It’s essential to start any new blog with a ‘Hello World’ post, because a) we’re programmers and thus required by law to do so, and b) it gives us a chance to share some of the reasons why we wanted to start this blog in the first place. Operand is a very human-centric business, sure we’re building some cool technology behind the scenes, but first and foremost our focus is on creating delightful experiences for our users. This means dissecting, understanding and perfecting every interaction, no matter how small, trivial or insignificant. One of the main reasons that we’re so excited to start this blog, aside from the free marketing, is that it gives us a chance to share all the fascinating stories and thought processes that go into each and every feature of the assistant.
For some background, Operand is a proactive, next-generation personal assistant meant to save you time and energy by automating away a lot of the mundane tasks you encounter throughout your day. Not a great one-line pitch, we know, we’re working on it! More realistically, Operand is a chatbot that you can use via iMessage, Email or Twitter, and can currently do stuff on your behalf such as scheduling meetings, setting reminders, checking the weather, or giving you a fun, light-hearted message to start your day.
The initial version (denoted internally as “Phase 1”) is primarily focused on laying a hardcore smackdown to traditional virtual (and possibly human) assistants, with primarily request-response type features. Generally speaking, users are pretty disappointed when they find out they can’t use Operand to do trivial stuff that other assistants can do, so that’s first up on our list to fix before moving onto the more fun stuff (luckily, existing assistants have done a great job of lowering people’s expectations, making our job a little easier).
Next comes the wave of proactive, data-centric features (denoted internally, unsurprisingly, as “Phase 2”), and this is where the real fun begins. Once you have a great baseline assistant, the next step is to start improving its reach, which generally works on two axis: a) giving the assistant new “bridges” (interfaces) by which to interact w/ the world, and b) allowing the assistant to learn more about the user (real-time data ingestion and processing). The latter gives the assistant the ability to take proactive action on the users behalf. If you give your assistant access to the input data streams (messages, emails, social media, etc.) that you yourself consume on a daily basis, it can then process the information and take action just like (or better than) a human could depending on the situation. There’s no limit to what a person can do when they have an in-sync companion proactively working on their behalf 24/7 capable of trillions of operations per second and petabytes of data storage.
We haven’t yet begun planning for “Phase 3”, but rest assured it will be insane. Also, planning this far advance for something like this is most definitely a waste of time. We will write a follow-up blog post (in probably 2-3 years time) with some more information about it.
Due to the nature of the problem, it won’t be solved overnight. Rather, we’re expecting this to take between 5-10 years to even begin to get the assistant where we’d like it to be feature-wise. We’re not in it for the money, we’re not looking for a quick exit, and we sure as hell don’t care about raising a bunch of money just to get featured on Forbes’ 30 under 30. We’re here because of a shared love for virtual assistants, science-fiction, and just the idea of creating experiences that our users love.
No matter how long it takes, it’s important for us to build this business sustainability and profitably. To note, we started this in early January of 2021, and we’ve been profitable from Day 1. We’re really proud of this, it’s not something that a lot of companies can say (especially these days). Most importantly, early profitability means that we don’t have to rely on huge VC funding rounds, and rather we can focus on just building a great product for the next 5-10 years, and seeing where that takes us.
We’re extremely thankful to our early set of users who have been by our side since Day 1. I think every company says that their users are the best, and it’s no exception at Operand. Our beta users are some of the most thoughtful and curious people we’ve ever met, and from a founders perspective, we couldn’t have gotten a better group of people to test (and break) our new features, and inform the products direction as it evolves.
If you want to keep up to date with our progress, please consider subscribing to our email newsletter to get informed whenever we post something new on our blog. For more real-time status updates, our Twitter
is probably a good bet. As always, feel free to email us at [email protected]
, we respond to every email and are always happy to answer any questions or provide clarification on something.
Hold on tight, you’re in for a hell of a ride.
Morgan & Xander