A Chat with Quidd Co-Founder Erich Wood
Aaron (Viney78) from Procrastinating.com and The Digital X Trader Podcast had the opportunity to chat with Erich Wood (EW), Co-Founder of Quidd on Tuesday July 26th.
Erich Wood’s candor about wanting to keep Quidd as interactive and smooth as possible was amazing. It was exciting to hear about the apps future vision as well as some exciting things not too far off in the horizon. How many new channels will there be? When will the Android App be coming? More things in 3D!? Read all about it below.
EW: Anything in particular you’d like to ask? Or feedback?
EW: Since I’m the product guy, I’m mostly interested in the features of the app. But I know about content and operations too
Viney78: Well first thanks for listening to the podcast
EW: Sure thing. It’s great user research 🙂
Viney78: At the moment I am very excited about the content
Viney78: The features of the app I like
Viney78: I am curious to see how quidd handles favorite channels as more channels get added on
Viney78: In regards to listening to the podcast
EW: I think ultimately people will have to pick what channels they like and what they want to collect.
EW: There will be those (like Tribble) who will want everything no matter what it is.
EW: But I figure most people will pick a handful to follow. And of course, scouting out the other channels for free trade fodder.
EW: Which I know you’ve gotten good at
Viney78: Yeah lol I keep working on that
Viney78: I think searching for cards and knowing their card count is still a little cumbersome
Viney78: And there was one time where I had a glitch and i accepted a trade that I didn’t mean to accept and luckily the person was nice enough to rescind the trade
Viney78: But you guys fixed that with the confirm trade button that was added
Viney78: So that was really nice
EW: I think there was also a concurrency issue on the back end that let it slip through under certain circumstances. But also fixed.
EW: We’re still working through good ways to explore collections. We kinda hacked in the search/sort/filter a few weeks ago just to get it out there
EW: It’s an extra layer of complexity with print counts
Viney78: Yeah so I go back to the set listing and just see how many cards are left and depending on what is left I figure it out or I go back to my card and look at it
Viney78: But i don’t think it’s listed on the trade screen
EW: It isn’t. It’s a lot of numbers so we picked the print number to show and how many you own.
EW: But that is probably an area we will work on revising design-wise. At least offer a toggle to get more details on each.
Viney78: Yeah that would be nice
Viney78: At least I would like it cause I do use card counts for trading
EW: Going forward we will need to balance between expert traders who want as much info as possible, and casual/new users who are just getting introduced to the concept
EW: You see a lot of them with FNAF and Bob’s right now
Viney78: FNaF I’m surprised at how popular but after doing some digging not so surprised
EW: I had no idea what it was before we made them.
Viney78: You guys have picked up an interesting mix
Viney78: Very interesting pick up
Viney78: Comic coming out
Viney78: I felt something had to be on the horizon for a digital card tie in
Viney78: Maybe I’m over analyzing but just seamed it would be the case
EW: There are more curious ones coming 🙂
Viney78: Lol I’m sure
Viney78: How many channels do you guys envision
EW: Ultimately? Tons.
EW: There are multiple channels in the pipeline now.
Viney78: Wow how am I going to keep track?
Viney78: I’m going to have to do a daily podcast
EW: Lol. Yea, if you wanted to cover all the content it will be tough
EW: But we’ve only been live for less than 3 months. Feels like a lot longer.
Viney78: It does and it’s been good
Viney78: I have some people who feel digital cards won’t last what do you anticipate for its longevity?
EW: I disagree. But I also don’t see our business plan as just doing digital cards.
EW: Besides other things like the stickers and 3D stuff, we want to build a more social experience.
EW: For me, it’s all about building a foundation and reacting to new ideas and developments. Have to keep moving forward in tech.
EW: Other expert users I’ve talked with say “More content!” As in, more Star Trek sets.
Viney78: Well definitely
Viney78: I want more Star Trek
Viney78: I also try and be patient
Viney78: Wait for some special packs to come out to maximize my coins
Viney78: I’m hoping the digital cards stay strong cause mark and I sorta just hopped into this situation with what seems like has an exponential upward trajectory
Viney78: So many new digital cards coming and expected to come
Viney78: There will be another fox entity correct lol
EW: Yes. That much I can confirm.
EW: Believe it or not, my first digital trading card product was created in 1997!
