Nov. 16, 2015
Instead of drawing pictures on a phone screen in Words with Friends, creative writers and readers will be able to download a new app that will allow users to create a story and interact with other writers.
Narrativ, a new app co-founded by students Connor McCormick and Dan Lemmond, started out of Startup Weekend. The two-day event allows participants to create their own business idea and present it to real investors.
“It’s crowd-sourcing creativity through collaborative storytelling,” McCormick said.
McCormick explained that one person starts a story with their post, then a second person can add on to their story and a third writer can either continue the story or branch off the first writer. At any point in the story a user is reading, they can swipe to the right and change the direction of the story.
“You’re going to get a big web of content and the best content, the best story, is voted up to the top,” he said.
The application will be free to download and available on all mobile devices. It will have an editor’s function where users can make contributions after exporting to Google Docs.
McCormick said they could take these storylines and sell them through the app, Kindle Books or maybe do a partnership with Shutterfly.
“What’s cool about that is if you are a user of the app you can legitimately say that you are a published author,” he said.
Although they had hoped to be finished with the app in three weeks, McCormick said he has limited experience with programming and the time took longer than he originally pictured.
“We have to publish to three different platforms: mobile, IOS and Android, so all those require different programming,” McCormick said.
He added that they also had to fire half of their team right after Startup Weekend. The team working on the application believes in quantity over quality.
“We believe quantity equals quality. So the number of contributions means the number of how many people created a story or who have added to a story is what it makes it most valuable,” McCormick said.
Additionally, he said they will be targeting fans and fantasy story authors.
“We are also going to be speaking to Comic-Con here in the Springs. We met the lady who runs it so she will have us speaking at three or four of their events this year asking people if they are interested in it,” he said.
McCormick believes the app will have a functioning prototype in three weeks. Students that are interested in using the app can go to narrativapp.com and submit their contact information. When the app is available, they will be notified.
Those who also want to make suggestions can email McCormick at firstname.lastname@example.org.