Content drives the internet and there is not a shadow of a doubt in this. There are many players trying to bring the best content on the net to users and Flipboard or Zite are the top companies that come to mind when one thinks of it. So, why Floost to crack a similar problem? Floost from Nogle Technologies is a startup trying to improve the experience and founder Siddharth Goyal says, “The existing players are pure play readers. They provide content discovery but there is no aspect of people discovery in it. We believe the content is the main hook for users to log on every day, but long term asset is the network you mobilise on the platform.”
A serial entrepreneur, Siddharth Goyal is an alumnus of IIM, Calcutta and was also the founder of Time Vision Infotech and Kitnebaje.com. Co-founder Abhinav Gupta has previously worked with IBM and Info Edge India ltd. Harpreet Prajapati is the third member of the core team and she is an IIT IIM alumnus adopting the role of Product Evangelist at Floost. This promising team is backed by one of the most revered people in the startup industry, Sanjeev Bikhchandani, founder of naukri.com who is the investor and mentor at Floost. Sanjeev has put in INR 2 Crores into Nogle Technologies.
Pivoting and the final product
“Our history starts with launch of Blinkk.me in May 2011, ever since we have been constantly changing the product. Pivots are a cliche, but that is very much the path to achieve the market fit. Floost is where we see a great fit and in this current form, we are around 6 months old,” says Siddharth.
Upon signing up, the user can select his or her interests and we’re ready to roll. One can choose people to follow and the stream will give all relevant content for the user.
The hot topic- UI/UX
“The way the products are evolving UX is now 80% of the job, UI is just the last minute make up!” believes Siddharth. Any Indian product which is launched typically gets the blame of being a rip off of another site. Same was the case with Floost- they were called ‘Pinterest Inspired’. “Why? Because in the whole UX piece, we chose the same way a user will sample the posts. If the layout is a science, science is same for everyone. Science follows a broad adoption level,” explains Siddharth.
Delving into this further, Siddharth says,
However, people who think UX is art and hence expect “the difference” as the key value ( only the original art is valuable ) – then you have to be an artist. Artists are people who are aloof, creative and less wordly. Any insertion of logic into art, it starts becoming science. Science is backed by data, more the data you start monitoring, and analysing, the more you start to move to an optimal solution. Most players in this space one way or the other , sooner or later will converge to this optimal solution. Now some pay for this walk, or some just pick it up from the market leader because they “assume” the leader has walked the walk and its at the optimal.
We are making a world standard product but we are in India, miles away from the pinnacle of Information. So sadly we had to walk the whole walk, change our product quite a number of times from UX perspective and then evolve to global best practises (which are not documented, they are only to be observed). You always keep your product, your goals in mind and have to add a layer of innovation above this to come across as a winner.
Nogle Technologies is headquartered in India and has a US office is in Seattle and UK office in London. “We’re building those out now with new marketing and business development staff as well as some help from an external PR team. We are also prioritizing our resources towards activities that deliver the most impact on different social media channels such as our Photography page on Facebook, which is proving to be really popular” says Siddharth about marketing.
Development is on for creating apps for iPhones, iPads, android and BlackBerry phones right now and they’ll be out in a couple of months.
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