This startup you've never heard of is an expert at predicting what you want to do next
The B2B startup specializes in making apps talk to each other, and has booked big name clients like Uber, FourSquare, and Airbnb.
The key to Button is linking your intent with what comes next."Let's say you go to FourSquare and open up a venue," says CEO Mike Jaconi. "We understand that not only is that venue supported by OpenTable, but we also know from the app's signal to us, that you could be within a relevant Uber ride," Jaconi says.
The relevance part is crucial.
If you're browsing restaurants for a trip in a few weeks, there's no reason to show an Uber button when you're a several days drive away. Instead, Button has learned how to predict what people want to do in the moment they're doing it.
Most people, though, never realize it's Button that's showing them the options. Instead, users think it's just the app adding new features.
"It's kind of that epiphany moment where it's like 'oh, that's what I was looking for,'" Jaconi says.
Good for companies, too
Button is also a win for the app developers.Unless you're a transaction-based app, like an Uber, the majority of your revenue comes from advertising. Instead apps like FourSquare can introduce a commerce component - you booking an Uber, for instance - and have a new revenue stream. Plus by driving traffic from other apps to their own, companies can also show more advertising and earn more revenue that way.
Users also keep returning, according to Jaconi's data, once an app has more utility.
"Everyone has their core products to build and where we're helping is making those connections where relevant and appropriate and more enjoyable for the consumer," Jaconi says.
Rather than striking one-off deals with each company, developers instead choose Button to show them what their consumer wants to do next. Then they can use Button's tech to know when to show the option for an Uber ride versus only displaying the reservation, Jaconi said.
"It's what you want at the touch of a button," Jaconi adds with a smile.
The idea fits in well with a Japanese philosophy called "omotenashi," which guides Button's entire business.
"The easiest literal translation is the ability of the host to predict what his or her guest wants before he or she asks for it," Jaconi says.
It's the Japanese philosophy that, when embraced in the workplace, placed it at the top of Crain's list of top New York businesses to work for, but it's also a backbone to what the company does."If you think about what that ability is, it's the ability to predict what somebody wants before they want it, that's what the company is all about," Jaconi says.