When Ning co-founder and former CEO Gina Bianchini launched Mightybell a year ago, a startup aimed at helping you accomplish things in small, incremental steps and show others how to do the same, it essentially allowed you to create step-by-step private guides for anything. But the startup is shifting its focus slightly away from the private, step-by-step product into a more collaborative, open public platform for people to share their ideas in groups.
Now Mightybell is focused on offering sleek, design-focused collaborative online spaces for creative projects. The step-by-step product is still available, but is located here under the product name “Steps.”
So why did Mightybell open the user experience from Steps? Bianchini said that users were telling the startup they wanted to see everything that was posted in guides in one space. Previously, users had access to content in these steps. So, Bianchini and her team decided to create a more discussion-focused open space for users to share photos, videos, comments and more.
Users in these spaces can post photos, write a note, chat with others via a chat functionality, comment, like an interaction and more. Users can also customize a particular collection and create a these around their space.
“For us, we’re thinking of how to scale intimacy and create deeper interactions for groups of people around projects, themes, content and more,” says Bianchini. For example, Bianchini says that the Mightybell team is using a private space as a replacement for Basecamp. There have also been spaces created for book clubs, and creative projects like home renovations.
“It’s almost like a visual chat room with more collaboration features,” she explains. She adds that Mightybell’s mission of bringing people together around their interests, passions, and goals is still in-line with the new product.
Another key difference for the startup is the launch of public space. While the vast majority of Mightybell activity today is across thousands of private spaces, public spaces offer brands the ability to create a group around a particular product, TV show or other object. And users can set different levels of permissions around who can contribute versus comment.
Mightybell, which raised $3.6 million from Floodgate, Greylock and First Round Capital, could be on to something. With the newest version of the product. the startup essentially offers a more collaborative, and private version of Pinterest. I can imagine using the site for a home decoration project, where I can post inspirations with share these with only my interior designer and architect. Or I could use the space to collect and post information on pre-schools I am applying to for my daughter, and share these with my husband. And as mentioned above, public spaces could be an interesting way for brands to create an interactive poster board around products.