Friday one of my colleagues screamed “OH SHIT” in front of his screen. I thought he had broken our production servers again, but he had instead just signed up for RebelMouse. It’s not everyday that a simple web product lets you say “oh shit”, and when it does it’s a good idea to pay attention.
So, I decided to sign up and I first got an empty screen, and was pretty bummed off. After a few seconds tho, I got this:
Wow. That’s all I recently shared, neatly organized and ranked based on some unknown algorithm.
This is how you create an MVP:
- Simplest features possible (you can only move stories around and add new ones)
- Default and opinionated decisions (auto-sorts stories, you can only place a story with a big image in front and can’t add an image to a story)
- Make your users feel good about themselves (get them laid, save them time or make them make money).
It’s a very interesting concept as most other products create “e-newspapers” or personalized streams based on what your friends and contacts share.
RebelMouse finally reversed the aggregation paradigm, focusing instead on what you have shared on our different social networks.
I think it’s pretty genius, for two reasons:
- you’re fundamentally more inclined to share and link your RebelMouse page, more than any Paper.li page.
- you’re going to share more high-quality stuff since you know it’ll end up on your RebelMouse page.
It seems like a very straightforward idea, and almost a trivial one, but in my opinion it’s instead very smart and wasn’t that easy to translate into such a nice MVP. The people behind it are Paul Berry, who was CTO at Huffington Post, and Megan, his sister, who’s involved in another awesome and genius project in the space: Newsle. They really know what they’re doing and deeply understand the intersection between news and social sharing. Huge kudos to both.
PandoDaily after writing about it, created its own RebelMouse page, and it’s awesome. At the same time, there’s a pretty cool European startup that is trying to disrupt the blogging space, Overblog, but that will be a post for another time.