To follow along as we train our first puppy with Doggo:
AI IS GOING TO THE DOGS
700,000 dogs are returned to the shelter every year for being too difficult. Doggo is aiming to change that by using AI to help you train your dog. Our patent pending training protocol continuously adapts to you and your dog as you complete tasks to provide a perfectly-tailored path to your behavioral goals.
If you haven't already, watch our video to see what we're all about, it's woofing good.
AS SEEN ON:
WHAT'S THERE TO BARK ABOUT?
Affordable - Using AI enables us to offer a high-quality, customized experience and still keep our costs low. Doggo will be FREE (and ad-free), FOREVER. And all of the lick-alicious premium and premium plus features will only be $10/$25 per month. Not only that, your premium subscriptions helps us provide Doggo to shelter and rescue volunteers to rehabilitate dogs with behavioral issues and get them adopted. No more paying hundreds of dollars for classes, trainers, and boarding kennels.
Accessible - Dog training is hard, and even if you're willing to sift through the mountains of information, its a lot to manage, what with house training, crate training, bite inhibition, loose leash walking, separation anxiety, and sleeping through the night. That doesn't even include all the stuff that's going to make your dog an Instagram superstar. Our training method manages all of that for you, by prioritizing skills to set you up for success and managing your progress in all of them simultaneously. And the hardest part of training isn't just teaching the command, its making sure that your dog listens to you no matter where you are or what's going on, so we account for adding distraction levels and new environments too.
Convenient - We know you're busy being awesomely awesome (or, you know, watching Netflix, but it's cool, we don't judge). That's why our training session are only 10 minutes long. Oh, and because research shows dogs learn best in short sessions rather than hour long classes, so there's that. You can do one or many of them throughout the day, but we keep them short and sweet and best of all, we have a calendar where you can mange them and move them around to fit your schedule.
WE'RE NOT JUST BUILDING AN APP, WE'RE BUILDING A COMMUNITY
Supporting Shelters & Rescues - Helping dogs get adopted and stay adopted is why we created Doggo in the first place, and it remains our highest priority. That's why when you buy a premium subscription, you're also paying for a shelter volunteer to get a premium subscription. And don't worry, we'll send you pictures when the dogs you've supported get adopted.
Intra-Dog Communication - It takes a lot of people to raise a dog, everyone in your family, the dog-walker, the friendly neighbor, the shelter, maybe even a trainer. With Doggo, everyone who interacts with your dog can see their progress and train them, and you'll be able to see whether your kids actually trained Sparky today like they promised to when they begged for a puppy.
Partner Training - There are lots of pieces of training that are difficult, if not impossible, to work on alone. For example, how do you work on not barking at the doorbell if you don't have someone to ring the doorbell for you? Or not jumping on new people without new people to practice on? Doggo will connect you with people in your neighborhood at the same stage of training as you so that both of you have a chance to meet someone new and do some training together!
Everyone Else - Sometimes, the most important thing is just to have other people on the journey with you, so Doggo's social button is your gateway to that meeting point. There, you can vent, brag, ask questions, or anything else that strikes your fancy. Plus, you can post your awesomest photos and videos directly to all of your favorite social media sites. We want you to be insta-famous too.
LIFE'S A GAME, WINNER GETS THE BONES
Compete - We all like bragging rights, right? Completing more tasks earns your dog more XP, which increases his level and his ranking compared to dogs both locally, and globally. Who knows, at a high-enough level, your dog might even evolve!
Set Goals - Goal-setting is a huge part of long-term success, so we'll help you set goals you're motivated to achieve (like teaching Spot how to bring you beer from the fridge) and put all the necessary skills into your training plan so that you're progressing towards it every day! And completing goals has an additional benefit - BONES. That's right, when you complete goals, you, the trainer, get bones, which can be redeemed for sweet, sweet Doggo swag.
Srishti didn't grow up with dogs. Until she graduated college, she'd never even spent 2 hours alone with one, but it was something she had dreamed about for years. Then reality struck, her job had her traveling nearly every week, and let's face it, she had absolutely no idea what to do with a dog. First, she started reading everything she could get her hands on, and thanks to the internet, it was A LOT. Too much, really. Then, someone told her about fostering, and her life changed. Now she could finally get to know some dogs, and try out all of these things she was learning, with a support structure. Her first foster was a little tan shepherd-mix puppy. Once she brought her home, she meticulously laid out her training plan for the puppy. It filled a 6 ft by 8ft whiteboard. That whiteboard was Doggo, V0, even though she didn't know it at the time.
Fast-forward 1 year: By now, Srishti had fostered numerous puppies, adult dogs, and most importantly behavior rehabilitation cases. She'd also learned that it wasn't just clueless people like her when she first started who needed something like Doggo, but that something anyone, from a 0-experience beginner, to a professional trainer, could find useful to manage the dog-training process.
Enter Jai, an absolutely incredible software engineer, and luckily, also an avid dog-lover! Jai has a puppy of his own - Kaya - who is very poorly trained - and thus immediately saw the value in Doggo as something that could help him personally as well as many others.
Since then, Jai and Srishti have talked to numerous dog owners, shelters, behaviorists, and veterinarians to figure out exactly how to create a truly intuitive dog-training program that grows with you, and built the first version of it so that we could start testing. Now, with your help, we're hoping to grow it beyond that.
