Jul 13, 2011

Market insights in real time: new facts, which you didn't know about Qriously

Here is a nice story, which my friend told me. It’s about right argumentation for reaching investments. Founder of one start-up came to VC and ask for presentation of service for measuring real-time, location-based public sentiment just in 5 minutes. He asked investor to put some question into service web interface, for example “What kind of drink prefer EU citizen? Pepsi or Coca-cola” In few minutes app provided around 100 replies.

- Ok. And why should I care? - summarized investor, - you have nice idea, but how long it will take for you to create a prototype?
- It’s already working and providing you results from all over the world in real time.

- Amazing! How you would like me to invest in your project?
That was the short story. And name of hero is Qriously.  This Software Development Kit was already installed about 15 million times in less than one year. TechCrunch and other media already wrote some posts about this start-up. But I would like to present you some insights, which you don’t know.
Qriously is a service for measuring real-time, location-based public sentiment. It works by replacing ads with questions in smartphone apps, tablet apps and the mobile web.  This makes the opinions of millions of people available to everyone in real-time. 

New facts

Fact 1
Everything started one year ago, when Qriously won competition at StartUp Europe.
It’s founders is originally from the US and just moved to Austria. But right now team is based in UK and consist 6 people:
  • Christopher Kahler (CEO & Co-Founder), 
  • Abraham Müller (CTO & Co-Founder), 
  • Gerald Müller (Head of Web & Co-Founder), 
  • Adam Paulisick (Chief Commercial Officer), 
  • Christoph Peter (Interface Architect), 
  • And George Wigley (Account Manager)

Number 2
Qriously is the evolution of first start-up, which guys ran in China. They were so poor at one point that the co-founders survived on €100 a month and slept in the same bed, unable to pay for rent.

Number 3
It’s well-know also that Qriously was funded by Accel Partners, who funded before Facebook, Groupon and other web giants. The total amount raised was 1.6m USD. But you might not know that they closed financing with Accel on Christmas Eve 2010. Couldn't have been any closer to the line! I heard quite a lot from start-uppers about dead season for investment during Christmas days.

Number 4
In the office guys have a 'Canning Bell' at the office. Every time team 'can' (get rid of) a feature, a page, a substantial amount of code or a slide in a deck they ring the bell.

Number 5
Team has mascot. It’s a meerkat, because they needed something that connoted curiosity, and is thin enough to place in the left side bar of Qriously question unit.

Use of service
Qriously goal is twofold: To make consumer insight universally available and to give 'free' mobile content an alternative means of monetization.

As I see main target audience of the project are market researchers, brand agencies, publishers. Those people always need insights in real time. In service you can ask 3 types of questions

Here are examples of web interface, I found it very user-friendly and easy and of course used my chance to try it!

Also participants answers are presented in clear form, that you can easy define main insights form your target audience. For those, who would like to have more locally results can purchase addition feature - geotargeting.

And the last point is - Reporting system. It's efficient and all data could be transfered into graphical document with all details included.

From my point of view, what makes Qriously model special is the distribution and the fact it’s on mobile. So while other common services exist, Qriously  is improving location (providing statistic globally and locally) and arranging other pieces of information to make the data more colorful. It’s not just a toy to find out which brand is more popular, but a serious tool for marketing and PR specialist, which can find out here actual data and customized service based on needs.

Here is what they say about themselves:
“We think that we are increasingly entering an age where decisions that used to be made in months and based solely on intuition can and should be based in real-time and on data. Qriously is just responding to this data list - and as a result we're seeing a really inspiring myriad use cases. Not only traditional market researchers are using it for brands, but for politics, creative campaigns, academics, journalism: any area where you need to know what many people think about something, right now. We definitely think there is a self-serve / long-tail play for Qriously - there are a few kinks to iron out before we can commit on a date.”

Jul 12, 2011

Why start-up doesn't need business plan? Tips from Business Analyst, who saw already several fails

Can Ertugrul is a Business Analyst at i5invest - a start-up incubator that grows the successful web and mobile business models of tomorrow, focusing on B2C Web 2.0 ventures.
He is also trainer on European start-ups meetings and events. This guy explaining serious and complicated things in simple words for those, who just start the way of entrepreneur.
Before interview Can mentioned that main skills for start-upper is to listen and watch. The reason is, that they should be able to find opportunities there, where other people see only risks.

Side Note: Can highlighted, that his expressed views are his opinion, not absolute facts with focus on the matter of innovative web- and mobile startups (most not valid for other industries or more traditional smaller businesses)

Jul 6, 2011

Future of start-up ecosystem in Europe from Markus Wagner, serial entrepreneur

Today my guest is Markus Wagner - a serial entrepreneur.
Right now he is board advisor at Tupalo.com (a social yellow pages community, connecting locals and travelers alike with local businesses around the World) and 123people.com project (a real time people search service that looks into nearly every corner of the Web).
Also he is founder at i5invest - an it/telecom incubator company in Austria.
We are talking about serial entrepreneurs in European start-up ecosystem. What it misses and what perspective it has? About investor’s risks and business models (the most important part for you, guys), which are actual now for Europe.

Jul 3, 2011

Google Plus or Minus?

Seems it's coming same information wave with Google+ as it was with Google Buzz. Media and bloggers are trying to define benefits and disadvantages for this new social communications tool. I would rather say about why people will be interested in Google+?

Google+ provides now better services comparing with Facebook:

  • Possibility to divide contacts based on type of communication. For example, colleges and friends, customers and partners (acquaintance), family and etc. Also based on this conditions you can customize your information wave (aka Wall in Facebook) to each of communication type.
  • Spam filter (no updates from groups and fan pages). It means minimization of social noise from your circles and customization of information wave based on your interests.
  • Video chat (Hangouts) directly in browser, which allows to communicate with your circles through instant text chat and conference call (up to 10 people). No additional apps downloads needed.
  • User-friendly and clear interface, which was already mention by thousands of people all over the world.
  • Aggregation settings. Google+ has tentacle-like reach into every part of you Google world and connections. Plus it has connection to your Yahoo! and Hotmail accounts.
  • Integration of social network with Google Apps, which will make it amazing tool for sharing everything.

From my point of view it's a new ingratiation of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter social networks, well customized for any needs. Something universal, one point for entrance, which let people to communication easy in one click.

Suppose those advantages might help Google+ to become a favorite social toy for people in the future. But we also need to consider reply from Facebook side, which announced about sooner Skype integration. Plus Facebook has already 750 millions users, who are already quite familiar with that social network environment. So Google+ really needs creatively attract users.

If you do not have jet account to test Google+, read this interesting article: how to hack Google+ and reach invitation or just contact me and I will send it to you :)