more, More, MORE. STOP! Rather than cram more features into Bump 3.0, the team behind the 75 million-installs mobile app combed the data and brushed off all the features no one used. Now, instead of letting you wirelessly share apps, music, and calendar events with nearby devices, it only allows contacts and photo sharing. That’s a better user experience, and an example other developers should follow.
Bump launched a minimum viable product 3 years ago to allow mobile users to exchange contact info by physically bumping their devices into each other. It got lots of downloads, raised almost $20 million, and promptly shot itself in the foot by adding a bunch of extraneous features to version 2.0 of it iPhone and Android apps.
Soon the team realized, “If [someone] didn’t try contacts or photos, we had a low chance of them becoming a repeat user.” After today’s streamlining, “you’re nearly guaranteed to have a great experience”, co-founder Jake Mintz told me. Let that be a lesson: developers should nail one or two use cases rather than succumb to bloat.
The decision of what to cut was easy. Bump’s 12 million monthly active users were sharing roughly 2 million photos every day, but only 7,000 calendar events. Dropping calendar and other unnecessary features was for the greater good. “The people who were using it will be upset, Mintz admits, “but there’s relatively few of them.”
There is one thing new about Bump 3.0. When you Bump with someone, you’ll see which Facebook friends you have in common, giving it some of the functionality of new passive serendipity location app Highlight.
If you’re trying to challenge Bump in the mobile-to-mobile sharing space, think twice. Products which require both users to have the app must be magical and revolutionary to overcome the added friction of getting people to download them on the spot. Bump already has the network effect locked in. Bump co-founder Dave Lieb warns competitors “It might be easier to go after new problems.”