Jerry's musings #1
Why would anybody in the right mind decide to create yet another social media platform? Well, that wasn't the original plan. Scratchbac started simply as a resource sharing platform. It started because I wanted to borrow a drill 😅. You see, early last year, I bought a new shelf but didn't have a drill to assemble it. My first thought was to borrow one from my school workshop. Unfortunately for me, my school is all the way across the country in Changi. 🙄
It was then the thought struck me: there are hundreds of families in my HDB block alone - surely JUST ONE would have a drill I could borrow? This formed the basis of Scratchbac, the simple idea that pockets of resources exist everywhere around us and there needed to be a way for us to share them easily.
To validate this, I grabbed my friends Cheryl and Princeton and together, we created a telegram chatbot that would allow people to make offers and requests to others in their proximity. The results surprised even us - within just 24 weeks, we had 48,000 sign-ups on our humble bot! People were excited about this!
Initially, we intended for Scratchbac to be purely utility-driven, but along the way, we learned so much about hyperlocal interactions and the potential of what it could become. We found the magic of Scratchbac - users discovering all sorts of fascinating, unexpected interactions with real people around them. Whether it was forming interest groups, sharing life stories, supporting home businesses, and so much more.
That's when we realised we had to think bigger - this idea has so much potential. Thus the dream of a new form of social media was born - a Geosocial media (this is the reason for our recent rebranding :D)
Our decision was built upon 3 core ideas:
1. Proximity as a superpower
Picture this; imagine having the ability to talk to the people around you whenever and wherever you are. No "following" or "connection" is needed. It's like we're giving everybody a personal PA system or a loudhailer in their pocket. On Scratchbac, we saw people using this power positively to exchange and share valuable resources. And we aren't just talking about physical assets; it also includes people's time and knowledge. Communication is the cornerstone for sharing resources, and we believe this power to interact needs to be made mainstream.
Yes, we know how math works but what we mean is that there is power in the collective. So, just like the kampongs (villages) of the past, where people supported one another and created a better future collectively, we want to help our users connect hyperlocally by leveraging technology. We know our users, and they aren't just on Scratchbac to transact. They want to know the people behind the resources and build connections. Today, we live in a time where technology connects us to the rest of the world, but we hardly know the people immediately around us in our physical space. That's where Scratchbac comes in - it is our mission to make it easy for people to tell stories, ask questions, learn and share with those around them.
3. Humans are naturally curious
Lastly, I also find it weird that I'm always clueless about the things happening around me, always the last to know. For example, I didn't even know for years that I had a schoolmate living in the same block! We are hyperconnected these days, yet we constantly miss out on the activities and happenings around us. Which kinda sucks. Humans naturally want to be in the know, especially in terms of what's happening around us. FOMO (fear of missing out) is a real thing after all. Our new direction - a geosocial media platform, addresses this issue by allowing users to build a collective situational awareness of what's going on on the ground in any space.
That's why we are building Scratchbac: The Geosocial Media platform. We are excited about our new direction and our image, and we hope you'll join us on our journey to build this geosocial reality.