“Oh jeez, another Q&A app.”
That was my knee-jerk reaction when I heard about a new startup called Pyne, which has created what it says is an app that allows users to “poll the world.” But then co-founder Tony Peccatiello gave me a demo, and I have to admit that it was appealingly quick, simple and fun.
As explained to me by Peccatiello, Pyne’s main selling point is the fact that it should only take a few seconds to ask and answer questions. If you want to create a question, you just type it out, add an image, and then identify whether it’s a yes/no question or multiple choice. (If it’s multiple choice, you type in each choice. If it’s yes/no, well, the possible answers are obvious.) Lastly you can identify the audience you want to reach – men, women, Facebook friends, or everyone on Pyne.
From the answer side, you’re presented with one question at time, which you can favorite, share on social networks, comment, or, of course, answer. It’s one tap to answer a question, then you’re presented with the next one, on and on until you get sick of it.
Peccatiello said that this quick question-loading process sets Pyne apart from other apps, which often present the questions through a search or feed interface. The closest competitor may be Thumb (which merged with YPulse Research last year), but even then he said Pyne is different because it offers “a more robust answer choice,” allows answerers (whew, WordPress spellcheck says that’s really a word) to interact with each other on the results page, and allows the askers to either direct their questions as described above, or to push their question to everyone and then filter answers by different groups.
The app started out as a way for women to ask questions of men, and vice versa. While you can still see elements of that in Pyne, and while Peccatiello expects the app to feature plenty of dating- and relationship-related content, he also wanted to aim broader.
I’ve been playing with the app throughout the day, and it is quite fun, even if the questions can be pretty random. Right now I’m stumped by “Between these two which is your favorite work of fiction? A) Green Eggs and Ham B) The Bible” (Zing!) Earlier, I had to admit that I didn’t have an intelligent opinion on Bad Boys 2, because I hadn’t seen it. (Over time, Peccatiello said Pyne should get better at providing users questions that are relevant to their interests.)
The company is self-funded, with Peccatiello launching it after a stint in the finance industry. I actually first heard about it through the recommendation of TechCrunch columnist Jon Evans who worked on the app as part of the development firm Happy Fun Corp. You can learn more about Pyne here.