Simi is a swipe-based, realtime Q & A chat app for Android and iOS. It combines the best of Yahoo Answers and Quora while making the overall conversation experience personal. Users submit any questions they may have and they will be instantly matched with an SME (subject matter expert) who may be able to answer the question. In order to pick up the question, anyone interested in becoming an SME must swipe through the swipe deck of questions. They can left swipe on a question if they want to pass and right swipe if they want to answer it and engage in a conversation with the user. Unlike SMS or typical chatting apps, a Simi chat session is realtime and only valid while both users are chatting. After either one departs the chat room, the sessions ends and cannot be re-instantiated. There are several security features in place to reduce chances of bad behavior. The app was written in React Native.


After creating an account, users can submit questions on any subject. Much like Yahoo Answers and Quora, they can be as brief or as detailed as they want. After the users ask the question, it is submitted to a queue, where it is displayed to all users other than the person asking the question.



A Tinder-like swipe deck displays the questions in first-come first-served order. Swiping left permanently removes the question from the user's deck while swiping right immediately connects the user to whoever asked the question. 


With an app like this, it becomes very easy to abuse it. So I've added the ability to end the conversation and report users immediately.

One of the biggest challenges with Simi was that it needed a network effect to be useful for people. I was acting as the SME after I initially launched it. About a hundred people downloaded from the Play Store but not many actually used it. It was hard to convert people because it was attracting users only interested in random chat. In addition, I discovered that there was a critical server bug on one of the released versions. As a result, I ended up removing it from the Play Store completely. 

I still have mixed feelings about this app. Although the idea was good, it was going to be very difficult getitngs users. Its functionality depended on a network effect. I didn't really have experience in that area nor the budget to do any marketing. Nevertheless, I had fun learning React Native while building it.



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