The MEST journey is a rather intense one. In MEST growth is inevitable — on the personal, professional and any other level. I don’t think I have ever changed as drastically as I have within this one year experience.
Capstones at MEST are projects during which participants come up with solutions to existing problems in the form of a good mix of technology and business. It is an exercise to train our software entrepreneurial minds. One of those capstones led to the birth of an idea for that solved a problem I experienced first hand.
While Philip and I were in the process of building Chanl, we got to a point at which we had to incorporate a system to collect feedback from users remotely. I searched, but the solutions I found were lacking in one way or another. So we built our own solution and called it ‘Autofeedback’. Philip would build the Meteor backend/dashboard and I would build the Android library. It was basic, and it solved our problem. Later on, Nyawira, Edmond and I picked it up for our very first capstone at MEST — to find out if we could build a business around it. Nyawira would spearhead our new found cause as the business lead while Edmond and I would see how we could improve the product. We called this new venture Ambre.
Ambre was a feedback aggregation engine that gathered feedback from all platforms on which a product was mentioned. From social media, email and in-app widgets, Ambre would collect out all your feedback for you.
We added a few more features to it such as the ability for mobile app users to shake their phones so as to capture the screen, draw on the part with an error/bug and attach a message to send to the developers. Ambre also carried out sentiment analysis on the feedback aggregated and indicates the level of positivity/negativity that your app users held towards your product. Finally, you could gather feedback in the form of reviews and ratings on the application stores like Google PlayStore and possibly others.
Even though we couldn’t add all the features we intended to, it was wholly successful. In our newfound pursuit, we discovered startups and other businesses that were thriving at solving this problem like Doorbelland Instabug. In order to keep Ambre alive, we would have had to dedicate a whole lot more resources to it — resources that we simply didn’t have at that time.
So we packed up Ambre. We still used it in Chanl though. Fast forward a few months to today and Ambre is still packed in a private repository but, as Nyawira would say, she’s wonderful. For that simple reason, I am open sourcing Ambre. Anybody who is interested should look at it and if they can improve it for the world, just submit a pull request. Click hereto view Ambre on Github.
In the meantime, get Chanl and begin experiencing tangle-free group chats.
Available for download here: http:j.mp/chanl