberg 飾演,一直有感他未能突破自己的演技,不說,以為他在《Social Network》做完 Facebook 生意才過來葛咸城。

Wonder Woman

Gal Gadot 沒錯,很高貴很漂亮,整套戲(其實只有三幕主戲份)也沒怎麼穿過內衣,又露前又露後都救不了《BvS》,行行企企大半部戲後打 Big Boss 才不至於成為花瓶。完。

Alfred

找來 Jeremy Irons 來當這一位重要的角色,是值得一讚的,但大家要知道,Alfred 不論是漫畫或是一路以來電影中,除了擔當管家,就是 Bruce Wayne 的賢者,是引導 Bruce 走到正確方向的人,但今次因為電影的鋪排雜亂,令每次 Alfred 在對 Bruce「晉諫」時,腦海卻仍在 Process 上一個或再上一個場口在說甚麼,回過神來已 Miss 了他的說話了,而且他出場次數散亂之餘也倉促,印像不夠深刻。Jeremy Irons 是一位多麼厲害的演員,但卻是一個多麼浪費了他的角色。

Lois Lane

完全被浪費掉的演員和角色,更要做出全套戲最「智障」的行為 - 將 Kryptonite 的矛拋到水底之後又跳回去想拿回來殺 Doomsday。同時,又被超人救三次,Nice Work Lois!

Doomsday

DC 版本的 Hulk,再聯乘了 Michael Bay 的《Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles》,終極戰只被他發出來的橙光充斥了整個螢幕,還要重覆用了三次橙光能量半球體、和大叫。

劇情…

153 分鐘的《BvS》,劇情鋪排是完全,完全支離破碎,不要說角色人物的深層關係了,連簡單的 Connection 也未能說服觀眾。蝙幅俠開初想剷除超人的原因是因為超人的作戰方式令百姓生命有危險,這都 Make Sense,但最令啼笑皆非的是,當超人和蝙蝠俠大打出手,超人快不夠打了便對蝙蝠俠說「我要救瑪花(Martha,超人的養母)」,蝙蝠俠竟因為自己死去的母親也是同一名字便收手,之後還說是朋友呢…那一開始為甚麼要打?而且母親同名(又不是同一人)就不討厭你?是甚麼 Logic 來的啊?看來導演和編劇有嚴重戀母情意結,只是看其中一幕故意用花掩蓋了 Bruce Wayne 父親的墳來突顯母親 Martha Wayne 的墳便可見一班…原來母親就是主線啊!Justice League 的其餘角色也只是用一個電郵來作「首次登場」,感覺非常兒戲。

Slideshow 3 photos

近年入場看超級英雄片,很少會見到有人中途離場,但今次不然。說到這裡,強烈要求 Reboot 不過份吧?要有完整的 DC Extended Universe,根本不能第二套電影就來個大龍鳳,最起碼要先拍第二集超人,介紹 Lex Luthor 出來, 再各拍一套蝙蝠俠和神奇女俠電影,交代兩人在聯乘鐵三角前的背景(對,DC 會拍,但幾年後才看到,倒敘法?),之後才再拍《BvS》的 Dawn of Justice League 打 Doomsday。這是令觀眾入場看完也能明白劇情的最基本 Timeline。

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現在電影不倫不類,沒睇過漫畫的會傻了眼,看了漫畫的又會覺得電影只是將場口砌出來。不過要原整,就要時間,真的弄到了這個假想 DEU, MCU 可能已出 Phase 5 了。DC Films 不想輸時間,但現在卻輸得更慘烈。《BvS》唯一可追得上 Marvel 的,應該是「爛片」的程度可媲美去年的《Fantastic Four》吧?那甚至不是 Marvel Studio 專屬作品呢。

