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VS consulting Startup consulting, technology trendsThe 21st participant is WhatYah

WhatYah, founded by Ashley Smith in January 2007, is a place to catalogue, share and review your movies, TV shows & games with friends. He created it after he realised that sharing movies, games & TV shows between friends should be easier. The idea is that you should be able to search a database and be able to know exactly what your friends own. With WhatYah you can then organise to trade or share titles and even get together to make a social event.

Ashley tells us a bit more about his startup, WhatYah:

How long it took before it was up and running?
From planning to public beta testing it took approximately 14 months

What stage of your start-up is, stealth mode, beta mode or fully functional?
In stealth mode at current, planning on starting marketing within the month.

What is the main objective/mission behind your venture?
To assist friends with sharing their content legally, as well as being able to catalogue all of their media they can write reviews on it to help friends see what they might like.
What services it provides for consumers or customers.
  • Catalog & track your media titles online
  • The ability to know what media titles your friends have
  • Let your friends know what you think about certain titles
  • Social networking features
  • Create & publish your own reviews
What is unique about your venture?
  • Get notified by email & internal mail when your friends get titles you have marked as wanted
  • Create your own database of content & share that list with friends
  • Complete social network built around the movie, t.v show & game niche.

What market segment verticals you are targeting for?
Social Networking, Personal Movie Reviews, Legal Movie, Game TV show sharing.
What type of customers you are targeting?
TV/Movies/Games Enthusiasts who are interested in social networks and sharing

What age group of people will benefit most?
The age we are targeting can vary as anyone from age 14+ purchases media and likes to share it.

How many users are using your services?
As we are in stealth mode, we only have 15 users who are currently testing the service.

What sort of marketing you are using to spread the word? The site has yet to be released, and no marketing has yet been used.

How are you measuring the success of your venture? Are there any special mechanisms/tools in place to monitor the progress?
We use Google Analytics to monitor traffic & analyse user behavior.

What is the monetizing/revenue model? Is there any new model, which is being tried?
At current, we are only using Adsense but plan to start using Amazon and offer a premium service to the community.

Which are the main competitors or major players in this market segment? What are the main technologies used behind this start-up?
The biggest competitor would be Flixster. They have a strong network, but as WhatYah is offering completely different services I'm confident both can co-exist successfully.

What has been the easiest to use, out-of-the-box and helpful technology?
The prototype framework, it comes with great documentation and has made cross-browser scripting a reality.

Are you using a lot of open-source tool sets for this?
Most of WhatYah has been coded from scratch, but we have chosen to use the javascript prototype framework to assist us with the Ajax back end.

What is your operating environment (operating system) and what type of database you are using?
We are currently hosting Whatyah with a dedicated LAMP server.

How often do you catch up with others trying similar things and where do you catch up. Do you have dedicated communities in your city?
Perth is quite isolated for these types of events but I do attend Australian Web Industry Association events when they are organised.

How much money is needed upfront to start a venture? Depending on how much you outsource it can cost thousands or tens of thousands. WhatYah was developed in-house so at current we only pay for our dedicated server which is roughly $70 a month.

What are the main barriers in general for people to start their venture in Australia? Networking, I do find that not being able to attend conferences & seminars is quite a drawback.

What are your thoughts on the future trends of your service and the market segment you are in?
I have great expectations for WhatYah as there is no quality one-stop shop for organising all your media titles.

Do you have any advice for people who want to start their venture? Don't quit your day job, until you are confident you can support your project entirely. You can't fail if you never give up.

Thanks, Ashley for sharing your thoughts. We look forward to hearing from you in future on the progress of WhatYah. All the best for WhatYah and the competition in this carnival.


Anonymous said…
Ohh awesome man!

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