Supzy is a privately-owned and bootstrapped startup founded out of our home offices. The birth of Supzy came in late 2012 as an idea and experiment. Our goal since the beginning has been to make been to make people’s lives easier, and we believe we’ve done just that.
We set out to create a tool for desktop workers, but since then, Supzy has developed into much more than that — a powerful personal data platform — and we’re excited about what’s happening.
Why not just use Twitter?
Interestingly enough, Twitter wasn’t part of our thought process when we started, and Supzy wasn’t started as a business. When co-founders Eli Simpson (our designer) and Nate Simpson (our architect) first discussed the idea, it was very simple: What if a tiny piece of software just asked you what you were doing every x minutes and then disappeared? The short length and frequent prompts would keep your status updates simple, and the content would be private by default, not publicly shared.
So it’s just like Twitter with a timer?
In our opinion, Supzy isn’t directly competing with any existing product. The intent behind Supzy is that your data, your thoughts, your ideas, and your activities are your personal, private property.We view Supzy as first in its class – a platform that turns the range of existing status update services inside out. While the aim of Twitter and Facebook is to enable self-promotion and publication, Supzy is a private activity log which you can use in many different ways.
Is it distracting for your computer to interrupt you all the time?
We made a point of making the desktop client very minimal. When it pops up, you can type your activity, thought, or idea and hit enter [return] and the client simply goes away. Unlike other solutions for activity logging, you don’t have to go out of your way to log your activity – we bring the prompt to you. That being said, you don’t have to use the desktop client, and you don’t have to make it pop up if you don’t want it to. It’s all about what you want. But, remember, we humans have a need to track what we’re up to for many reasons: to prove we’re being productive, to capture ideas, to remember things, to track important information over time… One of the keys to enhancing productivity is to minimize significant interruptions, and Supzy uses the smallest footprint possible to capture the maximum amount of data.
Once I log my activity, what can I do with it?
This is where it gets really interesting. Other services like Facebook and Twitter don’t make it easy to extract your data for your own use. We think that they do this because the power of those networks lies in keeping their users captive. We don’t operate this way. If you want your data, you can download it, all of it, into a simple text-based file that is useful for many purposes. You can make some or all of your data public on your Supzy public profile. If you want, you can push it out to other services like Twitter. You can #tag it or even assign it to categories to organize it.
These are some interesting thoughts, but what do you think is the key feature of Supzy?
You could say that privacy is Supzy’s key feature, but more accurately, it’s the reason Supzy exists. Existing networks require you to be okay with the public and/or your “friends” seeing your updates.
We’ve all been told, “Think before you speak.” Since social networks are primarily a form of speaking to an audience, there is a self-censorship that occurs when you submit a post. As a result, you don’t capture nearly as much data as you could; when you look back over what you posted, there will always be gaps, things that should be there but aren’t there because you weren’t willing to share them with anyone or everyone. With Supzy, everything is private when you submit it, so you can capture as much data as you care to and then decide later what you’re willing to share (or unshare!).
What are some ways that you see Supzy being utilized?
The possibilities are so rich, really. It’s a perfect tool for time sheets – it really takes the guesswork out of what was being done at what time. It’s ideal for any companies that rely on billing their clients by the hour. We’re seeing some interest in Supzy for the “internet of things” – data-driven home devices and personal health wearables, for instance. People involved in startups and small group projects are using Supzy for smoother collaboration, live-blogging to colleagues, and converting individual status updates into a curated real-time social media stream.
So Supzy isn’t just for individuals, then?
One idea that we are especially excited about is our Groups functionality. With Supzy, anyone can create a group and invite other Supzy users to join it. A Group is very powerful; it has all the same features as a user – it’s private, you can tag and categorize entries, make entries public, push them to Twitter. Once users join, they can tag their entries as belonging to your group, and you have an up-to-date feed of everyone’s activities that you can use for project management, social media presence, and more. We believe that it’s collaboration at it’s finest – and simplest!
Any bonus features that we should know about?
We’re always working on new features and functionality for Supzy. Among other things, we now have an API infrastructure and sample code that enables users to build their own functionality, a Supzy virtual appliance for businesses who want to use Supzy but don’t want their information in the cloud, and we’ve built a dashboard that allows you to get some basic visual overviews of your posting habits and content.
What’s next for Supzy?
Well, we’re in the middle of developing our Android app which is our first mobile app, followed closely by an iPhone app. We’ll be beefing up the social capabilities of the platform, too. We’re also looking for opportunities to expand our team, as we’re currently just two engineer/designers who have worked to bootstrap this idea for the past three years. We see this as your classic David and Goliath story and we’re excited about where we go next.
Does Supzy have a “Don’t be evil” pledge?
Any final thoughts?
We are seeing a rapid explosion of data and information in the 21st Century, and we believe that it’s our job as a society to figure out how to enable individuals to benefit from this, not just corporations and government. Whether you think this expansion of data is good or evil, it’s inevitable – we are collectively creating more and more of it, and we have to find collective ways to deal with it. Technology is driving this information overload, but it can also be one of the biggest solutions.
Our vision with Supzy is to provide you with technology that empowers you and helps you achieve your goals, while at the same time allowing you to join forces with others when your goals require it. That’s why privacy and data ownership have been our priority since the beginning. We want to make businesses and teams more productive, profitable, and communicative – while at the same time protecting the most important element in those businesses and teams: the individual.
A co-founder of Supzy, Nate is the lead Supzy developer and IT guy. He has a graduate degree in sociology, extensive technology skills, and past experience as a founder of a startup. He enjoys bringing new creations to life.
Eli Daniel Simpson
A co-founder of Supzy, Eli is Supzy’s chief evangelist. He is always actively engaging in opportunities to create, inspire, and lead through the use of technology.