現在期望票房不要有太大落差,否則《Justice League》及整個 DEU 都會危在旦夕。

《Civil War》「彩蛋」網上流傳 蜘蛛俠最終命運

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你 Click 了入來是嗎?恭喜你,你將成功看到《Captain America: Civil War》的「另類結局」!由 3D 動畫達人 Mightyraccoon! 打造的惡搞短片,只是 26 秒,便重新演繹了電影的「全新」格局…但看來惡搞人不太喜歡這次的蜘蛛俠…

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18+ 女生成功與朋友的胸部進行換臉

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最近換臉(Face Swap)Apps 非常流行,可以自動把兩個人的臉孔交換,達到非常惹笑的效果。最近就有人把這些 Apps 玩到出神入化,跟朋友的胸部「換臉」。

最近十分流行的換臉 App「Face Swap Live」,自動感應畫面中的人臉然後調換,Twitter 上的 @Callux 就把這個功能發揮到極限,在朋友的胸部上畫上人臉,然後換臉 Apps 竟然也能夠認出來,把她的臉和朋友的胸部對調,而乳頭更加變成鼻子,非常搞笑。

她的這個有趣換臉也不是唯一搞笑的換臉效果,現在不少人都有玩這個 App 然後得出的效果往往非常惹笑。這也證明了換臉 App 對於人臉辨識的要求十分寬鬆,只要看起來有點像是人臉就可以,如果無聊想打發一下時間,也可以和朋友玩玩。

來源:Twitter

物联网 (Internet of Things) 是什麽 ?

把网路全都连结在一起的东西,叫做 Internet ( 网际网路 ),那把所有的东西都连在一起,那就叫做「Internet of Things ,简称为 IoT」,意思就是「所有东西的网际网路」,中文翻译都叫做「物联网」,「物联网」不只是把东西串起一个网路而己,更重的是要让设备和设备之间可以互相交换资料并沟通,像是家里的冰箱会依设定,自动告诉超市的主机要送一只鸡来之类的,让人类的生活更加的自动化和方便。

就和网际网路一样,物联网带来方便,同时,也带来威胁哩 !  ( Figure credit weekhk.com )

但是,东西和东西怎麽串成一个网路呢 ? 这个就是物联网最核心的问题,早期,是希望可以透过 RFID 的无线技术来解决,不过,事实证明,RFID 并不是一个完全适用的解决方案,所以,目前还没有一个共通和可行的实际规范出来,因此,不论是软体丶硬体还是韧体的厂商,包括 IC 设计的各方人马,像是 Google丶Microsoft丶Sumsong丶Intel丶Qualcomm丶TI 和联发科等等,便都积极的投入物联网的相关研发,希冀能够取得在物联网方面的主导或占有一席之地哩 !

物联网 ( Internet of Things ) 这项技术的普及应该是会对人类的生活方式有所改变,因为,以前需要有人操作和判断的事情,到时就可能不再需要人了,也就是说,简单的逻辑判断将会交用由设备和设备之间自行沟通,所以,会有更多的事情会变成自动化,生活就会更方便,但是,於此同时,你的各项行为资料也有可能可以透过这些串连的设备,更容易的被人所撷取,这也是有另一派人马开始对物联网的价值提出质疑的原因哩!

物联网的真正价值和用处,应该是会发生在结合云端运算与 Big Data 之後,因为,在这样的组合下,人类的生活虽然得以更方便的串连和自动化,但是,由於目前还没有效防范网路攻击的方法,所以,很容易的,就有可能让自己的私密资料给曝露在网路上,同时,人类的行为模式也会因为物联网的资料收集能力加上 Big Data 的运算而更加的容易的被预测与掌握了哩 !asasd

 

三部曲計劃展開!《阿凡達 2》確認將延遲至 2017 年底上映

在眾多 3D 電影當中,直到目前為止相信《阿凡達》(Avatar)依然是拍攝得最出色的一齣,而經過多年之後最近官方亦終於公開續集《阿凡達 2》的更多消息。不過由於今次將會同時牽涉龐大的三部曲計劃,前期需要花費不少準備功夫,因此該齣電影需要等到 2017 年底才能上映。

