February 19, 2012
Pinterest has opened new doors (one being to Tech Cocktail’s new Pinterest account).
They’ve created an entirely new means for how people consume images and videos. They’ve raised the bar for how people share and interact with images. And because Pinterest has changed how the masses browse media, there now exists an ocean of untapped potential.
In launching earlier this week, Kaleidoscope is taking its shot at capitalizing.
This new mobile app is borrowing the Pinterest browsing model, with two major differences; one, the images are fashion only, and two, they’re curated by Kaleidoscope’s fashion editors (no user submissions). Here’s where Kaleidoscope gets interesting – when a user browses the app and stumbles upon a look that piques her interest, she can select any part of the model’s outfit and will be prompted by a link to shop for a similar article of clothing (you can test it out on their site). In other words, Kaleidoscope is attempting to bridge the gap between search and shop.
I caught up with Sarah Kunst, Kaleidoscope’s Director of Business Development, to learn more.
Tech Cocktail: Can you tell us about your day-to-day with Kaleidoscope? How about co-founder Ryan Junee’s (whose track record includes selling Omnisio to Google)?
Sarah Kunst: I work on marketing, PR, partnerships and product while Ryan both codes and helps with big meetings, introductions, etc. I’m based in NYC where I’ve opened our East Coast office, and he’s in San Francisco with the engineering team.
Tech Cocktail: What was the inspiration behind Kaleidoscope? What is your ultimate vision for this app?
Kunst: The inspiration behind Kaleidoscope is to combine the inspiration of sites like Pinterest and We Heart It with the ecommerce that’s already happening. So many people see a look they love but think they can’t wear it because of their body type or the price point. We want to give people gorgeous images and the ability to recreate them anywhere, for anyone.
Tech Cocktail: How did the launch go? Any learning lessons (positive or negative)?
Kunst: Launch was awesome! We decided launching during fashion week was a main priority for us – even though our iPhone app was still in the approval process with Apple. We had a strong Android app and a lot of press interest and so we went for it! The lesson here is know what you’re aiming for – if we were looking for a ton of iPhone downloads we would have waited but because we wanted to be on the radar of fashion brands and publications we felt the timing was right.
Tech Cocktail: If you were stirring the perfect metaphoric “startup cocktail” what would the parts of your perfect recipe include?
Kunst: Kaleidoscope Kocktail
- 1 part NYC fashion world expertise
- 3 parts engineers with Standford degrees
- 2 dashes of past exits
Shake until frothy and serve with a twist.
Sounds delicious. Android users, check out the Kaleidoscope app today (iPhone app coming soon).
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