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As someone who is intensely interested in memory and mnemonics, I always welcome new tools. The site looks great for being build in 24 hrs and I like the idea of a web-based tool for memorization. However, I do think the offer could use some work. As some other people have pointed out, SMS, email and Push notifications might get out of hand very quickly.

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!




Yeah, really our main constraint was the 24 hours, and getting this to MVP stage. Really interested in getting more feedback though. If you take a look at the comments under http://lesswrong.com/lw/e26/who_wants_to_start_an_important_... with my username and you can read a little about how this kinda developed. We're still trying to figure out whether there's a compelling and sticky feature set that we can build a meaningful, mainstream service around.


I think there is potential here. As I mentioned above, Anki has a few quirks that make it cumbersome to use on occasion. My top three complaints, accompanied by potential solutions, would be as follows:

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.


01. Totally agree with this. I hate the inertia to adding new info.

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)


I've been interested in this for a long while especially in memory models for forgetting patterns beyond simplistic SR expanding schedules.

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.


You bring up a good point. Perhaps targeting a specific demographic would make the sell a bit easier?

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.


As you pointed out, the quality of decks is important. Limiting scope allows for creation of quality decks. At the end of the day spacing is just one aspect of forgetting - strong encoding is the other and for that you need rich varied content. Creating quality content is hard work. We started off with a focus on algorithms and engines and then realized that even if we slap the very best Memory engine if you have crappy content - no one cares (and retention is marginal over simplistic flash cards). We invested a lot of work on content and varied encoding and it's paid off and we are now branching into different verticals.




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