Timewell is one of those startups that makes you think: “Why haven’t I thought of that?” They are an app that lets you create digital photo albums which you can share with your loved ones. You and your family can then record spoken stories that go with the photos. This creates a living memory preserved for posterity, as told by the ones featuring in the pictures. But how do you work that into a quality printable book that can serve as a precious gift? That’s where Peecho enters the frame.
Founder Scott Bair has a personal drive to make it work:
“The idea for Timewell started when my own grandfather passed away. I felt regret that I hadn’t talked to him more, because he was a great storyteller and a real inspiration. We have many pictures in our family that now have lost part of their meaning, because the one who knew at least one side of the stories behind them is no longer around. When I discussed this with my friends, they all voiced similar sentiments. That’s where it started. The idea is that Timewell strengthens family memories and helps people reconnect with their history. It is also a lasting memory of the way how for instance your father and mother, or gramps or granny spoke.”
Very soon after the first users came on board and Scott started to ask them what they wanted to see improved, he got the same response: “They loved the whole idea, but wanted something tangible as well. To be able to print the album, so they could give a physical copy to their loved ones as a gift.”
But that meant that Scott had a problem.
Because who can and will handle the incidental numbers? Who can offer online tools to make an album fit for print, ensure suitable print quality, isn’t bothered by Timewell’s branding, can handle the required aspect ratios and QR code integration, has easy distribution and delivery, and does it all for a reasonable price? This was the start of a long search for suitable candidates.
“I talked to at least 40 digital print providers. They all had great options, but not all at once. Some were unable to meet my need for customized aspect ratios, others simply couldn’t deliver on quality. And then I found Peecho.”
Fitting Peecho’s OneClickLayout solution into Timewell’s website workflow has been a breeze, according to Scott.
“The IT support was really good. I’m just a regular design guy who doesn’t know how to code, so for Peecho to go in there and have it up and running within a matter of minutes was just mind-blowing and a huge relief.”
Peecho offered a simple setup, which allowed Timewell to keep a cap on album dimensions: “It takes users through a custom builder that lets them set up a basic photo album within minutes. There’s just one photo per page, and you can share a link to it with your family. They can then simply record their story on their smart devices. The minimal design directs full focus on that particular picture, and allows you to really dwell and expand on it. When you’re ready, you simply hit save, and the recording will be stored in the Timewell cloud. To link to that particular file, the software generates a QR code and places it next to the photo.”
If people want to hear the recording that goes with the picture, they simply scan the QR code. It will direct them to the sound file their family has recorded, and they’ll hear the story in full detail and in their loved ones’ voices. Optionally, photo album creators can write down a title and a short description next to the photo itself.
The new feature will be available per November 2022, but Scott already had a few samples made. He shows one of his own sample books. “One of my demands was quality, because having worked as a graphic designer, I am very much geared towards the design side of things. The print quality Peecho delivered is everything I had hoped for. It’s hardcover, the prints are beautiful, and it’s really a robust, lasting gift that can be enjoyed for years and passed on if needs be.”
Timewell has been around for two years now. It has recently received a financial injection from angel investor Jason Calacanis, who picked Scott’s app from over two hundred candidates during an online investment pitching event. That opens up a whole new realm of possibilities, and Peecho is ready for them.