How to Win Friends and
Influence PeopleGet Laid
Certainly an attention-grabbing way of starting of the presentation on Momo, especially to a class mostly full of guys. Definitely the most entertaining presentation of the evening as well. In fact, the entertaining points stuck in my memory so much, that I was hard-pressed to find the most important three points, but here goes:
Momo being a “magical tool to get laid (约炮神器)”
In all seriousness, this is an important point. It was mentioned as such in a popular viral video with 5+ million hits, and apparently that is its common reputation – as an app for casual hook-ups, despite its founders maintaining that it can lead to serious relationships and even marriages.
Such startups tap on very primal (and social) needs, and though “magical tool” may be hyperbolic, a service that even approached that magical status could be very lucrative indeed. The fact that Momo received $40 million in series B funding, with a market valuation of over $100 million, and big names like Alibaba Group and Netease and Sina Corp veterans being involved, points to their belief in this.
Chinese prostitutes learning how to use Momo to attract clients
In fact, there was a leaked video of someone lecturing Chinese prostitutes on how to use social services like Momo and WeChat to attract and retain customers, and during the Q&A session, someone who had used Momo before mentioned that they had received a lot of “spam” from said prostitutes selling their services.
Well, one man’s spam is another man’s happy ending. Seems like Momo has commendably managed to capture every segment of their market – if you used Momo, one way or another, you would be able to get laid, no matter your social skills.
Momo’s technical implementation
I think it showed the depth the team went into, that they actually did packet sniffing to figure out what technologies Momo uses behind the scenes.
Most of stack is pretty run-of-the-mill as far as mobile location-based apps go, and it uses the XMPP standard, which other chat apps like LINE, WeChat, and WhatsApp also leverage. Google Hangouts is the notable exception among popular recent chat apps, having its own proprietary protocol. However, it is Google, which can afford to develop its own.
As for other startups, this is important as it shows that technical implementation is probably one of the smaller concerns, and most apps in the space are using mostly the same underlying technology.
XMPP has many free and well-honed libraries and server implementations, so it is relatively trivial technically to put together all these similar chat apps – the important difference is their focus.
Of course, this would not be a fair application critique, if I had not actually tried out the app myself. I put up a reasonably nice picture, and in the past few hours I’ve had a total of.. 1 female, aged 20, contacting me – with 2 smilies. Whoopie doo.
Just want to add that I’m very thankful for our evaluators’ feedback on our presentation.
John and Shubham had kindly offered to take on my part of the presentation, or even the full presentation, and honestly I was sorely tempted. After all, many other teams were presenting with less than their full complement, and there were good reasons to, given the presentation format.
However, as mentioned in What I Hope to Learn in CS3216, I wanted to face down my fears regarding presentations, and I’m really glad I did.
Was still horribly nervous (could everyone tell?) while speaking, but I’m very encouraged by the positive feedback regarding my sections – it really made my day! [=