Srishti - Srishti has spent her career in entrepreneurship and business development, so she knows exactly what it takes to take a new idea off the ground and turn it into an actual business, and now she's turning those skills to dog-training. She has a Bachelors in Materials Science & Engineering from Columbia University and has spent the last two years training and working with shelter dogs in lieu of having a dog of her own.
Jai - Jai, as mentioned, is a dynamite programmer and technologist. He's won 1st place at HackPrinceton for wearable technology and has helped feed thousands and positively impact many lives through his work. He has also dabbled in smart car technology. He graduated with his degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Dallas. He has a one year old Mini Australian Shepherd named Kaya who's becoming a good dog by way of Doggo.
“Instagram all started with a dog (as do most great things). The first Instagram was a puppy. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about what works in our digital economy, I don’t know what does.” ~ Meredith Finemann, FastComapny
Dogs, Mobile, AI. This can't possibly get better. (But will when we start adding Augmented Reality and Computer Vision to this, and we definitely will!)
Dogs - The dog industry has surpassed $60 Billion this year, and continues to grow with a CAGR of 2.5%. Pet Services, as a category of that, is growing at 8%-12% per year, according to American Pet Products Association President Bob Vetere. From 2008 to 2010, years that saw nearly every sector of America’s retail economy crumble, pet spending was up by 11.9%.
Mobile - In 2014, mobile digital consumption exceeded desktop and has continued to rise to the point where we consume significantly more information on our phones than any other source. It's time that there was a training solution designed specifically for this platform - and not just modified for it as an afterthought.
AI - Market forecasts predict the revenue generated from the direct and indirect application of AI software will grow from $1.38 billion in 2016 to $59.75 billion by 2025. This represents a significant growth curve for the forecast period with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 52%.
We're the first app to ever incorporate AI into the training process to provide a genuinely customized experience (patent pending), but others have tried mobile dog-training before. Here's how we stack up:
WHERE YOUR TREATS, CHEWS, AND BONES ARE GOING
Android - We've built the iOS version, but dog-craziness isn't limited to iPhone users, so we will be hiring someone to build out the Android version of our app.
Animations - A picture is worth a thousand words, an animation even more so. We want every single task to have an animation with it, so that you're fully equipped to succeed with that task and have a successful training experience. A significant portion of our funds will go towards having animations created for each task already on the platform (over 200!) and all of those coming soon. This is also where all above-budget contributions will go.
Trainers - We'll be working with some pretty amazing trainers as we continue to add to our training protocol and algorithms, so we'd like to be able to pay them for their time and expertise.
Technology - We're continuously making Doggo a better app by adding more training protocols and more functionality to it so that it can best serve you and your dog. These funds will cover our time and development costs until we launch in the app store in January.
Business Overhead - All the little things that are so often overlooked, but critical to success, from incorporation costs to ongoing server fees, are covered in this category.
Sept 27th: Kickstarter Launch, Doggo V0 Complete
- As you can see in the prototype gallery, our MVP is already complete. This isn't a theoretical project that's going to be delayed for months on end, we're ready to rock and roll right now.
October 2nd: Alpha Trial Round Begins
- Yes, this round, comprising of a select group of shelter volunteers and others will begin even before our campaign is finished, and we'll certainly keep our backers updated on its progress!
October 30th: Kickstarter Ends
November 3rd: Beta Trials Begin
- Just 5 short days after the end of our Kickstarter, we'll start running Beta Trials. New testers will be added on every 1-2 weeks, and the earlier you commit to backing us, the earlier you get access to Doggo.
January 2nd: Doggo Official Launch
- January is national Train-Your-Dog Month, and in honor of that, we'll be officially launching Doggo right out of the gate as 2018 begins.
Risks and challenges
Like in dog-training itself, the biggest challenge for us has been trying not to do everything, all-at-once.
We're creating a new paradigm for training, so we've started with the most basic questions first - and built up from there:
1) Can you even train with a phone in one hand? Where does the leash go? Where do the treats go?
We've asked a lot of people to try our app, and we've been training dogs with it ourselves, to gain an understanding of how users interact with their phone while training. Making sure we've got this right is why we want to have so many beta testing rounds before we launch officially.
2) Why are people not successful with other methods? How can we manage retention and create ongoing value for our users, not just for the first few critical skills?
We plan to continue to add skills to our database, and even let users submit new ones and be rewarded for it. Our goal is to make this app a companion that you go to anytime you ask yourself, "what else can I do with Bella today?"
3) Acquiring data to improve our algorithm.
Another reason for so many beta rounds, we want to use this time to take our basic algorithm and refine it with real user data and usage so that it is ready to go when we launch (even though we'll keep refining it long into the future).
Our strong technical and entrepreneurial backgrounds make us uniquely qualified to tackle these challenges and any others that come our way. We already have strong partnerships with major shelters and are continuing to grow them across the country.
Thankfully, we also have all of you and the community to give us feedback and make this project successful in helping dogs live better lives.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GET FETCHING!
Doggo isn't just an app, it's a training revolution. We're committed to helping dogs everywhere be good dogs and find amazing homes and we hope that you will help us in that mission. We've put in countless hours getting Doggo to where it is now, and with your help, we can take it to the next level and make fetch happen.
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter