Per Schmitz talks about DooID, Privacy, and European Trends


socialnerdia_per_dooidBased out of Tenerife, Spain, Per Schmitz is the co-founder of DooID, a very promising digital contact card with privacy protection that is easy to use. If you'd like to easily share your social identities, and do so pretty quickly, check out DooID.

1. How did you get started?

When I accidentelly stumbled upon Tim van Damme's virtual business card (http://timvandamme.com), I was blown away by its simplicity and usefulness. Tim's card displayed all the important information about him in a stylish, easy to understand format. My first reaction was "wow, that's the way I'd like to present myself to the world, too." (that was in January 2009). The more I thought about how my v-card could be like , the more I wanted to build an application around the whole concept, to make it a service accessible to everyone. There were other services like content aggregators already, but the approach is clearly different: virtual business cards are reduced to the max, minimalism is the key. The main purpose is to show a person's contact data - nothing more and nothing less.

2. Who would be interested in using DooID?

The platform might be interesting to everyone who uses a business card, e-mail or social networks - so almost everyone who has got a computer nowadays. This is by far the biggest challenge in developing DooID: the app has to be easy to handle for anyone, even people with very few computer knowledge. Many users are overstrained by the technology that surrounds them.

3. How are you better/different than competitors?


One of our main features is the option to password protect whatever you want. All contact and networking data can be password protected by clicking  a little lock icon. Another important difference is our design concept: DooID offers professional design templates and the possibility to customize colors, backgrounds and appearance, to make your DooID suit your personal needs.

Users can even augment their card with DooID's add-ons and tools: location map, e-mail signature, mobile version, video-bio, status cloud, e-mail form, analytics and more give extra value to your virtual business card. Our IPhone version allows to e-mail your v-card link straight from the mobile phone with one click - a powerful tool for tradeshows and all kind of professional use.

4. What's the European startup landscape like?

A difficult question. As I live and work on the Canary Islands I always felt a little outside the scene. I met interesting people and got in contact with amazing projects, but always via internet. I think many European startups miss the infrastructure there is in the States. Big events and  tradeshows are very important to meet the right people that might help you along the way. If a European startups wants to get in touch with the big players of press and industry, they need to travel to the States. Paying plane tickets and hotels is something many young startups can't afford. That makes things more difficult, for sure.

5. What are some of the main social and mobile trends that people are paying attention to in Europe?

In general, new technologies start being used in Europe later than in America. Twitter is a good example: while it's already mainstream in the US, in Germany or Spain most internet users might have heard about it, but don't really know what to use it for. If we talk about really popular trends, social networks like Facebook, Tuenti (most-trafficked website in Spain) or Xing have made it to the "real world" user. Also mobile internet is getting a major trend, be it via smartphones or using netbooks. Location-based networking is still exotic and time will tell whether it will be a popular trend or not.

socialnerdia_dooid_per6. It seems like people are more prone to share their private information in public online settings these days. Do you think the word "privacy" is starting to mean different things to different people, and how does this affect how they view DooID?

I think social media is changing the way many people see their privacy. They convert to public persons and care less about sharing private details with unknown individuals. Maybe it's the way services like Facebook influence our culture and social behaviour. There's two groups of people (talking about social media users): the ones aware of those changes and the ones not. On a personal level I think it's very important to be part of the first group and adopt your bahaviour to our new social environment.

Talking about DooID, privacy is a very important point. Users can password protect whatever they want. I'm surprised by the ammount of positive feedback we get on this feature.

7. Where did the name DooID come from?

The name is kind of a mixture of "good-sounding" nonsense (the doo) and our main keyword (id for identity).

socialnerdia_per28. What's the vision?

Exchanging contact information is a daily habit in our profesional and personal lifes, being a help in this process is our main vision. A virtual business card should be seen as a smart extension of traditional ways of exchanging contact data. Does the virtual business card pretend to kill the paper one? Surely not. As long as there's wallets, there will be paper business cards doing a good job. Ideally you would combine both, displaying your v-card address on the paper-card. People now can always access your up-to-date contact data, even though mobile number and adress on the business card you gave them changed two years ago.

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