I'll add to that a good article spaced repetition: http://www.gwern.net/Spaced%20repetition
As an example, I watched the Anki intro video http://youtu.be/c0dI2VyLDWw and I found myself wanting to try my hand at state capitals immediately, but not enough to download and install the software.
Building a quick web playground that lets the user try quick quizzes may capture people and hook them in -- at least it would for me.
I don't like the waiting for ten seconds for a new flashcard at all. Why am I staring at your screen for ten seconds? or a minute! I'm just going to leave and not return.
I personally have no interest in SMS, but others may. What I care about is push notifications and mobile software. (I paid the $$$ for anki, but it doesn't have a way to remind me to go through my cards daily.
Honestly, I think for this kind of startup, you'd be well served to read more of the research of learning, because what I see doesn't match up with what I've personally learned on my journey.
You're right, the one card at the beginning is confusing; I plan on showing more at the onset to counter that.
I was hoping users would click the "show more cards" button when they got to the waiting screen, not actually wait 10 seconds. I should probably add some help text to encourage clicking this button.
The reason I'm experimenting with multiple choice over just asking "Did you get it right or wrong" is to make for a more casual learning experience. After a few days a card turns into typed answer so the user can prove to themselves that they still know it. I am considering adding a traditional flip and self score mode to accommodate users who want that.
My plan is to make a native app with Notifications; the SMS thing is just a temporary way to get the deck onto the phone since there's no login system yet.
If you have time, I'd love to pick your brain as to how you learn. If you do, shoot me an email: email@example.com . Thanks again!
Anki's biggest goal seems to aim for cross-platform in use (even stretched to the NDS at one point).
I think you have to consider that most people are using tools like Anki to memorize larger sets of data rather than the names of a few people or a nice quote. Tools like push notifications and text messages are just not an efficient way to digest that much information. I wouldn't mind getting a quote pushed out to me a few times in a day, but compound that by 100 or more items to memorize and suddenly your phone is blowing up every 3 seconds. No bueno.
If I were in your shoes, I would do away with the push, email and SMS notifications altogether. I like the idea of clipping items from around the web, because that actually solves one of the biggest pains of using Anki, which is organizing and typing all your items into the program (assuming there isn't already a stack available). You could even allow users to "clip" to a specific notebook to better organize their items.
Instead of sending notifications, I'd create a spaced-repetition mobile app and/or web app that allowed users to access their clipped items. That way, users can access your tool at their own discretion, but still get the benefit of having a tool to gather their information.
Anyhow, that's my 2 cents. Great job and good luck!
01. Getting information into Anki.
You've already got this covered pretty well. The ability to clip notes from around the web or add them via other methods is wonderful. Think of a tool like Evernote or Clip.to
02. Poor Quality Decks.
Let's face it, finding a good pre-made deck in Anki can be a challenge. You can easily solve this, simply offer your users a variety of high quality decks. The better the quality of the decks, the more value. It can take a REALLY long time to make a good deck, I'd gladly pay a modest fee for a well made deck that saves me hours of prep time.
03. Bad Design & UI.
I love Anki, but she isn't the prettiest girl in the room and she isn't always easy to get along with. A little bit of elegant design and thoughtful UI would go a looong way in boosting the perceived value of your product.
02. The best decks are always the ones you create, since they have personal value.
03. Ankidroid is the OSS android version and it's awesome. I bought the paid iOS app to support the author/service, but IMO it's really ugly and unusable (but then I think most iOS apps are unintuitive and crippled so take it with a grain of salt)
We developed http://membean.com that utilizes some of this technology and we've been able to make this a successful business albeit in a restricted domain. But as others have pointed out .. it's hard to sell this. We've managed it because of stellar content built around our engine: http://membean.com/exemplars. Without excellent content it would have been hard to get this off the ground despite us able to show that we outperform existing SRS tools.
Most recently Smart.fm tried this and failed.
I don't think it occurs to many people to seek out and use memory tools. However, there are groups of people who do have a very specific need for these tools and actively seek them out. I'm thinking of people like medical students, language enthusiasts, etc... Anyone who has an immediate need to learn and recall large amounts of information.
By intentionally limiting the scope of what you offer, you can better target prospects and tailor your offer to fit their needs like a glove.
But, I have to ask, how do you stop yourselves from becoming annoying? Also, the fact that 90% of the time these aren't reminders, but distractions.
Also, I don't have a phone plan. Just an iphone that's used as a wifi device. Now what?
The idea is so-so. There is probably a low upper-limit to the number of things you want to remember this way. More than 5 text messages like this a day will get a bit annoying I think.
Take a look at memrise.com. They see to have the learning things through repetition thing down.
Great job though, and keep working on it.
If you want to record a passing thing to later commit to memory, write it in a notebook.
1. Associate new ideas to existing ideas (metaphors, problem solve, story)
2. Make it less abstract (story, diagrams, touch, smell, etc)
3. Express it (restate, teach, share, tweet, blog, etc)
In the front page, it's "you're"
Also a similar type thing but without the push that I've been using to learn languages (and is very slick) is http://www.memrise.com
If this is so, could you make an app or use WhatsApp or e-mail or whatever so I can try?
Edit: We'll also try and make phone optional in the next hour or so ...
Edit: Found an account for you and for BC, approved both. Let us know if we can do anything else to help.
I live in canada and can't seem to get sms. I tried my area code with 438 with both 438 and 1438 and they both don't seem to work. I don't receive sms notifications
Small typo: Every forgotten somebody's name? should be Ever.
And I'll get that typo sorted out, heh.