EW: On card-shaped CD-ROMs
EW: And in 2000, we released Star Trek digital cards
EW: Way ahead of its time. Did not succeed
Viney78: I remember a Patrick Roy cd rom card around that time
EW: It was called Digibles and CyberAction at different times.
Viney78: Any NHL stuff done?
EW: Can’t say. But I can say that sports isn’t our top priority. As if entertainment licensing wasn’t hard enough lol
EW: Content-wise, I think 2 sets per week of ST would be okay. funny enough, one FNAF user said “When is the new stuff coming out?” And then “Stop releasing things so fast.” Two tweets within a minute
EW: Building this experience is actually very very complex. It might look simple, but there are multiple layers of things: tech, creating content, selling the content, licensing.
Viney78: 2 sets a week is good
EW: If it ends up looking simple, then we’ve done something right.
Viney78: I can only imagine what goes into it
Viney78: Behind the scenes you probably have lots of people working on one set
Viney78: Which reminds me. I don’t want to forget this one. .Love the ranking system
Viney78: Are we going to get award cards ?
EW: Great. I was a little worried people would not want to be shown on the list!
Viney78: I like it
EW: We have a whole rewards thing in the pipeline. Not exactly ‘reward cards’ but it will be very cool.
Viney78: I can’t wait for that
Viney78: Unfortunately I don’t know how often I’ll be in the top finishers cause
Viney78: I usually do a lot of things on the fly and have to wait for my days off to try and finish and trade for sets
EW: Well, I have another ranking you might like
EW: Behind the scenes, there is a ton of math
EW: Part of that is valuation algorithms that assign a value to each print based on rarity, print number, and product type
EW: So, I’d like to add a ranking by value, as in who finished the set with the most valuable prints.
EW: That way you could trade your way up the leaderboard.
Viney78: That’s interesting
Viney78: Most valuable prints meaning #1 print
Viney78: As opposed to 999/1000
EW: Obviously a somewhat arbitrary, but could be fun.
EW: I remember once one of you mentioned “they have someone working out the math”
Viney78: That’s right
EW: That’s me. The producers don’t always use it 🙂 But it’s worked out
Viney78: Lmao I’m sure you were snickering away
Viney78: Yes and so that leads me to my next question 1% odds = 1 in 100 packs on average correct?
EW: Well, kinda 🙂 Probabilistically speaking, we can only say that you have a 1% chance of getting that card in that pack. So if you bought 10,000 packs, you would probably get around 100 of them
EW: I try to be careful because people think they buy 30 packs and they should have gotten a card.
EW: But the truth is every pack you buy is independent.
Viney78: Yes so many people automatically assume they should get a card
EW: Personally, I would like to see more sets that are easier to complete.
EW: To me, right now in the app, it’s more important to get people used to completing sets. Then come out with the super rare hard stuff. I think they are going to mix it up a bit.
Viney78: I think that’s fair
Viney78: I also think some of the most exciting parts that I’ve experienced with topps is the deadline aspect
Viney78: Or bringing in old cards in new ways
Viney78: Because it elevates the values of cards
Viney78: So let’s say you took live now
Viney78: Or galactic visionaries 1 and made GV2
Viney78: And then had an award card for those that complete both sets
Viney78: That would be exciting
Viney78: It recycles the cards that are sometimes forgotten
EW: interesting. The deadline thing would be tough because everything has a fixed print count.
EW: Though we could take it off sale, at some point it will go back on sale.
EW: Or, I guess we could “destroy” the remainder 🙂
Viney78: You could make a set that doesn’t have a fixed number of cards
Viney78: But just the rarest 1%
EW: Linking sets for awards would be interesting. I’m a little iffy on adding another kind of object as an award. But we could come up with something.
EW: We actually cannot make a set without a fixed number of cards. We are pretty strict technically about enforcing editions
Viney78: I really think that brings excitement
Viney78: Interesting so with strict editions
Viney78: I guess will require more brain storming
EW: The system is pretty interesting. Locked in some core paradigms, but flexible enough to do a lot
Viney78: And I definitely feel overloading with deadlines is not good but to have one once in a while I think could be fun
EW: I know there is a bit of controversy about the editions too. I know people worry that they won’t be as rare, but that system allows flexibility too.
Viney78: The alternative is top 100 finishers get an award card
EW: We can always make “final edition”
EW: RE: Top 100, that’s something we’ve thought about. Of course, have to handle the fraud, which is typically the thing that ruins it for all.
