You are the network!
Social networking sites are not rare, but this one indeed is. Zahdoo is here to help individuals and families manage the daily juggle of activities, information and relationships. Zahdoo is the brainchild of Satyavardhan Reddy. In a chat with Yourstory Satyavardhan explains his experiences and journey.
Tell us something about Zahdoo.
Zahdoo.com is s social productivity application that helps users manage their everyday life with collaboration and sharing among close knit social circles, whether it is a family, friends or neighbours. It takes the social computing to the next level by giving users insight into popular and collective mindset while retaining the relevance and significance to the user's lifestyle. After all social networking can be productive and meaningful.
What is the basic business idea behind Zahdoo? Also what clients do you serve?
Our basic business idea is to create ERP like platform for homes to optimize time, resources and social capital. We currently have more than twenty five thousand users. Our main target is busy parents.
Why should people join Zahdoo.com and not any other social networking site?
We provide a platform for busy parents to manage their daily juggle. It is a social productivity application with various social networking features sprinkled in. The core of the application is a planner where users plan their activities and share them selectively among their social circles.
We are completely self funded and have created an application. All of our users are high value customers for us. Our business is to coalesce the online world with real world while influencing the network effects of online world to benefit the user in the real world.
Why did you want to be an entrepreneur in the first place? And what made you stick to it?
Being an entrepreneur is more fulfilling and gives tremendous satisfaction when your creation starts making an impact on the society at large. You win some and loose some. It is both mentally and emotionally a wild ride and brings in a different perspective in the human being. For me it is the experience of the rollercoaster ride which keeps me hooked on to entrepreneurship. You go through so many emotions, events and ups and downs in one single day. In essence you are living thru an experience of an entire life in a single day.
What challenges did you come across so far?
Being small definitely has its own challenges. Specifically you need to put in ‘n’ times more effort to make yourself heard and convince others. The ‘n’ depends on the industry and the maturity of the market you are dealing with. For example, when Google announced Buzz within a day of its announcement it had one hundred and seventy six million users. Zahdoo.com had a similar feature for over a year now and we are no where near the no of users Buzz claim to have. Being an outsider poses significant obstacles with the key obstacle being the groupthink. We were at Web 2.0 Expo at NYC and one of the standard questions we faced was ‘how are you different from facebook’. This is without people even looking at the application. One way it is also fun trying to beat the groupthink and standing out on own and defying the conventional wisdom.Any mistakes to recall?
An amateur entrepreneur is usually consumed by the passion for the product instead of passion for consumer. Now we realized ‘passion for the consumer’ takes precedence over ‘passion for the product’
What has been your growth pattern?We have been maintaining a steady staff and locations and we hope to expand our staffing to meet future functionality/feature enhancement. So far we have two branches and more than twenty five employees.
Where is your vision for your organization for the future?
We want to make it a global brand be recognized as the leader in the context computing. Zahdoo.com has a basic context computing model already in place and we are aggressively working on enhancing it to enable a wide variety of contextual elements. We want it to be known as the Top 10 leading social productivity platform in the world.
Any moments of honour?
We had quite a few honorable moments. Amy Schuen, Author of Web 2.0 Strategy guide has a blog post dedicated to us. Another notable mention was from Dataquest – We were rated in the Top 20 Hot Web 2.0 startups from India’.
What tips would you like to give to the coming generation of entrepreneurs?
Unless you are an Ambani, I mean not supported by family wealth or inheritance, being an entrepreneur in India is immensely challenging. I call these as new age entrepreneurs to differentiate them from our traditional Indian entrepreneurs who have the family inheritance and connections. In the western world there is no stigma attached if you try and fail, rather it sets you up with more opportunities. In India unfortunately for the new age entrepreneur it is challenging on all fronts – family, social, financial, market etc. Even if you are moderately successful as a new age entrepreneur consider your success as no less than the success of Ambani’s or for that matter Bill Gates. Basically it is the whole environment which is not conducive for the new age entrepreneurs till they gain some success. So, you need to become battle hard, dig deep and don’t let your dream that shattered by environment around you. Believe in yourself and be passionate about consumer not product.
YourStory wishes Satyavardhan Reddy and Zahdoo all the luck and hopes to see them conquer the world of social networking.