Beta.MN/ Byte is a series underwritten by Bust Out Solutions and published in collaboration with Beta.MN for the early-stage founders between idea and execution.
What is the name of the company and where is it found online?
Jeeyo – website pending.
What distinct problem does this solve for who and how does this create value for them?
People will use Jeeyo to create group stories based on where they are and what they’re doing.
Users create a unique, collective view about a hangout or experience through a mix of text, image, and video. These threads of collective experiences will organically answer questions like “What’s going on now?”, “What’s something interesting / different / fun to do?”, “What’s good around here?”, “Who else likes what I like?” ; and will serve real-life connections in ways today’s social media no longer does. Make social networks social again.
How did you come up with the idea?
The team behind Jeeyo has been fascinated with the theme of “discovering things to do” for some time. After developing other experiences, the idea of Jeeyo was discovered after talking to our target community and the users of our previous apps. It became clear that “going out” and discovery are dominated by word of mouth and social connections, more than event discovery or venue tracking.
Further, the team identified a big opportunity and a nice fit in the stories that dominate Snap and Insta. Those platforms’ stories are each created by a single person. But the best stories in real life have multiple contributors, many points of view. Facilitating group stories in the context of doing stuff in the real world was intuitive.
What is the full launch/release date planned?
Beta in early April & iOS launch late April. Android May 1.
Version 2 May 15: Which will include integrations with Facebook and contact lists, as well as the ability to publish a thread, and therefore turn it into an album shared in creator’s feed & saved on profile. Launch will be restricted to the Twin Cities (from a marketing and communication point of view). The app can work anywhere, but Jeeyo will look to attract users beyond the Twin Cities once resonance with users has been proven locally.
Who is on the team?
Peter Goddard, founder.
Colin Alworth, developer.
Devin Smith, developer.
Jo Janssens, developer.
JD Sharpe, developer.
Devon DeNure, design.
Nick Zielinski, design.
Ellie Knoll, marketing.
Stephanie Moe, marketing.
What is the specific technology or combination of technologies is used?
We use AWS S3 signed and accelerated uploads to ensure that clients can directly upload their own content to the nearest CloudFront edge server.
Imgix is our image solution, which will render and cache requests from clients in real-time.
AWS Elastic Transcoder is our video solution, which is able to transcode videos in near-real-time into a variety of formats that clients can consume.
The webserver is written in Java, using Dropwizard, and queries are written to our PostgreSQL with jOOQ. Each component of the server is dockerized for ease of deployment.
Who is the customer and what is your revenue model?
Our primary target audience is pre-family city-dwellers, but we see the app’s relevance for other demographics as well. Revenue model is 18 months away. It will follow the entrenched advertising-based revenue model of social companies. We see the opportunity of targeted advertising based on geography and controlled group stories to be large.
What is the size/scope of your market and how will you scale?
Global social. Scaling will be dictated by iterative success, and availability of funding for marketing. Such intentions are premature to project to today.
What is your greatest strength?
Technology chops. Front and back end teams are very strong.
What is your biggest weakness?
We are involved in a competitive, unpredictable industry that needs to match consumer preferences. We have no proven success delivering a user experience that resonates with users.
What is one resource you could use that would take this to the next level?
A committed beta community several hundred strong. We have resources very much ready to respond and react to their usage patterns, ideas, and requests.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Jeeyo is very committed to the Twin Cities technology community. Despite encouragement to launch in other cities, we trust the support networks and user groups in the Twin Cities to provide a rich audience for Jeeyo’s launch. We look forward to the opportunities that its success can provide the technology and creative community of Minneapolis-St.Paul. The culture of the cities shapes our pursuits.