Buidling Opsiz in the Pressure Cooker format
The week before Easter, Stone Soup finished a third Pressure Cooker project, Opsiz.
Jarrett and Loukas, the guys behind Opsiz found out about Stone Soup through the Appsterdam Meeten en Drinken event at La Rambla. After spending some time getting to know each other, we decided to work together and try to build their idea at Stone Soup.
We chose to do a Pressure Cooker to produce the beta in two to three weeks. The client would in short time get a version of their idea that they could see, test and demo to others, and by the end of the project they would be a lot more knowledgeble about what it takes to turn an idea into running software.
The development team, consisting of backend and frontend developers, AI experts and designers, were working hard for the full duration of the project. And the client was there to make sure we could keep discussions short and make fast decisions. In previous Pressure Cookers we helped City Share and Camerize get their product from idea to implementation, this time we worked with the guys of Opsiz to implement their social blogging and commenting platform. SciFY and Susurrus also jumped on board to bring their experience in machine learning and blogging practices.
In three short weeks we build the Opsiz engine allowing users to enter text and media, comment, interact and find each others posts and comments with some nifty data analysis helping people to find the best stuff. Looking at some of the things going on in social and blogging, we all feel we might be on to something here.
We sat down with Jarrett and Loukas to talk a little about Opsiz.
Q: So guys, what was the initial spark that got Opsiz going. What was your vision when it started and how has it evolved after pivoting?
A: When we started with the idea, we just wanted to create a place where different people would be able to express their oppinion on the same subject. We have pivoted many times from then. We came up with new features dropped old ones. The last year or so it has stayed the same, we have a clear vision of what we want it to become. So i guess that is a good thing.
It has evolved. It is simpler, yet more sophisticated. Focus has shifted from the posts to the comments on the posts. The AI that guys have added is amazing. It makes the experience unique for everyone. It is user customized, it is learning through use. We are happy with the version we are working on right now.
Q: What are the Technical Challenges that you have faced throughout the years.
A: We have no technical experties. So we needed to find people to do the technical part. That’s hard to do because you need to find a team that is willing and capable of doing what you want them to. This is our third group of guys. The first one was willing but not able, the second was able but not willing. Third time is a charm i guess. If we had to mention some guys from the team it would be Panos for the back-end development and Klaas for just beeing the glue guy.
Q: What do you think about the pressure cooker?
A: It is a lot of work for a lot of people. It is really effective but don’t expect wonders. These are still humans working, although technical ability of the guys is really solid. A pressure cooker is more demanding of course since you get the work done a lot faster. You also need much more knowledge so you can work under those kind of circumstances. I think Opsiz really needed a push like this pressure cooker we did and is going to need another one to go live.
Q: What set’s Opsiz apart from other blogging platforms?
A: Opsiz has a lot of social interaction. A lot of work has been put into comments. There is a timeline graphic that shows all the comments that have been made on a post. Also there are comments on comments, likes on posts, shares on posts. The text editor looks great. The layout is simple and helps the reader focus on the actual text. And with all the algorythms that are running in the back-end it has a clever way of chosing which blogposts are shown higher to each user in the dashboard. It is a great product in general.