What are you working on?
Social is a mobile app designed to make it easier for adults to make meaningful connections with the people around them. It's location & interest based, kind of like a TInder for friends, but with additional features that aim to bring people together outside of the app.
Social is designed to be a tool people will use to meet new friends and discover new things in real life, rather than encouraging users to spend as much time as possible on the app itself.
Why are you doing this?
Loneliness sucks. And making friends is hard. I think there is a genuine need for a service that helps people connect in a real way. It's a need I have had myself. Whether it's finding someone to shoot hoops with on a Sunday afternoon or looking or a technical co-founder there have been times when I could have used a service that made connecting with people with similar interests easy.
As the mammoth social networks have grown they've become less about bringing people together and more about pushing content. Social media has displaced social networking. Recent studies have even shown that increased social media use can actually increase feelings of isolation.
Irrespective of the future of blockchain or AI or AR the human need to connect with others on a personal level is fundamental. A service that makes that connection possible and delivers an outstanding user experience will stand the test of time.
What's your unfair advantage?
I refuse to give up.
Tell me about the competition?
Social has a number of touch points from making friends to finding local deals so the competition landscape is broad. Our main competitors could include Facebook, Groupon, Tinder and Badoo should they adopt particular features.
New players like Panion and Haru are also entering the space.
How do you make money?
We charge a transaction fee on local deals purchased through he app.
How much do you charge your customers?
We charge merchants 10% for transactions made through the app.
How much does your average customer spend?
Based on available data from similar services we expect our customers to spend $70 per year.
What are the top three reasons the business might fail?
1. Insufficient user uptake to reach critical mass
2. Insufficient merchant uptake to generate revenue
3. Adoption of similar features by major players (eg Facebook) leading to #1 or #2
Why have you chosen this business?
Over the years I realised the negative impact social media (and particularly Facebook) was having on my own life, time management, social interactions and even thought processes. I quit Facebook as a result and never missed it.
Now as the father of a teenage daughter I see the same effects magnified. This time it's Instagram and Snapchat. And they are impacting a far more impressionable and vulnerable mind.
Social media was heralded as this amazing tool for connecting people and giving users a voice but it seems more and more these days that it only helps us to feel worse about ourselves and our own lives.
I think there is a better way. I want to build it.ow
How committed are you to this business?
Over the past twelve months I have dedicated most weekends and countless late nights - hundreds of hours all up - working and teaching myself the skills I need to bring this project to life. I've invested nearly $10,000 of my own money with very little chance of seeing a return (based on typical startup success rates) solely for the chance to see it succeed.
What does winning look like for this business?
For me, winning means a business that is self sufficient and can support itself without continual investment as it grows organically into a product and network that becomes ubiquitous in the segment.