Lyro

Lyro is a new web based application that allows people to create and share online, searchable digital ‘business cards’ across multiple.  It isn’t so much a social network as much as personal ‘branding’ and broadcasting but saying that, as well as the core elements of creating a digital online business card (think a micro Plaxo) there are some typical social networking elements such as people creating interest and geography groups. I would really like to hear back from the Lyro folks because I’m not seeing how this differs substantially from Plaxo, especially given Plaxo’s recent moves into the ‘connections’ territory and their longstanding digital business card creation, sharing and searchability. If I’m missing something, let me know!

Business Model:

Four account types with increasing functionality. 

  • FREE: 1 Free Card and 3 messages that can be sent to other members per day
  • Basic: $5/Month – 3 Cards, 7 messages per day, 50MB file storage, professional bio, logo on card
  • Premium: $9/Month – 5 Cards, 15 messages, 75MB storage, other elements of basic plus notes on card
  • Elite: $20/Month – 8 cards, 25 messages, 200MB storage, all other elements of Premium plus saved searches and visible email addresses

Some Core Functionality:

  • Create searchable online digital business card
  • Internal email to other card members according to numbers above
  • A Dashboard ‘Pocket’:  Drag and drop business cards that interest you for future retrieval
  • Download card
  • Create Groups – and invite others to join your group
  • Invite Friends
  • Send card to friend
  • RSS feeds of cards etc

Likes:
The user interface and usability has been created with thought.  Navigating and using the site is very intuitive.  More focused on developing new business relationships than Plaxo with similar functionality to Plaxo early days plus some tried and tested social networking elements.

Dislikes/Suggestions::

  • I just am finding it a real challenge to see this as a step change from a very ‘early days’ Plaxo and we of course, already have Plaxo and a significant number of people have been using it for sometime.  It is true that Lyro is less about creating your own online contact book from your existing contacts and has a focus on creating new contacts through joining groups plus browsing and reaching out to members.
  • Although the usability is nice and simple, the interface has a lack of ‘personality’ i.e. it’s more functional than sticky. With Linked In there are a number of hooks that get you diving into the site and staying around.  Lyro does not really have those hooks yet but it is early days…maybe version 2 guys?
  • I understand the need for a business model but limiting the amount of messages is limiting the perceived value of the system.  By all means encourage upgrade through a strong more personalized ‘branding’ on the site but have people use it…alot…so they want to improve their presence and are prepared to pay for it.  Key to that is messaging each other…take off the ludicrous limits, get real activity and they’ll upgrade when this site becomes a staple of their online activity.  You are restricting your growth!

Additional Opportunities:

  • Consider adding some personalized scripts for each member so they can add the fact that they are a Lyro member to their websites or blogs.

Last thought:

  • I’ve often wondered why Plaxo and Linked In don’t figure out some joint model.  Lyro doesn’t have the linked in functionality of friends of friends (yet) but it does have the search and browse functionality.  I’ve already mentioned some similarities with early Plaxo and with a few more iterations Lyro could span some of the core functionality of both Plaxo and Linked In but adoption will be key so really guys, take off or increase the number of messages that can be sent by a 10 multiple! 
  • My Virtual Investment:
    With my virtual $1M, I would personally broadcast my interest to the tune of a virtual $100K.

    http://www.lyro.com/

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    Andrew – Founder
    http://www.AdvisorGarage.com/community