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據了解大導演占士金馬倫對於《阿凡達 2》可說是野心勃勃,而該齣電影之所以要推遲到 2017 年底才能上映,其中一個主要原因是由於今集不少場景都與海洋有關,而拍攝團隊需要合適的技術進行水底拍攝。不過慶幸的是目前他們已經與紐西蘭的 Weta Digital 展開合作,並預計圖像處理工具及各種相關軟件將會有所改進,如此一來將可加快整個拍攝流程。

此外,占士金馬倫同時亦談及《阿凡達 2》將會是一個大部曲的計劃,而在此之後《阿凡達 3》及《阿凡達 4》亦將會陸續上映。他表示由於整部長篇電影將會分成三集,因此當中所牽涉的內容可說是相當複雜。正因如此他們並不會在拍攝完《阿凡達 2》之後才展開下一集的工作,反而會同一時間進行三集電影的劇本編寫,以便當中所設計的所有生物及場景等都能連貫在一起。

《阿凡達 2》的背景除會與海洋有關之外,另一重點亦可能會與監獄有關,因為據知曾設計過《引力邊緣》及《華爾街狼人》電影海報的 Goksan Ozman,今次將會負責《阿凡達 2》海報的設計。據海外傳媒 Christian Post 報導 Goksan 目前正在構思一個與監獄有關的主題,而這個主題將會主宰《阿凡達 2》的劇情。

來源:Inquisitr

Apple 讓座!世界市值最高企業,即將誕生

截至 2015 年底,Apple 資產值達 7 千 3 百億美元,當中 2 千億流動資金隨時 Shopping 收購,規模傲視全球。但兩天前,Wall Street 開始廣傳一個消息,一家企業正籌備上市集資,分析師粗略估值幾萬億美元,幾・萬・億・美・元,是富可敵國的 Apple 幾倍!————————————————————————-

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這家企業不是橫空出生的 Startup,而是沙特阿拉伯國有油公司 Saudi Arabian Oil Co.,簡稱 Saudi Aramco。沙特王國是地上最大的石油生產單位,擁有全球最大的陸上和海上油田,市佔 10% 原油市場,日產量介乎 1 千至 1.2 千萬桶,撐起整個沙特王國總總奢華開支。

這麼多年保持私有,外界無法掌握其財政資料,故無法評估市值。如今上市,其實反映黑金用之不盡的沙特政府,出現了 財政危機。導火線是油價長期處於十多年來低位,更深層的問題是多年生活無休種下的經營不善、貪污、揮霍等問題,即使皇室有意撥亂反正,改革初期的陣痛只會 更花錢,所以皇室才會冒著被投資者刺探種種經濟絕密情報,將一小部分資產進行首次公開認購招募(IPO),匯豐銀行與 JP Morgan 最大機會能替 Saudi Aramco 籌備 IPO,相信能輕易籌集幾十億美元。雖然各大專家分析 Apple 本年收入或會倒退,但相對 Saudi Aramco 所面對的,相信 Apple 的前景遠為明朗。

 

Tales of Startup Inspiration: How Having a Baby Inspired My New Startup

Photo by Gyeongroe Kim
I just recently became a dad to an incredibly adorable baby girl.
Several months before our new sunshine was born, my wife assigned the tasks of getting large baby items to me. At the same time, my long-time colleague William told me about those buy and sell groups on Facebook where he bought several such baby items for his little one. So I went on Facebook, joined many such groups and after a not so long time, I found right carseat I wanted and an almost new baby cot for pretty much half the normal retail price. Yet, at the same time the process of buying such items on Facebook felt rather cumbersome. Having been in the mobile app industry for over a decade (way before the word “app” was invented), I immediately knew that this could be done better.
A split-second later, the idea of swapit was born.
When you analyze the way people trade on such Facebook groups, you can easily see that there are several points that feel very 麻煩 (sort of cumbersome) for you actually want to do: buying or selling items to locals; quickly and easily.

