We haven't covered Stockholm-founded and Berlin-based HowDo yet, but with a new update we have an excuse to see what they're up to. The way their app works is pretty simple. You take a photo, record some sound, and repeat for however many steps you need to demonstrate what you're doing. Each step only allows eight seconds of audio to be recorded, which Emma Rose Metcalfe, cofounder of HowDo tells us isn't an arbitrary number - somewhere between seven and ten seconds is about how long the human brain can break down a task.
HowDo is one of those services that should exist. When you want to show off how to make some jewelry, you don't want to upload pictures to your computer and add text, you should be able to break everything down on your phone while you're making it. And if you're looking how to fix your car stereo, you don't want to run back and forth to your computer.
With their latest update out last night they've added search and tagging, which seems like an obvious feature to have in an app full of instructional guides. Despite the app being live for about a year, originally the team didn't hurry to add search features because they wanted to place a greater emphasis on social before search, and they wanted to be sure they had enough content in the app to make a search function worthwhile.
Searching for "how to make a dreamcatcher" has a pretty binary goal, but by previously forcing users to dig through other user profiles and feeds, they could lead a more personal and inspiring experience. To continue this vibe, they're also launching a curated Featured Collection focused on Crafts.
“The cool thing about search is that we can aim for something bigger than end-point search. It’s about relevance and context, right? So when my laptop charger breaks, I have the option of fixing it myself. I’m going to find the right micro guide, but I’m also finding somebody who’s happy to answer my questions or jump into a conversation. That's what we’re building here - inspired, empowered, seekers of knowledge,“ says Metcalfe.
Right now users are creating a number of different projects, ranging from American high school girls sharing how to make makeup, or guys in the UK showing how to make DIY shotgun microphones.
So far over 2,000 micro guides have been created. Investors in the company (Fun fact: named How Do You Peel A Banana? Ltd.) include Wellington Partners, Peter Read, and Horizons Ventures.