JustReco is a social network that helps one discover and share great experiences by allowing one to make and view recommendations about the best food itemsat different places places; be it a Panipuriwala outside your lane or a Sizzling Brownie at The Taj.The process is incredibly simple and the sole motive is to enable a user to share an item/dish with friends without a hassle. JustReco is also mobile compatible: A person can also use a mobile phone to easily find out what her friends are recommending near her current location, without having to wade through long reviews.
Developed by a very strong engineering team of four, JustReco is currently in an invitation-only beta phase.“We are iterating on any feedback the user provides so that we can make the product more useful. We’ve also constrained the beta platform to only allow food recos to allow faster iteration.”says co-founder Kapil Thirani.
The process is simple: Once you’ve logged in via Facebook, you can simple make the recommendation via the bar at the top of the screen:
The recommendation is then shared with your friends who are in your network on JustReco. You can also see what your friends are recommending and then ‘like’ or ‘drool’ or ‘re-reco’ it.
“Our beta community has grown to more than 400 users and 1000 recommendations in a little over a month - so you should be able to already see some useful recos wherever you are!” says Kapil.
The Team with an Enviable Track Record
The JustReco team comes with some of the best engineering talent around with HarshaSuryanarayana who has been one of the best programmer in India (humblefool) for most of the last 6 years (31st in the world at GCJ 2008). He comes with a strong design experience as well as a start-up experience being the technical lead at Canadian start-up Tagle for 3 years. Saurav Shah has experience working on Google products like Youtube, Blogger and Orkut. He was also the first engineer at Bay Area start-up Color - the company that famously raised $41 million before launch. NehaGedela was ranked in India’s best 30 by Microsoft even before she left college - she went on to be rated in the top 4% at Microsoft for 3 straight years, after which she decided that she needed a bigger challenge.Kapil is an IIT Madras engineer with a strong business mind. He honed his operations skills by working with Halliburton in the desert sands and offshore rigs of the Middle East for 3 years, before co-founding JustReco.
How did it all happen?
Since late 2011, the JustReco team has been trying to figure out how to make it simple for people to discover their friends’ great experiences. “We first approached it from the business perspective, by building a platform for merchants to reward word-of-mouth publicity. However, we soon realized that a drastically simplified product was needed in order to grow really big - so we cut out the merchant, directly connected users and made it dead simple to make a recommendation - and thus JustReco was born!” informs Kapil.
Recommendations are strongly tied down to purchase decisions - almost everybody likes to ask for recommendations before making any significant purchase. “We see multiple ways of revenue generation by helping the user complete the purchase loop. However, the JustReco team is currently focused solely on increasing user engagement and figuring out how to best utilize viral forms of marketing. We’re looking at tight integrations with Facebook, Twitter and other social networks so that the JustReco community grows on its own.” He adds.
As JustReco grows bigger, they will also run into other products competing for the same set of users - apps like Foodspotting, Stamped and Forkly are direct competitors.