Emerging into a ruthless world of ambitious startup companies, this Monday, Add Me, an innovative social media application co-founded by Harrison Bert, CSOM ’19, launched on the app store.
This new app aims to centralize all social media accounts and contact information of its users under one simple interface, allowing them to connect to others quickly by scanning a barcode through the app, similar to the follow feature on the Snapchat app.
“Add Me is an app that tries to simplify making social media connections,” Bert said.
He first came up with the idea behind Add Me with his fellow co-founder Max Bertman, who goes to the University of Miami, late in his senior year of high school.
When he began to contemplate the daunting task of developing the app, he spent the next few months, along with Bertman, collaborating with hired coders and industry experts to develop a way to simplify this process.
“In the first few weeks of college, when you meet like a million new people, it is impossible to really develop relationships with everyone you want to,” Bert said.
“A large part of this, I believe, is that we lose people in the rush of introductions— these brief moments of interaction don’t allow for genuine communication, he said.” “Add Me solves this issue by empowering users with the ability to exchange all their information with a single click.”
Although there are existing apps that attempt to address the same issue of centralizing all social media accounts into one, Bert said that Add Me is innovative in its approach, with its barcode scanning system that allows for the easy transfer of contact info.
Bert and Bertman do not claim to be creating a market and acknowledge that one already exists.
Keeping in mind those apps that already exist, they can then learn from the mistakes others have made and in turn improve their own product to better meet the needs of users, they said.
While this inexperience is plentiful, as both co-founders are only 19 and neither has any prior experience coding or developing technology applications, Bert said that the success of Add Me has and will continue to rely on its founders’ aptitude for learning “on-the-go” and commitment to their company.
“The road here has been paved with speed bumps and [we] have braced ourselves for these bumps to grow into hills and mountains,” Bert said. “This is what we signed up for when we set out on this path.”
With the plethora of Boston-based venture capital firms—such as General Catalyst, Openview, Charles River Venture, and many more—eager for local startups with high potential, particularly social media applications.
A major step for Add Me is becoming an attractive prospect for investment—to, as Bertman put it, hammer away at the surface of the idea so that its potential can be seen through the cracks.
Bert and Bertman plan to spend the summer working on the tedious and testing process of finding investors.
“We are hoping that we really catch the next wave of incoming college students and this propels us into all of college social culture and that this, in turn, propels us into the lives of the everyday people we made this app for,” Bertman said.
The two co-founders are currently venturing into the world of coding along with their brainchild, attempting to develop the technical familiarity and knowledge they will need to continue to steer their company.
The fate of Add Me will be determined in the next few months. Now that the app is available for download, it must improve and expand in the face of inevitable issues.
According to Bertman, the current app is still “raw,” but it’s still the only application out there that does what it does the way it does it.
“It’s what people will appreciate when they download it right now and it’s what they will appreciate when they download it years from now,” he said. “The rest—the logo and the interface design—are just staging the principle service we are offering.”
Featured Image by Harrison Bert