Startup Lockdown — Day 1 — Pickld

As mentioned in my initial post, Day 1 of Startup Lockdown was for “personal CRM.” When we went in, we were thinking more along the lines of “personal system for the sorts of things professional CRMs do.”

By the end of the day, we’d gotten to Pickld — Pickld allows you write down a few friends and get an email 1, 3, 6, or 12 months later prompting you to reach out to the friends you’d mentioned.

This first version of Pickld is a step in the right direction, but it’s not the full vision. We took a ton away from interviewing a bunch of interesting people yesterday. Thank you to those who helped!

Here’s some of what we learned yesterday*:

People don’t remember all their friends:
If you have to make a list of your friends, it’ll be based on your mood and you’ll miss a ton of people. You can’t do this all at once.

A personal aside, this is a personal problem too: once I made a list of “My Best Friends” (for my list book) and Nikki was like, 18th on the list. Nikki is one of my very best friends, but I saw her so often that it didn’t even occur to me to write her down).

People put their friends in tiers

People put their friends into tiers. It’s the closest friends (people you’re going to stay in touch with no matter what — your partner, your best friend), a larger group that tends to be around the “Dunbar number” and everyone else.

The middle group is the issue

In professional CRMs, it’s all about tracking everything. You don’t know which lead is going to end up being the most valuable — and you care a lot about the people on the periphery.

For personal life, that’s not the case. It’s the group in the middle that causes people most angst. People are perfectly okay with letting go of someone connections — or only reaching out when they need to. It’s considered acceptable.

The middle area is where guilt comes up:

  • The family member you aren’t too close with, but want to know to visit if you’re in their city.
  • The roommate you fell out of touch with after moving.
  • Someone you met at a conference, and an instant bond with, and want to get closer — but you live in different cities.

It’s worse during transitions

This middle place is particularly rough when you go through a life transition. People you see all the time in casual space stop being people you see all the time — and that means you might fall out of touch.

Ideally, once you’ve stabilized after the transition, you’d have the option to make sure you were still close with everyone who matters. Unfortunately, you often forget about it — few people have angst of “oh I was close with this person” — because we come to terms with our choices. People do have fear of losing touch with people now, even if they don’t remember the past people.

Reconnection is based on triggers

You don’t always remember people at a convenient moment. You might remember your best friend who likes water towers when you see a water tower, but that’s not a good time to call. You might see a post in your Facebook feed and say “oh I should get in touch to actually catch up” — but again, it’s not. The comment doesn’t feel like the right option.

So, Pickld

We didn’t know a ton about personal CRMs in the space before starting. We did a bunch of research yesterday — and most of them are in the space we expected. It’s similar to a sales tool (importing everyone) or requires a lot of personal effort to remember who you want to talk to and set it up.

Pickld is meant to “preserve your friendships” — in the future we imagine something like a Chrome extension & mobile app combination that allows you to take advantage of the triggers and build out your reminder set as it happens — not all at once.

Right now, Pickld was built to be what we could get done in a day that aligned with these principles. I’m actually impressed that we built a (functional) MVP and it’s up on Product Hunt!

In particular for the current tool, we’d want to point graduating students towards Pickld.


I need to get started on Puppy Marketplace now, so here’s a few reminder notes of what I learned that I might come back to later.

  1. I’m emotionally tied to my process. I have a harder time getting feedback on the “design process” than personal characteristics or basically anything else.
  2. If I’m working, I assume everyone else is working. I was our theoretical leader. In the past, I’d mostly led technical projects — write a spec, people execute. I had a much harder time figuring out how to make best use of the interesting, diverse set of skills that we have. I just went heads-down to build things instead of engaging everyone. Whoops.

* I wrote this very confidently. I’m more confident about some of these assertions than others, but this was from a day of work, and all of this could still use more fleshing out.