Viney78: I can understand that
Viney78: Slippery slope with these things
EW: Bad actors make us work a lot more than I’d like!
Viney78: What you guys get a lot of emails or phone calls about these things?
Viney78: People complaining ?
EW: Not a ton, but the normal stuff.
EW: Like app crashed after opening a pack and they don’t know what they got.
EW: Or complaining about jerks
Viney78: I would always assume the software knows and stuck it in my collection
EW: If it took the coins, you got the cards. You just can’t see them. I want to add a history section in the app so you can go back and look at the packs.
EW: That you bought.
Viney78: And see the cards that was included in the packs?
Viney78: Oh that is something I wish I had but must be such a huge database to do it
Viney78: I wish I could type in a card that I have and see what I traded for it
EW: Each print has its whole history, so it’s possible.
EW: You could actually see every previous owner.
Viney78: That I like but what about I have live now
Viney78: What cards did I trade to get it
Viney78: And I see I traded a foxy raar and spring trap glow
EW: have that history too.
Viney78: I would love that history
EW: I actually think some of this would be better in a web site! So much data in an app…
Viney78: And actually I wish I had enough money to pay you for the data
Viney78: Because you have the quidd card value price guide right there
EW: Hah. Yea. I still want to test the value algorithms a bit more before letting it out (if ever). But the other way to determine value is via the market. That is *way* harder to determine.
EW: Going to need more investors for that one!
Viney78: I’ll invest with whatever I have in my piggy bank
EW: Lol. Every bit counts.
EW: Obviously we’re still small and starting up so still have to make tough choices.
Viney78: Of course i kinda can understand that
Viney78: I have my day job but I have my procrastinating.com website
EW: Great domain name
Viney78: Thanks I like it and I have had it since college
Viney78: Always wanted to do something with it
Viney78: I finally said i have to do it
Viney78: So I have to pick and choose what I spend my money on
Viney78: Very low budget lmao
EW: Ha. It’s all relative.
EW: I thought the first question you would ask me is when the Android version is coming out
Viney78: I wanted to save the pressure questions
Viney78: So when is it coming out ?
EW: No comment.
EW: I know that “soon” has been the answer, but it’s really a matter of what you think soon is 🙂
Viney78: Soon to me is next year
EW: We are working on it, but most of our resources are going to channel management
EW: Oh, no, we want it out this year for sure
Viney78: Procrastinating is ok
Viney78: So that’s good this year isn’t too bad
Viney78: I’m on iOS so I’m happy
EW: I think half tweets at me are asking about android lol
Viney78: I would’ve been sad if I only had android
Viney78: So I can understand that
Viney78: Star Trek I would feel like I’m left out of the party
Viney78: Would need to consider getting an iPad
EW: Actually, our iPad experience is pretty bad too 🙁
EW: Working on that too, but slow-going
EW: We kinda raised the bar on interactions in the iOS version. I really like opening packs.
EW: We’re using 3D animations layered with regular iOS views to get the effects. Not totally straightforward on Android
EW: And swiping through the stack in a pack 😉
Viney78: One of my favorite things to do with quidd
Viney78: Maybe I’ll mention this on a podcast
Viney78: Is to swipe the card around my screen
Viney78: Like pretend to swipe it away but then bring it back without swiping it away
Viney78: Sticks to the finger nice
EW: Cool. Yea, people don’t really mention it. I think that typically if the app blends away and you just notice the content, then I’ve done a good job.
Viney78: I am very happy with the app
Viney78: So what are some things to look forward to any new features you are excited about ?
EW: We should have a new build ready for Apple by the end of next week. But the features we focused on are for new users and for finding/inviting your friends.
EW: Also Facebook integration.
EW: It’s important that we get people inviting others to grow the community.
Viney78: That’s cool well I keep telling everyone how good quidd is
EW: And they’re like “only iOS?” …
Viney78: Well you know it’s like taste great less filling
EW: I’m interested in things that you find difficult or slow in the app. Whenever you think of it, let me know. Sometimes it’s really simple to add something we didn’t even consider or put on the back burner.
EW: Like print counts of cards you don’t own. We finally added it on the bottom.
Viney78: Sure no prob
Viney78: I can tell you with problems
Viney78: Sometimes quidd shuts down in my iPhone
Viney78: With the texting
EW: Is it after long chats like this one?
