the genesis

so here's the story...

like all the best ideas, poken started as a solution for a problem. stéphane was leaving business school and suddenly, 70 people were scribbling email addresses on bits of paper, which social networks they were on, what their new email addresses would be, and promising to send each other their new cell number wherever they ended up living.

he thought: "wouldn't it be great if i had an easy way to connect with all of them without having to search on multiple social networks, spend hours doing data entry into my computer, and dialing them all into my two mobile phones? maybe a tangible item that could bring us together in real life and on-line? and an internet hub where we could customize our identity, choose our networks, and decide what and how much we wanted to share?

with some engineering, plastic, microchips and other techie materials, a soldering iron, lots of coffee and a very understanding wife, he answered his own question with a nifty little gadget… and the framework for a website with which it would fit, like a key opens a lock.

in short: he invented a social business card. not a flat, white piece of plastic that you stick in a wallet. what kind of fun would that be? we want you to spark up conversations and keep them going, in all kinds of ways and in your own personal style. we want you to express yourselves and who you are. we all accessorize our clothes, cars, phones and even our pets: why not our information?

thus Poken was born.


stéphane doutriaux

stéphane doutriaux is the founder and ceo of Poken.

this is the guy from the home page, the one in the video that explains how to poken and what it's all about. he's a laid-back, hard-working family man who wants to bring people together. he has infectious energy, humility, and, for some reason, a very contagious canadian accent.

ottowan and french and american and swiss, he's lived in all of those places, plus spain and holland and china. and he's biked across pakistan. and walked across tibet or something. twice. some of us here at poken think he might be bruce wayne, though he definitely denies this.

keep your eyes on him, folks. he's taking us places. maybe, just maybe, we’ll get to see the bat cave.