Parable is a social network for creativity. In a nutshell, it’s ‘Instagram for Thoughts.’ With sleek and playful functionality for crafting posts, Parable has a community around everyday creativity, where users share, inspire and engage.
The ‘Aha!’ moment for Natalia Burina and her co-founder Amit Paka came when they observed that social networks were focused on information and discovery as opposed to providing a medium to create. Humans have an intense need to be creative. So they decided to build a visual posting canvas to make it easy to interact with other people.It enables users to craft beautiful visual posts that capture their thoughts or moments to share and connect with others.
YourStory caught up with Natalia over email to chat about their product and company.
Finding opportunities and getting started
Natalia tells us, “Our strategy was to build a simple prototype, show it to users, then quickly learn and iterate. Early on we saw that the Parable concept resonated well. We were getting passionate emails from new users and kept honing the creative experience. Our vision developed into that of building a global network that captures everyday creativity.” For that, she adds, “We chose the name ‘Parable’ to convey that each post is a simple visual story. Sometimes you learn from it, other times it’s a reminder to appreciate the small things or just share a moment.”
Both Amit and Natalia have over a decade of experience in product leadership roles and building consumer products used by millions. They first met in 2004 while working on the same team at Expedia. After that, they both worked at Microsoft on Bing Search. In 2012, Amit and Natalia developed and subsequently sold Flockish, a group conversation app, to eBay. Amit recently ran product management for Mobile Payments at PayPal.
Natalia says “We started working on Parable few months back. Amit focuses on design and product, while I work on growth, product andrelationships with users, partners and investors. Valentin, our rock star node developer, builds the backend. Both of us tend to have strong opinions given our passion for building product and user design. Although challenging, these conflicts helped us converge on a common vision. Ultimately getting design kudos from Apple showed us how well our model worked.”
She says “Building a startup is an emotional roller coaster. Things might look dull one day and get incredibly exciting the next. For example, we were surprised and thrilled when Steven Sinofsky, former Microsoft president and board member at Andreessen Horowitz, posted Parable on Product Hunt.”
Team and culture
The Parable team has three people at the moment. Natalia says, “As a young startup with minimal resources, we look for every opportunity to execute efficiently. We are very careful about hiring and have an incredibly high bar for the same reason. Our initial hires will be people who take initiative and can wear multiple hats proficiently.”
For fun, their team goes on regular hiking retreats on the beautiful Northern California coast and enjoys cooking together. According to Natalia, a lot of their inspiration comes from nature and world class literature.
Natalia tells YourStory, “Although Parable is just a few months old, we are seeing a diverse and growing global audience. We made Parable fun and easy so that anyone can use it. Parable gives you a canvas, with freedom to express yourself in any way. Our users share a creative spirit. They’re crafting posts with important thoughts on their mind, travel photos, favourite sayings, favourite foods, etc.
The team is relentlessly looking for partnerships to enhance the experience of our users and introduce others to Parable. "We were thrilled that Apple featured us next to Pinterest and Storehouse in the App Store. There is collaboration interest from book publishers to create beautiful posts by their authors. The Parable brand centres on light-hearted fun and creative chic."
"For social media, we offer an animated sharing experience that makes it fun to share across other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.,” she adds.
Business model and funding
Parable just launched in 33 countries including India AppStore. Next up, they’ll be building for Android and web experience. They are considering building for Apple Watch, as well.
“We’re bootstrapping at the moment because we wanted to build something of value before taking on an investment,” says Natalia. As a young consumer-focused startup, Parable team says they’re not currently riveted towards monetization. Eventually, they foresee opportunities to offer in-app purchases, create partnerships with publishers or venture into advertising.
Visit the site here: Parable