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Hipstamatic is proper good.

Or, put another way, Hipstamatic is a “proper” business as well as a (very) good photography application.

I posted last year about how, from the outset, Hipstamatic was walking the walk in terms of monetisation. It clearly had a business plan to go with its idea and its excellent execution.

It’s time for an update.

It’s time for an update because I’ve had first hand experience of how that business plan has moved on, and of how Hipstamatic has turned into a proper business.

This picture tells a couple of important stories.

1) Hipstamatic’s business has moved on from a) charging for the app, and b) charging for add-on “Hipstapaks” containing new lens/film combinations. They now offer merchandise and analogue products like the iPhone case featured above through their Hipstamart. You can create an account and order this stuff online as opposed to buying the Hipstapaks through the app. It’s a “proper” e-commerce set-up.

2) Barely legible in the footer navigation at this blog-cropped size is a Customer Support function. This too is “proper” as I’ve found out to my delight in the last couple of days.

I ordered an iPhone case partly because I like all things Hipsta, but mainly because it comes with a tripod adaptor.

However, for reasons which I believe were beyond Hipstamart’s control, the case has thus far failed to arrive.

Being the impatient type I took a double-barrelled approach to “reaching out”, both via Get Satisfaction and via Customer Support.

Having experienced the extremely flaky, if not non-existent, customer support functions behind far too many over-hyped but under-financed web 2.0 brands my expectations were low.

Way too low as it turns out.

I had genuinely helpful, genuinely concerned responses within hours (Customer Support) and within minutes (Get Satisfaction).

My problem has been solved by Angelina in Customer Support. Quick, professional, customer-focused. Very impressive.

The kind of impressive that can only be delivered by a proper, robust business with proper, sustainable income streams.

“Proper” comes at a price that all too many app-based businesses (or rather non-businesses) evidently can’t afford.

What is really exciting for Hipstamatic/Hipstamart is that the price of “proper” doesn’t include any loss of brand cool, cachet or hipness.

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