The instant gratification associated with Polaroid photographs satisfied the nostalgic and impatient. However, digital photography changed the playing field and lost was the interactive experience. Thanks to Polaroid Swing, you can recreate the interactive experience using a moments that capture experiences instead of still photos.
AlleyWatch chatted with the company’s cofounders Tommy Stadlen and Frederick Blackford about the company and its future.
Tell us about the product or service.
Polaroid Swing combines the iconic Polaroid brand with cutting edge photo technology. The iPhone app lets you create interactive photos with one easy tap. You capture one-second moments that magically come to life when you touch them or tilt your phone. Users can share Polaroid moving photos on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter while media companies can embed them on the web.
How is it different?
Polaroid Swing has fundamentally reimagined photography. Human beings see the world in short moments, not in stills or videos. Memories move, and now photos do too. These fully interactive photos are 5 times more engaging than still photos.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
The Polaroid brand has an emotional connection with billions of people around the world. More than 3 billion photos are shared daily, according to Mary Meeker’s State of the Internet Report 2016,
What is the business model?
Initially we are focused on crafting a product that millions of people use every day. We are contacted regularly by brands and media companies who want to use the technology to make richer, more engaging content, and we’ve selected an exclusive group to work with.
What inspired the business?
This started with a strong belief in the power of the Polaroid brand and its iconic history. We felt we could create something special if we integrated that heritage with truly innovative engineering and design.
What makes you think that this will be a viable business over the long term?
Polaroid Swing simply offers a better visual medium than traditional static digital photographs. It helps people and brands express moments in more compelling ways.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We will be announcing major partnerships in the coming months, together with some important investment news. Most importantly we’re excited to see our user numbers continue their exponential growth.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Startups are fueled by purpose – more so even than money or good ideas. You have to ask yourself every day: why does our company deserve to exist?
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
Mike Bloomberg, who created arguably New York’s greatest technology company by focusing with relentless clarity on the needs of his users.
Why did you launch in New York?
New York is where Polaroid’s founder Edwin Land first started his experiments and later worked with Andy Warhol at the intersection of art and technology. New York sits at that intersection today more than ever. Our mission is to be a pioneer in culture as well as technology – that’s why we have a New York base in addition to our San Francisco lab.
Where is your favorite fall destination in the city?
Walking up to the Frick Collection from our office in Meatpacking.