Steven Pungdumri was driving back home to Newark for winter vacation from college in 2010 when he saw something that caught his eye.
It was a pick up truck with a "For Sale" flier – full of details on how to contact the owner.
But with his hands on the steering wheel and his foot on the gas pedal, it was impossible for the now 25-year-old Newark resident to write down the information on that flier.
That’s when an idea blossomed and 16 months later it has become a reality.
TerseTag is a new start-up company that aims to revolutionize how information is shared. Pungdumri, along with co-founder and Mountain View resident Andrew Foong, launched the company and its website in late April.
It combines QR codes with a short tag so that anyone can promote a TerseTag in order to share an array of information – from a person’s email and phone number to the details of an upcoming event.
A QR (quick response) code a two-dimensional code that resembles a square that is faster and looks much different than a standard barcode.
"We're looking to redo the way we get people's attention in the physical world," said Foong. "Flyers and billboards are great, but they often end up as trash. We're looking for an easy way to get people the information they need to see."
The two have worked to build the company since January 2011 while they were attending California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. They met in an iPhone app development class, but decided to make TerseTag a mobile friendly site.
"It has a wider range of support than an app," said Foong.
Pungdumri has a master’s degree in computer engineering and Foong has a degree in computer science.
For Pungdumri, TerseTag is "an easy way to say what you want to say," he said.
The said often times, people might find an event or purchase they want to know more about or meet a person they’d like to network with but do not have a chance to take down all of the information necessary to connect again in the future.
In other words, people tend to be terse – or brief – when in a hurry.
Any one can make a TerseTag for the following purposes: selling a car or home, promoting one’s business, recruiting employees, throwing an event or sharing contact information.
Users can set up any auto-generated TerseTag for free. The auto-generated code often includes numbers and letters combined at random and the free TerseTag remains active for two weeks. (See Newark Patch's information through May 28 by entering "3Z"on the TerseTag website.)
Customizable TerseTags costs $19.99 for one year and can be tweaked so that the TerseTag is a phrase, name or number that you choose. (See Pungdumri's by entering "steven" and Foong's by entering "andrew" on the TerseTag website.)
And TerseTag will allow people to visit TerseTag.com or scan a QR off a flier and get all of that information quickly, he said.
The entrepreneur added that he believes TerseTag is unique because it combines QR codes with shorttags.
“We’re not trying to downplay QR codes at all,” said Pungdumri, who said the objective is to use both technologies of QR codes and shorttags collaboratively.
While the start-up is currently operated by Pungdumri and Foong at this time, Pungdumri said he hopes TerseTag can grow over time.
“Our goal is to get the world to use TerseTags, so people don’t have to miss out on an opportunity,” Pungdumri said.
--Additional reporting by Rachel Stern