EW: Or just when going into the chat?
Viney78: For some prior ones it was short conversations
Viney78: I’ll have to note exactly when it happens
EW: I’ve seen some crashes in messages in our logs, just haven’t been able to pinpoint the cause yet
Viney78: I think for the most part I like the experience and the app runs smoothly
EW: Great to hear
Viney78: When I come to the app it’s to have fun
Viney78: I’m not looking to nitpick or get angry over anything
Viney78: Just want to use my coins try and get some nice cards try and trade
EW: That’s me too. I’m a user. I often find out about releases the same time as you lol
EW: When people have issues with anything in the app, I will either agree and give an excuse as to why it’s not better yet, or I will give a good reason why it is that way.
EW: So I’m all ears with even little criticisms.
Viney78: That’s a good thing unfortunately criticisms do lead to improvements
Viney78: So they do need to be heard
Viney78: Hopefully all constructive criticisms though
EW: Yea, I’m pretty easy going so can take it all
EW: Are you not having a podcast this week since Mark is on a cruise?
Viney78: We have one prepared
Viney78: But I’m thinking of pretending to be an 80s computer and just reread this conversation instead lol
EW: Not going to keep you all night, but wanted to see what you thought about the 3D object feature.
Viney78: The 3D FNaF ?
EW: I know it’s just in FNAF right now, but do you think it is cool content for ST
Viney78: I think you have something that could be outstanding
Viney78: For Star Trek
Viney78: I could only imagine all of picards ships being In a set the models that hang up on his wall
Viney78: And them being in 3D
EW: I agree. Would love to see 3D ships.
Viney78: So I like how they spin
Viney78: That’s cool
Viney78: The box opening is cool
Viney78: Can also have 3D borg heads
EW: Borg ship. Cube. (And there’s a sphere one). So easy!
Viney78: With all the different mechanic implants
Viney78: I think I found out what shuts down
Viney78: During text
Viney78: When the two users send a text simultaneously at the same time
EW: Interesting. I guess I’m not that popular
EW: We’ll test
Viney78: Because it just happened now when we both sent a text at close to the same moment
Viney78: Borg cube and sphere would be super nice
Viney78: I think it’s going pretty good
Viney78: I like the new trek sets
Viney78: The spores was a little tough for me
EW: You guys didn’t like that one. I actually really did like it.
Viney78: But I know that great things will be coming
EW: As I told a friend who is a big user, not every set can be a home run.
Viney78: For me the set has to hit a certain chord
Viney78: So like the drink set
Viney78: Tea earl grey hot
EW: Ha. Yea, liked that one.
Viney78: Picard wine
Viney78: Damar you will see 5 lights
Viney78: Homage to some great trek episodes and highlights
Viney78: But through a unique way
EW: Yea. The main idea-creator on ST is a huge Trekie (of course)
Viney78: Ha that’s good
EW: His message alert is a communicator sound from TOS
Viney78: And galactic visionaries still my favorite set
Viney78: Nice lol
Viney78: And anything else earth shattering you want to share ?
EW: Can’t think of anything right now
Viney78: If you ever want me to ask around about the app let me know
Viney78: Have a bunch of people that we chat with
Viney78: As you know with red
EW: You can just pass along any feedback, good or bad.
Viney78: Alright cool
Viney78: Actually that’s another thing that can be better
Viney78: Getting access to the mymojis
Viney78: Sometimes I don’t quite see how to get to them
Viney78: Takes a couple of tries
EW: You mean the quidd keyboard itself or finding the right sticker?
Viney78: Quidd keyboard itself
Viney78: On the iPhone
Viney78: Sorta have to hit the world button than click off the world button and then the mymojis show up
Viney78: As opposed to having a button to choose the mymojis right off the bat
EW: Yea. iOS 10 will help. And we may ultimately make a different one just usable in the app
Viney78: Nice like it
EW: Had no idea they would be so popular.
Viney78: The mymojis I think are great
Viney78: Excellent feature that my kids will love to use when they are a little older
EW: Cool. It’s cool Funko content
EW: Alright, let’s call this the end. I’ll dig up the text.
Viney78: Speak to you soon
Viney78: Look forward to next time
Erich Wood also wanted to express that if anyone has any tech questions that they can reach out to @quidddev on twitter!