For Korean wearable startup Lineable, common values trump high tech

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“Protect our children together,” says Lineable, a new wristband that helps track missing children. The device was developed by a Koreanstartup, yet the slogan has resounded with parents across the globe.

What is Lineable?

Lineable is a wristband loaded with beacon technology that enables parents to both prevent losing their children, and if they become lost, to find them easily. But that’s not all. Due to the core technology, the more a person wears one of these wristbands, the more accurate the geo-location becomes. It’s essentially crowd sourced child protection and missing children search. This helps to motivate people to engage, even if they don’t have children themselves.

In this way, everyone using Lineable is technically protecting all children. It’s almost like signing up for a parents’ association in order to prevent any children from being lost again. Certainly a powerful motivation, and one that anyone could adopt.

Virality

The stories of Lineable have achieved epic viral proportions. The story has been shared by more than 300 international media. Consumers have also reacted positively to the device, with more than 6,500 pre-orders on Indiegogo.

Thanks to the virality of the story behind Lineable marketing cost has remained at close to zero. The story was even picked up by the Seoul Mayor Wonsoon Park, and other domestic media.

Though heralding from very different industry perspectives, Lineable’s global appeal has even been likened with the blockbuster success of Psy’s YouTube phenomenon, Gangnam Style. What is interesting then, is that despite being a technology service, there is actually nothing particularly unique about Lineable’s beacon technology.

What has made Lineable such a hit?

Seokmin Mon, the chief executive of Livers, the startup that developed Lineable, explains that his service’s success extends fara beyond the basic technology that was used to build the service. He believes that the values of humanity Lineable adheres to are the root cause of its success.

“I don’t have a kid, but it is human nature to love children,” he explained. “People talk about disruptive innovation, but in my opinion, good technology persues common values of humanity,” he added.

Another example of this is the success of Theranos, a company that has dramatically improved the diagnosis potential from a single drop of blood, in hours rather than days or weeks. This has reduced the medical diagnosis cost to one tenth of what is used to be, and has helped the company achieve over a $9Bn valuation.

“Theranos does it with deep technology, and at Lineable we do it with a sound message that resonates with society,” Mon commented.

Another example of a company that attracted international attention for similar reasons is ‘The Bradley.’ The team behind the watch raised an impressive 6 million dollars on Kickstarter, 15 times the fundraising goal. What made the watch special was the universal design that benefited the visually impaired, as well as the mass market. The company, Eone, also achieved viral status with very limited marketing spend. Their slogan, ‘Watch for All’ clearly touched people’s heart.

The commonality here is that technology with a powerful social message. These three products enable people to participate in important social issues with a relatively small financial outlay.

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