Western civilization has just taken a giant leap forward.
Two crazy young men I know, Remmelt van Tol and Shin Liang, have come up with an iOS app for sending selfies back and forth with friends. Tim Draper, a founder of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, has invested $100,000 in the app, which is named Timit.
Here’s how Timit works.
Make a selfie to show your friends. Maybe annotate it in a one-line message, like on Snapchat.
Set a time limit to determine how long your friends will have before they lose access to your selfie.
Choose which friends will be able to see your selfie.
When your friends open it, their phone cameras will record their reaction to your selfie. Then they can send their reaction back to you, along with an optional little line of text.
Repeat, for as long as you can take it.
“It’s, like, super-fast, bam, bam, bam, sending messages, bringing each other in each others’ moment,” van Tol explained to me in an interview.
He and Liang inexplicably have a mascot, a big Honey Badger, that does crazy things, like drop Liang’s iPhone in a bowl of cereal and throw the phone in a pool.
The guys have made funny videos. Watch them.
They like to say that the Honey Badger doesn’t give a shit. In other words, the Honey Badger doesn’t give a shit about what you’re doing when you receive a selfie from someone — you have to open it and send your reaction back, because there’s a time limit. It’s as simple as that.
And they don’t give a shit, either. Today they are crashing the 500 Startups demo day and giving out condoms that advertise their app. (Updated at 1:36 p.m. Pacific: They got kicked out.)
These guys aren’t superstars. Liang used to build routers at a company called Maipu in China. And van Tol had his own multimedia marketing agency in the Netherlands. Now the two are working on the new startup, Honey Badgers Inc., with a few friends contributing part-time. They’ve learned a lot in the Draper University program in San Mateo, Calif. And Draper loves the app.
On the day he finished negotiating with Liang and van Tol for their funding, Draper had a big pimple in the middle of his forehead. “It’s gone now, luckily,” van Tol told me. “He goes like this — ‘Wait a second, I think you might be a unicorn. Let me take a picture for later, because I’m going to invest in you guys. Not my whole face, only with my forehead.'”
Will Timit be the next Snapchat? I don’t know. But what I do know is that using a selfie as a reaction to someone’s message is actually kinda fun.