Web & Social


Siri competition or Great Founder?



So recently (read: an hour ago) I was looking for a way to get an aggregate of all posts in an rss feed sent to my email daily, my first candidate was IFTTT, but somehow, among everything, this they didn't support, go figure.

I was then left with the next best thing: Googleing it. Which uncovered a lot of options from as far back as 2005, I decided to try this though, mostly because it looked startupy while the other options looked old and unsupported... anyway while I was setting things up, adding feeds and such, I get a little chat box dialogue in the right corner, I of course immediately think, "great, it's one of those." But then it temped me:

(Note: LetsFilter is the website/bot/founder and my replys are connotated with an "→".)

LetsFilter: hello

LetsFilter: i am the admin of followurinterest.. please ping me if you need any help

I never shy away from a challenge, and this one was too easy, so I asked this bot a complex question expecting some stupid answer or better yet a link to FAQ.

Instead I got this:

→what happens if I just want all posts to a rss feed?

LetsFilter: currently i filter thee rss feeds based on your interests .. i am adding the feature whrere in you can get all posts to your inbox when you want

LetsFilter: I will surely let you know when it is done.

I did a double take, totally on topic answer, and spelling errors to boot! I actually suspected that maybe the spelling errors were some clever scheme to make the bot seem more authentic and the on topic answer... probably clever word-analysis.

Now my interest into tripping up this bot was seriously (or should I say siriously) piqued, I began attempting real conversation and as you've probably guessed, he was good for it, this was the founder as he claimed in the beginning, we spoke for a while, turns out he lives in India which explains why he's awake at this ungodly hour, and he said he actually tries to talk to all new users.

Here are some more tidbits from our conversation:

→are you a robot?

LetsFilter: no these are manual messages from the founder .. my name is Anurag and I am from India.

→oh, why'd you choose to message me?

LetsFilter: i generally ping the users of followurinterest if they are satisfied .

LetsFilter: and also if they need more features ..

→Doesn't that take up a lot of time?

LetsFilter: that's my work .. to keep the users satisfied :-)

→ah well you're doing a great job


LetsFilter: it was nice talking to you. have a nice day [NameofUser]..

→Yup thankyou!

→you too, what time is it for you btw?

LetsFilter: morning 11 .

LetsFilter: oh it must be night for you :-)

→oh, I'm in the US so it's 1 at night


LetsFilter: cool so good night will be better :-)

→yup, thanks looking forward to seeing really awesome things from this

LetsFilter: welcome.

LetsFilter: my aim is to reduce the gap between web and mail box ..

LetsFilter: because we don't forget to read the inbox .. and if something really matters for us, we should know that ..

LetsFilter: on a busy day we don't get to check the web everyday .. that is the whole idea here.

Thought I would share, because, really how often do you get to talk to the founder of a startup, just because you signed up?