Started as social networks for engineers & professors - Webzeest pivots to a knowledge & social collaboration platform
Starting up is always a great feeling but it requires a lot of confidence and guts. Deserting a job of multinational organization to dive into entrepreneurship with a dream to succeed is not as easy as it looks from the outside. Muthukrishnan T left his promising research career in Business Intelligence to start a social networking site, Webzeest, for engineering students and professors, however within a few months, he realised that space is tough to crack. Following the lack of traction, Muthukrishnan pivoted Webzeest to a knowledge sharing and social collaboration platform.
Currently, users can access Webzeest via email or Facebook login, and can write article, essay, upload videos, create quiz and ask questions. The platform allows you to choose field of your interest such as technology, philosophy, literature, marketing, art, and religion. It also enables users to filter content based on views and subject.
On pivot from social network to social collaborative platform
Webzeest started 6 months back as a portal for teachers and students of engineering colleges, however in July it pivoted to a knowledge sharing and social collaborative platform. “We had every tool and feature necessary for them to interact, learn, share and connect with students of other colleges with some very complex online programming language compilers, circuit simulators, online engineering drawing tools, quizzes, questionnaires, polls, presentations and a lot of other cool features.”
As Muthukrishnan was an engineering graduate himself, he knew every pain point of engineering community and tried to solve all of them with his platform but he realized soon that the signups were too slow. “It took us 3 months to understand this, that we cannot build a great company around our current idea,” added Muthukrishnan.
While thinking about pivot, Muthukrishnan wanted to bring bloggers spanning across different subjects or domains together on one platform, where they can focus on writing alone without having to worry about search engine ranking or followers. During this period Webzeest got its another co-founder Karthik Mohan P. Outlining the thoughts behind the venture, Karthik said “We are trying to build the most meaningful network of teachers, scientists, students, writers and professionals on a single platform where they can share their knowledge with the world in a more connected way.”
So far traction and future plans
At present, the platform has close to 800 users, majority of them from the US , primarily comprising doctors, scientists, engineers, writers, teachers, students and bloggers. Even with just 800 users, the platform has more than 30 content makers and close to 100 people who login everyday to read their content.
With a four-member team, Webzeest plans to enhance users experience with integration of analytics and security tools. “Very often people compare us with Quora but we believe that we are completely different from them. Our competition is Blogspot, Wordpress and other blogging communities which are dividing the world into millions of pieces," concluded Karthik.