1. Communication

First off, communication is an issue when trading through Facebook groups because you’re usually buying from or selling to people you are not “friends” with. Therefore, your messages go into the “Other” folder instead of your “Inbox”. You’re not receiving any notifications about new messages and that makes the process of buying or selling really slow.

2. Immediacy

Secondly, it is important to have a high degree of immediacy when a new item is posted. Let’s take baby cots for example: They sell within minutes after posting them, but Facebook notifies you of new items only every 15 minutes or so. On top of that, such notifications lump multiple posts together into one message, making it quite useless to actually see what’s happening.

3. Know the Location

Thirdly, the location of an item that is on sale is not known. Even if it’s written as “text” into the post, it is not precise enough. Say for example, you are interested in a chest drawer that is not particularly an item you want to go across town for – especially, when you don’t have a car. Wouldn’t it be neat if you get notified instantaneously when someone two buildings down the road sells a chest drawer? Such combination of items locations and notifications is not available through Facebook.

4. Search and Filters

Last but definitely not least, are full-text search and filters. While it is possible to search a Facebook group by text, that search is rather limited in scope. There also no filters available at this point which makes it very hard to choose a certain category of items and only look for those kinds of items (e.g. furniture).

Swapit – The Solution

Swapit has been built to solve these four particular issues and make it easy to buy and sell second hand items in Hong Kong. There are currently over 112,000 English-speaking people in Hong Kong that trade in these Facebook groups. To make their life easier, we built swapit with direct private messaging, immediate push notifications for new items, and deep integration of location-based services as well as sophisticated search and filters – into a beautiful and dead-simple app.
Have you joined the swapit beta yet? It’s invite only, but StartupsHK readers are guaranteed to get in. Just request your invite here.
source from StartUPsHK

Startup Lessons Worth Listening To. Maybe.

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You have an idea, a prototype, you’ve launched an MVP or are now public. Customers are knocking on your door, so are investors…or maybe not. You’re probably planning now to hustle hard and get off the ground. First, a bit of background:
Back in February, we proudly announced our global group of angel investors, including Infoseek founder Steve Kirsch, Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra, and Hootsuite CEO and founder Ryan HolmesPeople always ask how we were able to secure our advisors and investors.
It was NOT an overnight process.
There’s been blood, sweat and tears (okay, more sweat than tears), sleepless nights and countless caffeine refills on Notey’s way to winning HK CoCoon’s Pitchnight, becoming a finalist at New York Techweek, and being featured on Techcrunch and Product Hunt.
Here’s what I’ve learned along the way.

Meet more people.

You know what they say, you can never have too much of a good thing… Over the past two years, Kevin (my husband and co-founder) and I have probably met about 300 people for coffee in 12 different cities. Remember – people give you opportunities so the more people you meet and learn about your product, the more doors you will open for yourself.

Referrals can take you a long way.

Ask for referrals.  Remember to follow up with each referral and always thank the referee both before and after (this is a must!). There’s no holding back when you’re starting a company.  This is the time to leverage your network and use the social capital you’ve collected over the years.  A lot of meetings we landed in the Valley started with the network we had built in Hong Kong. A good way to start is setting up a LinkedIn account (widely used in the Valley). Ask for a few “He/She walks on water” type of recommendations, identify who you want to meet, check your mutual connections and don’t be afraid to ask for introductions. You don’t get what you don’t ask for. 

Always be Closing.

When it comes to pitching to potential investors, either you sell them on a reason for investing in your company or they sell you on a reason they’re not interested (thanks Ben Affleck). If you truly believe in your product and vision, it should be natural for you to love talking about it. Location also doesn’t matter. Never hesitate to ‘pitch’ your product on a plane, at a hotel lobby, at a bar or a park (I surely have!). In a place like Hong Kong, everyone is, could be or knows an investor and you’re don’t always have a pitch deck with you. 

Practice Your Pitch.

