As a weathered product and UX designer ideation is my favorite pastime. 2 years ago, I was asked to come up with ideas for tourism. Of the many concepts I visualized one really stuck. I took it further, started pitching and even joined local accelerators and startup competitions. Soon I realized that in order to make it happen I had to start building. I also came to the conclusion that my profile didn't match the 18 year old college dropout every accelerator is after… in other words: I had to fund this stuff myself.
I went back to the drawing board in order to simplify and broaden my initial idea. I had to reduce it to the essence and this is how Qrtd came along. From then on look book publishing was going to be my focus. I gave myself a micro budget, contacted a kick ass developer and in May 2013 we started developing.
The first results were amazing. My gut feeling was right (always trust your gut feeling!). I quickly had a tool with which I could set up Instagram curations and devour the very best Instagram content on iPad. It was a lot easier now to make my point and step up to people. I finally could discover the subtleties and finesses of the product I envisioned. How does my service compare to all other (social) media solutions? I got a reaction from a potential client that my product was a bit like Taschen. This comparison really made sense! It appealed to me.
Qrtd, coffee table book publishing!
And no, this is not a negative thing…on the contrary it is the future ; )
One of the key differences is that my solution de-socializes social media. Qrtd is a post-social product. We all know there is an awful lot of great data on social media and we all know that this data isn't used enough. But do we need to answer this by creating even more social networks that we need to join and follow? Social fatigue is the result. Following and checking your Facebook, Linked In, Pintrest, Instagram, Twitter accounts can become a full time job. Following by definition means you miss out on a lot of things… Following also means you need to plow through heaps of shit. Do we really want this?
Qrtd is a post-social product
Now let's bring in the curators on social media - and as I focus on Instagram - the curators of Instagram. Curators are people with vision and focus their content and visual language is hi-quality and to the point. If they could isolate their collection and serve it as a branded look book in tablet format, a new world would open to their public. Think Taschen: if there is an artist, a brand, fashion designer, photographer, musician you really, really love you would love to have a coffee table book on the subject. Now imagine that coffee table book was 100% free, always growing and up to date… then you have laid your hands on a Qrtd app! A lot of curators and brands already have valuable collections waiting there to be unlocked. Their public no longer needs to follow or join a network (and therefor miss out of a lot of good stuff). Just download the Qrtd look book and you do not have to miss out of a single thing.
Now this is just the beginning really, this is my proof of concept! Currently I am focusing on two things: 1/Building up a nice portfolio 2/Validating my service and together with my first and future customers explore the various possibilities and uses of the new look books medium.
So grab one of the Qrtd look books out there and enjoy!
To all the brands and curators out there… if I've inspired you let's get together and inspire the world!