I recently had the opportunity to speak with Ann Bernard of WhyGoSolo, an innovative social networking startup here in the DC area. She has been working hard to create a platform that might change the way you look at events and various other things that you might have gone to by yourself and were looking for a buddy to join you in something that interested them as well.
So let’s get started….
1. Please provide us with a bit of your personal background in business and entrepreneurship. I was born into an entrepreneurial family ““ I was working in restaurants, arcades and on construction sites at a very young (and illegal) age and loved every second of it. Although I joined the Marine Corps, I always knew I would build my own empire someday. When I got out of the Marine Corps, I became a life and business coach and that gave me the opportunity to work with a lot of small business owners. I feel blessed because I was born business savvy ““ my clients always wanted to know how I knew what I knew and all I could say was “œIt just makes sense to me.”
2. Your current venture is WhyGoSolo – what’s your elevator pitch for it?
WhyGoSolo is the ideal online solution to quickly create one-on-one or small group connections for active participation in offline activities. The Social Media Platform For the Entertainment Industry: WhyGoSolo aims to serve as an all-in-one social media platform for event promoters and entertainment venues by providing the technology and the tools needed for online targeted promotion and community building.
3. There’s a ton of competition in the social networking space. What makes WhyGoSolo unique?
A few things:
First ““ WhyGoSolo is focused on making offline interaction take place. You don’t come to WhyGoSolo to hang out online ““ you come to WhyGoSolo to find what you’re looking for and than go out (offline) and be active. We bridge people’s online worlds to their offline worlds.
Second ““ We are building WhyGoSolo has a social platform that will act as a hub not as an end point. We’ll deliver the information our members want ““ where they want to receive it. We fill the gaps that exist on the bigger social networks.
Third ““ We are the New Media platform for the brick and mortar establishments and groups looking to create and take part in social media and building communities.
4. Since your business model seems really aligned with pushing the boundaries using Web 2.0 technologies. What is the general roadmap of your platform so readers get a sense of your vision.
Hmmm”¦not too sure how much I want to talk about this one I don’t want to jinx myself. What I can say is that at the end of the day it’s old business logic ““ provide a service that provides much added value and people, organizations and companies will pay for that service.
Everyone talks about free being the way of the web, but I don’t completely agree with that. I also don’t agree that you should build a product online and worry about the business model down the road.
So the actual answer to the question is that our general roadmap is to offer our members the most value possible and become a service they need and love. Be a service they turn to as part of a solution to either their problems or to enhance their lives.
5. Could you elaborate a little more on your approach to revenue creation?
We have three distinct revenue streams. We’re not sure as of yet which one will lead the way or how well once one is selected; we’ll be able to implement the other two. We’re raising money to finish development and hire a sales team. WhyGoSolo is a SALEABLE product and service and that will create revenue!!
That was a great Part 1 and in Part 2 we will continue our discussion of people, funding competition and what makes a startup company successful. See you next time.