Pitch to as many people as possible, not just for the sake of raising money. Pitch to your mom, your friend’s grandma and the person sitting beside you on the train (they’re getting off at the next stop anyway!)  Often, the best description of your product is a result of comments from the people you’re pitching to. Put yourself in the user’s and investor’s shoes. How would you like to be pitched to? Continually refine and recycle some of the words from the feedback you receive into your pitch.

Rules Don’t Apply.

When Team Notey attended Techcrunch Disrupt in San Francisco last September, we ensured we were the first to arrive to set-up our stall and noticed tons of empty stalls in the room. An hour later, we noticed nobody was moving in so we promptly switched to a prime location with lots of foot traffic. The next day we weren’t allowed to pitch (they have a 1-day only policy) but that didn’t stop us. No table? No problem. We asked an organizer for a table, and pretended like we were entitled to one (pro tip: organizers are usually too busy to notice whether or not you’re supposed to be there). We started pitching and invoking the lessons above. Results: We had more than doubled the number of meetings from our previous day. Why? Not only was our pitch more refined, we garnered more respect being seen as hustlers. 

Time is the Biggest Commodity.

Not to contradict my earlier point on meeting as many people as you can, but time is precious and you need to allocate it accordingly. Go into every meeting with purpose. Be selective and intentional with all the meetings you commit to. Are you asking for money? An intro? Advice? Walk away with definitive answers or other goals you might have. 
Every day, startups fight an uphill battle between time and money. If you’re not spending time building your product, you better be making each meeting meaningful which leads me to my next point:

Disaster Avoidance.

Don’t end up in bed with the wrong colleague, partner, or investor. As time is a scarce resource, you need to be allocating time to the people that are helping you grow your business, and not those that have their own agenda. For every major decision think about “what could go wrong” and invoke Murphy’s Law to keep you on the right path.

The Best Advice? 

The best advice I’ve received didn’t start with “ You should” or “You must” (you’re probably now discounting everything I’ve said above…and you’re welcome to)… but rather, “Have you considered x?” and “Have you thought about y?”  Most advice is worth listening to but not all advice is worth acting upon. Who is giving me advice? How well do they understand my problem? What is their expertise in this space? For me, the best advice came from former founders and entrepreneurs. I give more credit to ‘been there and done that’ than ‘old and wise.’
Should you listen to all of this? Maybe. Does all this advice apply to you? Maybe not. 
source from StartUPsHK

Tales of Startup Inspiration: The Invite-Only Beta

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In my previous post I explained why we created swapit and what is the idea behind swapit. At the moment, swapit is an invite only beta (request your invite here: http://swapit.la) and sometimes I am asked why we are running a beta. So I’d like to talk a little about the rationale behind that.
For many years, I am in the app business and except for some very few local apps; we launched hundreds of apps for the global market. These ranged from productivity, photography, multimedia, educational over to mostly productivity apps as well as some games. They had one thing in common: all of such apps were not targeted to a specific location. Therefore, we did not have a targeted Hong Kong-audience we could address at the point of launching swapit.
I believe the Lean Startup Methodology is using the same approach, but for the most time of the last decade I have been involved in many app projects where we published apps very frequently. That has multiple advantages like
1. Validating your idea of an app quickly before spending too much money on development,
2. Getting users interested in your app early on,
3. Incorporating user feedback / expectations into the app while it’s being built,
4. Build up a user base before an app is officially launched.

Building a Real World Focus Group

While the above points 1-3 are very important, point 4 makes the trick. Especially when you’re launching a paid app, running a beta test gets people to use it early on and from the moment you launch publicly, you have a proper user base ready to launch with and to monetize on.
In terms of swapit we are obviously launching a free app (read more about that in part 3 [PUT LINK HERE]), so monetization is secondary during our beta. It is however important to us to get the right people on board and get feedback on our app early on. That’s why we are moving fast, with quick iterations and a frequent flow of new beta releases. We started working on swapit in mid December ’14 right before Christmas actually, launched our first beta (with 20 hand-picked testers) in January ’15, beta 2 in February ’15 (70 testers), beta 3 in March ’15 (210 testers) and so on.

