This week, Website Planet
‘s Marko Velimirovic had the opportunity to speak with Ian Bateman, Founder and CEO at Incoggo. We learned more about the company, how it evolved, and what is in the pipeline for the near future.
Please present Incoggo to our audience.
Incoggo is a new kind of platform and marketplace for extensions.
You can think of our extensions as similar to Chrome or Firefox extensions, except rather than just working in Chrome or Firefox, Incoggo extensions work in any application — any browser, any desktop app, any mobile app — and can even work across applications.
Incoggo extensions also work across platforms — Windows, iOS, MacOS, Android, Linux — with Incoggo, you can have extensions that work across all your devices.
The extensions themselves can really be anything: new themes for apps, translation / localization within apps that don’t natively support it, new features for your favorite applications, automated workflows across business apps — the sky’s the limit.
When we say Incoggo lets you extend anything — we really mean it!
Please describe the story behind the company: What sparked the idea, and how has it evolved so far?
We’ve actually come quite a long way from our original idea! Incoggo originally started as an open-source peer-to-peer VPN project called FreePN. It was an idea I’d had for a long time, and actually began tinkering on during the 2020 COVID lockdown. We had some moderate success with the VPN project — we ended up launching a beta version of it on Linux, and had a few thousand users. About a month in, someone from the community actually shared it on Hacker News without us knowing. I got woken up by a friend one night to find out we were #1 on Hacker News!
While we were developing FreePN, we were running a small test network — basically, just a bunch of Raspberry Pi’s we plugged into routers at our friends’ places — at some point, we decided we’d like to build in network-level ad-blocking as a feature of our testbed. While we were looking into how to integrate this feature into the VPN program, there was a ‘flash moment’, where it was like: ‘oh wow… there’s really so much more you could do with network traffic, ways you could modify and change it…’; that was the first kernel of the idea that eventually became Incoggo.
Since then, we developed a v1 of the platform — a very hacky, rough version — with 4 or 5 initial extensions. If you visit our website today, incoggo.com, that’s what you’ll see. It still amazes us, but even in this unpolished state, a few thousand people use the platform every single day. After publishing the initial version, we got the confirmation we needed that this was something people really wanted, and the past few months we’ve been heads down building v2 (it fixes more or less all the issues of v1). We still have a month or two to go before it’s launch-able, but we’re super excited to take the wraps off soon… Just a small preview of what’s to come: running Incoggo v2 — even without a single extension installed — makes browsing the web noticeably faster than without it.
What services do you offer?
Very simply, we offer the Incoggo platform and marketplace for extensions. Through the support of our community, we’re able to offer many, many extensions with all kinds of functionality via the marketplace. Beyond that though, we just have a website for users, and a website for developers!
What is the mission of Incoggo?
At Incoggo, our mission is to enable you to customize and control your computing experience with extensions for everything.
We’re working to empower users and developers to extend virtually any application, in any way that they might want to.
Incoggo is really about giving individuals the power to unlock their applications and devices in ways never before possible, or in ways previously only accessible to hackers and tinkerers.
Who are your typical customers, and what do you think is the main challenge that your product solves for them?
We primarily have two types of customers: users and developers.
For users, it’s really that if an extension is available on the platform that solves their problem — there are many, many classes of problems that can apply to — anything from price-comparison shopping, to translation with a chat app — they’ll download the platform to use the extension. It’s that simple. Extension exists that solves user problem, user has problem, user downloads platform + extension — and maybe they find another useful extension or two along the way.
For developers, there’s huge complexity in building an extension for an application that doesn’t natively support it. We abstract a lot of that complexity & difficulty away, providing simple APIs that allow developers to focus on solving the problems they want to solve — and not on all of the infrastructure required. There’s massive demand from developers to be able to easily extend & modify the products & tools they use every day; in effect, we help developers unlock this untapped potential.
What are the plans for Incoggo for the near future?
We’re currently all-hands-on-deck working to get the v2 of our platform and marketplace out the door! We’ll be doing a lot of user-testing in the coming months, and are aiming to open up the extension API to any developer that’s interested in the very near future as well!