"Memory is pretty visual to me, and photography is kind of a way to freeze in time the memories you may have of something," explained Edward Kim, co-founder of Picwing as he took me on a photo-shoot through his neighborhood near Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco. "You can always look back at old photos and relive those moments from the past, like going to Disneyland with your family when you were young."
Enrique Rodriguez, co-founder of Picwing explained that there's something special about receiving a real physical print as a opposed to a digital email version of a photo. People take time to select the right photo they want to print for that exact reason.
Picwing is an online service that enables its subscribed users to send "their loved ones," print photos, basically with the click of an email. The user simply emails a photo to their Picwing account, and depending on whatever plan they've signed up for, that photo gets mailed out to their selected recipients. The company launched last year after going through Y-Combinator's three month incubator program, where the two co-founders spent countless hours coding and developing their product.
It's interesting to see a company like this, which has figured out a way to combine emerging technologies with those core physical human needs. In this case, digital photography. I mean, if you really think about it, how many of our elderly relatives actually make use of the modern world of communications for photo sharing? I know at least in my family, my grandma has never had an email address or digital camera. The 90 year old woman anxiously awaits family members to mail her post cards or send her photos from afar.
Although Picwing competes with some giants like Kodak, Shutterfly and Snapfish, the startup says they are a better alternative because of their product's ease of use. The co-founders believe their product, Picwing, is innovating and making the process of printing photos more fun by enabling its users a simple process to get their photos printed, while the other "800 pound gorillas" continue to compete over prices.
Today, Picwing's userbase is growing and the company is seeing success. Picwing is not in need of any funding and is getting ready to launch an Android application at the end of the month, with an iPhone application shortly after.
Check out this segment of Startup Sessions for some insights on print photo sharing from the founders of Picwing themselves.