Spread the Word

Each of the beta is being accompanied with an email that is sent to all beta testers explaining the changes in that new beta. On our blog (https://swapitblogit.wordpress.com) we publish a blog post for each new beta as well which is being spread by social media – predominantly Twitter, Facebook and Linked – as well as directly to basically all contacts we feel are relevant to spread our message.

Measure Your Feedback

A couple of days after each beta, we are sending out a survey about that particular beta. Obviously, that survey’s purpose is mainly to collect feedback about our beta in terms of functionality, bugs, ease of use, feature requests / suggestions and most importantly priorities. Priorities in terms of how we shall continue to work on swapit to build functionality into swapit that is most wanted by our users. Of course, we always need to look at the feedback we receive from a specific angle. Not always will we right away focus on the most wanted features. Sometimes there is a “bigger picture plan” that requires to implement different changes first before moving on to user requests. However, prioritization is key and survey feedback helps a lot focusing on the important things.
Our surveys however, fulfill a different purpose as well. They do remind our beta testers to actually beta test the app. It sounds very silly, but it is actually true. Many folks that joined our beta are busy people. I truly believe that all of them joined because they want to help us build a great product and I totally understand or actually appreciate that they might have joined for a rather selfish reason: to be one of the first folks to try an up-and-coming new app. So if people are busy it makes a lot of sense to just kindly remind them of the awesome app you have built and that you would appreciate their feedback. Interestingly, we have seen that our engagement rate of our beta app jumps up significantly at the time our survey reminder email is being sent out to our beta testers.

Is it a Beta or a Release?

To be honest, previously we published many apps that should have been considered “beta” instead of “release”. Usually, a beta – at least to me – is a more or less unfinished app that can contain bugs and might not work perfectly fine. Yet, sometimes it makes sense to skip the whole beta Huh-Hah! and launch your app as a release. A digital product with short development life cycles matures with the customer. Users that give very strong feedback – especially negative feedback – are the best users you can have. They are often so harsh on you because they care about the product for some reason. Once you can resolve the issue they had, you might have converted your biggest critic to your biggest advocate. I have seen this happen so many times. It is really amazing.

Exclusively Invite-Only

There have been many studies done about why people use certain products over others. Especially when you’re launching a new product – like swapit – you need to create some excitement about the product. Of course, your product needs to be outstanding and its unique sales proposition (read: it solves a particular issue in a unique way that makes people use your product) needs to be reallyunique and help your target audience “getting it” right away.
As a computer science guys, it took me years to grasp that having the perfect product, doesn’t mean you get people ripping it out of your hands. If you have the best product in the world, but nobody knows about it, you won’t be selling one of it!
Hotmail – when it launched – was a great example of creating a free viral ripple effect to promote their service by just adding the “Get your free email at Hotmail” at the bottom of each email that was sent through Hotmail. That was back in 1996.
Google went a slightly different way with Gmail when they launched it as their invite-only beta. While the product was absolutely smashing their competition with a simplified user interface and much faster loading times, the exclusivity was the trick to actually make turn it into a massively used product. Google could not have used the “Hotmail-way” because they already had great competition already, but created a product that was better than their competition (Hotmail) and they needed people to want using it over Hotmail and others.
Looking at swapit, we do obviously have competition already. Though, our competition is more regional (Singapore, Malaysia) than a local one, but I have no doubt in my mind that those regional competitors will enter the Hong Kong market some time soon. So we launched the first beta of swapit just after one month of development back in January this year as an invite-only beta. It’s currently an exclusive club of dedicated beta users who help us grow swapit into a large marketplace based in Hong Kong, built for Hong Kong and vertically integrated into Hong Kong’s very specific local trading behaviors.

source from StartUPsHK