Ditto represents a few incredibly important things to us at True, most notably the vision and talents of our Founder Jyri Engestrom and his stellar team. Jyri has been known to us at True for a long, long time, and it is no joke to say that his name was on our “hot entrepreneur to watch” list for the twelve months prior to our initial funding (which closed in the summer). We waited and waited, and when Jyri was ready to raise money, we literally lept at the chance to fund him (along with our good friends at Betaworks).
We invested in Ditto because Jyri is an exceptionally talented entrepreneur with a passion for beautiful products that tap a deep social need and create meaning. Jyri co-founded Jaiku, which was acquired by Google in 2007, and he has experience and track record building amazing social products.
We also love Ditto because of its vision and it’s power: Ditto enables a user to tap into the social graph at a moment of real world intent, and extract meaningful value. There are a lot of apps that allow you to broadcast something out to the Twitterverse, and without question this taps into a deep social need and creates meaning and value for users. Ditto is different because it allows the Twitterverse your social graph to talk back to you, in real time, in a structured way. Heading to coffee or lunch? 2 taps and that is broadcast to your friends so they can suggest a place, stop by, simply chat about the topic. Need an idea for a movie? 2 taps and you’ve pinged your social graph for ideas.
Ditto is beautiful. The Ditto team understands the importance of what we call the “last inch” of app design and experience. Great apps fully optimize design not just within the app, but great apps also transcend the device and create user experience beyond the device. Great apps guide the users finger in the final seconds before a tap. Great apps make it smooth and efficient for our brains to understand what to do. Great apps don’t give us that moment of puzzlement (brow furrowed, slight pause as finger is hanging over the screen) wondering when and where to tap. Great apps make your brain feel good.
Sounds simple, but like most things in life, simplicity is incredibly hard to achieve. Flip through your iphone and consider the number of apps that require you to do multiple taps or (gasp) swipe to a screen or drop down a menu. Not great design. Great apps almost pop out of the phone with a simple, clean and powerful directive.
Great apps in the market include Uber, Instagram, and we think, Ditto.
Jyri understands this clearly because he is a sociologist by training. A uniquely human perspective, and one that has enlightened Ditto’s design and meaning.
We think Ditto is important for all of these reasons, but like all of our deals at True, the core of our decision to invest revolved around our belief that Jyri, Ulf, Teamu and Nick had the creative power to change the world.
We’re excited to be a part of the Ditto team. Congratulations on launch!