With 3,300 users already, Fetchnotes, a smartphone and web application conceived by Business juniors Alex Schiff and Chase Lee, will go live to the public tomorrow.
Fetchnotes, which is currently in the beta stage, is an application that compiles notes and memos from smart phones and computers. The program organizes notes using “@ tags” to make notes easily identifiable and transferrable, and will be accessible from Androids and iPhones via messaging programs.
Schiff, a former The Michigan Daily columnist, and LSA junior Alex Horak, Fetchnotes developer, are two members of the Fetchnotes team — comprised of 14 University students studying computer science and informatics. The group has a space in the University’s TechArb student business incubator, which is sponsored by the College of Engineering’s Center for Entrepreneurship, the Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and the Office of the Vice President for Research.
Schiff said what sets Fetchnotes apart from other products, such as popular digital note-sharing applications like Evernote, is its ability to organize small amounts of information in a small, efficient number of steps.
“There’s not something that satisfies that point for the notes that might be three or four words and not three or four pages,” Schiff said.
Horak said he’s helped develop the application to have “extreme speed and simplicity,” adding that beta users have contributed several suggestions on how people can utilize Fetchnotes, including ways to count calories and compile notes for a book.
Schiff said he got the idea for Fetchnotes after the notes on his BlackBerry memo pad were deleted one day and not retrievable since they were only saved to his phone and no other external services. Schiff talked to his peers, and his mission for a better mobile phone note service became viable for mass consumption.
So far, Schiff said the project has been “bootstrapped” and has very little funding. Despite the financial challenges, looking ahead, Schiff and Horak said they’d like to have the application take on a “freemium” format, in which users can access the program’s basic functions free of charge, but also have the option to pay for additional features.
Schiff and Horak added that they’re looking forward to funding models that involve garnering potential advertising opportunities from businesses.
“There’s a lot of people that want to sell business ideas, but you would be very hard-pressed to find someone who wants to buy one,” Schiff said.