Squirr3l is a fast way to get connected, well….without actually connecting. Users upload a three-part status about what they are doing, who are they with and where they are. That’s it no commenting, no liking or sharing; just what you and your friends are doing right now. Read this great introduction to learn more by Kevin and head over to squirr3l.com to set up your account.
Squirr3l at Your Own Risk – Connect w/out Connecting, Moment to Moment
Coming up over 200 users! It’s a few weeks into school and we have our first Stonehill Squirr3ls! Some of you have heard of Squirr3l and others are reading this rolling their eyes, mumbling something like huh? Is the “3” a typo? What is this? Another social network?
Well let’s get one thing straight. If you’re completely satisfied with Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare right now, then kudos to you, save yourself the trouble and stop reading. But if you’re like me then you’d agree there’s something that these social networks are missing. Something that makes you bored of Facebook, sick of seeing the same self-promoting tweets, and wishing there was something that suited your needs as a college student, a little better.
A Little Background About Me
I’m Kevin J. Diamond. I’m 22. I went to Stonehill College the last 4 years and graduated early last December. I live on campus with Jamey Breen as his personal care assistant. I graduated early cause school wasn’t good enough for me. I mean– the Courts, the Bros, the Spoco, that was all great, but for everything else: the concept of standard classes, requirements, rules, it just wasn’t fitting. I always felt like I could be doing something better. Something more.
So I graduated early and I had a full time gig lined up and it sounded cool on paper, but it was the same unfulfilling feeling. I dreaded waking up every morning and putting on a good casual biz outfit that only 48 year old cubicle ladies would appreciate. I worked and stayed after hours, every day. I hated it.I started finding myself Googling around, designing my own stuff, and reading up on startup blogs during my lunch break or whenever my supervisor was out of the office.
You have to understand something. It was senior year, Lax was great, I was living with my best friends, I had an awesome community around me, and I left it all. Midway through. I never had the closure. I never had the finale. I went back to a small middle of nowhere town in the northwest corner of CT to hit the 9-5 hard like every other townie in the 10 mile radius.
Behind the Squirr3l Concept
It was this rude awakening I can thank for helping get my idea off its feet and hit the ground running. In the spring of my junior year, I came up with this concept…
You want to know what a friend of yours is up to on a Thursday night.
Naturally you go on Facebook to find out. You see some pics of them tagged at the bar last weekend. You go on Twitter, their last tweets are something along the lines of: Finals hell #StonehillProblems.
You’re still left with an unanswered question: What is your friend doing right now.
Is the only way to find out what a friend of mine is doing, is to call or text every single one of them? What if its not one of my closest friends? (This is the pits, not knowing what anyone’s up to). And what if they’re busy, or what if they can’t talk right now, in class, at practice, getting the lineup done for the weekend, who knows….
What if there was a way I could keep up to date with them without having to reach out or search on every other social network for hours?
Flash forward 7 months. I fine-tuned the concept. I talked to a lot of people. I came up with a prototype.
The Squir3l Concept
Squirr3l would let people share what they are up to and keep tabs on their friends. Simple. No commenting, no liking, no sharing. A fast way to stay connected with out actually connecting.
Users can upload a three-part status: What are you doing? At Where? And With who?
They can follow one another and filter out who they actually want to “squirr3l” on by having a multi-tabbed newsfeed that groups those you are following in two categories, your Acorns and your Top Acorns (pretty self explanatory).
In the future I’d like to give users the ability to organize who they’re squirr3ling on by grouping their friends in “clusters” and letting them add, delete, and edit the name of the tabs in their multi-tabbed newsfeed. But that’s down the road, lets not get too ahead of ourselves 😉 .
Squirr3l– Skwuhr- úhl:
Noun. 1. A person seeking to stay connected w/ friends and family who does not have the time to bury themselves in a rabbit hole of social networks for days.
Verb. 1.To share what you are up to i.e. “Oh! Let me squirr3l this!” 2. To find out what a friend of yours is up to. “Hey, go Squirr3l on Kristen and see if her plane landed safely”
Squirr3ling–Skwuhr- úhl- ing:
Verb. 1. The act of connecting w/out connecting, moment to moment.
