Working in the startup industry, there’s one thing that I’ve realised — the copy and paste model is very evident. I wouldn’t say it is wrong to do so, but what happened to actually ‘wanting’ to make an impact with a product? What happened to giving a product a unique personality of its own?

There have been multiple times when the copy-paste model has been called out. And then there have been times when the ‘meaning’ behind a product has been questioned. While there are some questions that you could let slide, there are those that actually make you think.

Before starting to work on Geenees, me and my husband wanted to build something that would actually change the way people interacted today — with all due respect, social isn’t the only way to build relationships. I come from a background where I need to manage people and large teams, in order to form bonds that will keep them motivated to give their 100%.

So alongside our full time jobs, we started to think about wanting to build a product whose first users, would be us. The ‘need’ was to be felt, lived and then solved, there is no such thing as building a product because someone else has done it too!

“There is no such thing as building a product because someone else has done it too!”

Why did we build Geenees?

I admit, there are a number of apps that allow smartphone users to create their wishlists — for that matter, most online stores have the functionality too! But what we wanted to address was a question that has been lingering on for years around any kind of celebration — be it birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers or more.

Any guesses?

Let me tell you — “What do you want as a gift?”

You got to admit that before every birthday, you end up being questioned about what you want. Your family members, friends and even best friends, choose to now ask you ‘what you want’ instead of surprising you with something that you probably already have or just don’t like.

And when you don’t have an answer or feel too awkward to reply to this, you get a gift card to go buy yourself anything you like!

To be honest, I love the practical approach to gifting.

During my second born’s baby shower, we were excited about hosting the party with our near and dear ones. While we were focusing on how we need to change a few things in the house to welcome our new baby and juggling the tasks with planning the baby shower with our family, I had to dodge a whole lot of questions around.

Them: “What do you want for the baby?”

Me: Umm…anything is good / You really don’t have to bring something, just be there!

Believe it or not, I repeated the same dialogues endlessly till the day of the baby shower. Since these were all friends and family members, some with their own kids as well, I actually assumed that it’s fairly simple for them to buy me a gift (if they really have to). Asking for something specific, is just too awkward for me!

This resulted in a few things that we still laugh over today:

  • Plenty of gift cards from the same or similar baby brands
  • Four baby hand and feet moulding kits
  • 5 baby hats (0–3 years)
  • 12 baby tops (0–3 years; I had 10 already!)
  • And the list goes on…

I’m not going to be mean. Everyone did their best to get us things that will help us with the baby — much appreciated. But what am I supposed to do with all those multiple kits and bathing tops? Or when do I find myself the time to go into a store and use those gift cards?

That’s when the ‘need’ kicked in.

The need for Geenees

So the need was basically around for a while, but we never felt it so strongly. We knew it was difficult to tell people what ‘exactly’ we wanted as a gift and there was no way to ask them to not give a gift card or buy us something they think we need — after all, they’re doing it to make us happy.

Geenees was born out of the need to bring relationships to life with the perfect gifting experience.

We wanted bring people closer while creating a social, fun and easy gifting experience. All awkwardness, removed to make space for the best memories ever!

How are we different?

Both me and my husband have worked with reputed companies and startups. We have been a part of some of the most exciting ventures and continue to be in the field to garner hands on experience. But like I mentioned before, the one thing we learnt from our experience was to never be the ‘same’.

It’s all about the difference you can define and the difference you can make!

So before we actually sat down to chalk out a road map and build Geenees, we took approach of reverse engineering.

We looked at what we needed, if the need resonated with others, what options were available to our ideal users, what was still lacking, what was a hit and why. Our focus lied in answering the whats, hows and the whys, and then defining how we’re going to be different.

Simply put, our value proposition had to be rock solid before we nudged ourselves into managing two beautiful babies, our full time jobs, families and building a product — from SCRATCH.

Yes, we endlessly worked on thinking what the user needs and just how could we offer it to them in a simple manner!

So we decided that while we wanted to make perfect gifting really simple using wishlists, we wanted to keep the ‘surprise’ element of gifting to it all.

“Gifting isn’t just about buying something they need. It’s about how well you can surprise them and create a moment forever!”

After months and months of going back to the whiteboard, spending hours thinking how we could make wishlists turn into ‘wishes coming true’, we finally rolled out our iOS app last month. 🙂

What can Geenees do?

Geenees is a smart wishlisting app that lets you find and save products you love from Amazon (as of our first version) into wish lists.

But hey, these aren’t regular wish lists.

The app enables users to create events like birthdays, anniversary, house warming party and just about any celebration that you can think about. Within these events, you can actually create your wish lists — save products that you love to be gifted or wish for on each of these events.

Here’s a peak at the app, that you can download here

How does this help?

Your friends know what to gift you and ‘when’ — without you having to answer what you’d like to be gifted.

Your Geenees — friends and family, can view your wishlists, choose the product they’d like to gift you from it, add it to their cart, be redirected to Amazon to complete the purchase and voila, the perfect gift is bought. 😀

You must be thinking how is that even a ‘surprise’ to the person receiving the gift?

Well, here’s our secret.

Once a Geenee purchases a product from your wish list, he can come back to the app and check that item off your list. You will be notified that someone is going to make your wishes come true, but we won’t disclose ‘who’.

Yes, right till the day, you’re not going to know who is going to show up at your door with a wish in hand!

How does this change gifting?

I am fond of making notes, so I’m going to give you quick pointers here on what our friends and family using the app now, think it has helped them with:

  • Not having to answer awkward gifting questions
  • Absolutely no repetitive gifts
  • No gifts that have no meaning or use
  • No gift cards that add to the drawer’s clutter

And most importantly, the feedback we wanted to hear..

“Perfect gifting never felt so easy! For the first time I felt I could give someone something better than a gift card.”

“Him walking up to the door with exactly what I have been wishing for, was just like having wished on a shooting star before my birthday!”

That’s all we needed to know that we’ve built an app that isn’t just ‘made’, but is ‘needed’ and ‘enjoyed’ by the users.

There is a long, long way to go for Geenees to become everyone’s favourite wishlisting app. But we’re going to make sure we’re working day in and out to make it happen! And here’s where we need you. 🙂

You can download our app on iOS right here.

BTW, our Android app is coming soon and you can simply subscribe to be notified of it at the end of this post.

I look forward to making your gifting experience better with Geenees, and feedback that will help us make the app better for you. 🙂

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