For everyone who hates burying themselves in a rabbit hole of social networks for days. And for everyone who wants to know where their Roomie is on a sloppy friday night when she hasn’t answered their drunken texts. Squirr3l would be for us. People that have something worth sharing and a need to only get the details anyone our age or for that matter any age finds important, (what a friend of yours is doing right now.)
Squirr31 Concept into App
So I went to work, found a dev, met with a ton of entrepreneurs, (skip all the boring stuff) and here I am sharing Squirr3l with the Stonehill Community. I felt it was only fitting to come back to the place that helped shaped me (not to get all emotional) but more importantly, helped shaped this idea, this concept, this social network. In efforts to grow the idea, build this mobile startup, create an app, there are a few steps that come into play.
1. Come up with kick-ass genius idea √
2. Fine tune concept √
3. Build prototype √
4. Develop beta version or MVP (Minimum Viable Product) √
^ This MVP is the thinnest possible product we can come up with and share to the public, that works, can allow users to test it, and provide feedback so we can make it better. Its not flashy, its not pretty, and it doesn’t have all the functions/features you awesome users would like, yet. But that’s because we want to hear what you want, first, and then we can go out and build it accordingly 🙂
5. Grow user-base
6. Receive feedback
7. Iterate and develop– taking your feedback and giving you the changes you want to see
8. Seek investment
9. Rollout full-fledged App, call it Squirr3l
10. Watch the Northern Lights from Alaska sipping on Patron reppin’ YMCMB tank and Squirr3l it
Squirr3l Beta is Launched – Time to Join and Get Connected!
We’re at stage 5, 6, and 7. The beta version is built and is a web-based platform designed for mobile? Whoa– Hode up, what the hell does that mean? It means Squirr3l is still a website. But it is designed for use on your phone (mobile device). You can sign up or create an account on your desktop/laptop but you will be directed to visit it on your phone to use it. Why? Cause you update your status on the go– duh.
Anyhow, now that the beta is launched, we’re at the fun stage. Letting users sign up, feel it out and tell us what they love about it and what they wish they could do.
How do we do this? Easily. There are are a few little quick things you can do right from the get-go to make your Squirr3ling Experience a whole lot more awesome:
1. AutoFill Names & Passwords: This makes it so you don’t have to re-login every time. It takes 14 seconds: Tap Settings app (if your on iPhone, if not, then usually Android users are smart enough to figure out their way around their own phone) Go to Settings: Safari: AutoFill: Turn Names & Passwords ON. Boom. Done.
2. Add button to home screen: This puts the little Squirr3l icon on your home screen like an app so you can access it quickly without having to go to safari and type in double u double u double u, uhh squirrel oh me **squirr3l dot com. You can add this by pressing the little button on the bottom of your screen that looks like a white rectangle with an arrow coming out of it. (See pic for example)
3. Oh– and sign up with Facebook. It’s faster, easier, and then your profile pic is all set to go. Don’t worry, we won’t ever post or share anything with your Facebook account. It’s just a quicker way to get you set up on Squirr3l. After this you should be all set. Once you sign in, you’ll see how you have to search for an individuals’ name, click on them and then add as squirr3l (+squirr3l). Yes I know– tedious I’m sorry. The good thing is now you only have to add people you actually care to squirr3l on.
If you run into any problems, have any questions about getting started, or just want immediate updates on when new features are coming out, you can always reach me by cell, or email. My contact info is listed below:
Twitter Follow: @kevinjdiamond
Recently featured article on Under 30 CEO: Why Wait to Start Living Your Dreams
Oh PS. I’ll be giving out Free Squirr3l gear to the first like 100 users that sign up.
Our Final Thoughts on Squirr3l
Squirr3l was born to meet the needs and wants of the busy college student. But, it is perfect for anyone who is busy – what an easy way to keep track of what the kids are up to. Co-workers on a project could easy adapt the 3 part status to keep each other in the loop. Simplify your life and get connected in this fast easy way by joining the Squirr3l network today!
Finally, I love this quote Kevin included in his write-up:
“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination” – Carl Rogers.