SocialE is a platform where people can voice their opinion
Before we Launched SocialE. Within 13 hour flight reach from India was Akhilesh, an Oil & Gas sector employee, who wanted to drive down South to London with his wife for the weekend. They lived in Aberdeen, Scotland. As usually, he searched on the Maps and it suggested three different routes. Confused, he asks his neighbors about which is the best route that he can take. He doesn’t get any satisfying response and he puts up a Facebook poll on one of the local groups and he’s amazed to see 75% of people voting for a specific route. The decision he had to make couldn’t have come in a much easier and convincing way. Then something sparked in his mind and it was an eye-opener for him. He realized the importance of social validation to make a decision. Perhaps, the reason why ratings and reviews are the major roles of various tech companies is the same as this was – the decision making.
Over the time, he builds the idea and flow charting. He then calls up his IITB hostel mate, Gurpreet Singh and calls for a meet. He then pitches the idea to him and the problem arose when they found themselves as a Civil Engineers who knew no alphabets in the Computer Science. They wanted to develop an Android application at the start to know how they accept the idea and if the response is well enough, they wanted to put one more step further.
Idea, Challenges, Overcoming and Success!
SocialE concept is to introduce a global platform to make the decision-making process easier, faster and fun for people and to voice their opinions as well. As the market is more significant on Smartphones, they started as an app-first (Android to be specific, considering its market superiority).
It is an application where one can create a poll within half a minute and ask for opinion from public or just to their friends/acquaintances. As a gamification feature, it shows the user how similar their thinking is with their friends. Youngsters are using it to find out their best friends/partners. Probably a good way for match-making too!
The first challenge they faced was that to learn how to develop an Android app. Since they were bootstrapped, there wasn’t much revenue in store to hire a developer or outsource the task. Moreover, they were strongly motivated that the product should be developed in-house. After three months of rigorous learning and coding, they were succeeded in their efforts to bring about the app on Google Play Store.
The Team Behind SocialE
It doesn’t come as a surprise that there were only two men behind from a Civil Engineering background but it also comes as a motivation when that’s all that was required.
Akhilesh Lahoti, CEO, 28 (B.Tech + M.Tech, IIT Bombay 2005-2010, Co-Founder, Force-SE Pvt. Ltd.)
Gurpreet Singh, CTO, 29 (B.Tech + M.Tech, IIT Bombay 2003-2008, Co-Founder, Herbvive.com)
Feedback & Future
People liked the app, well, of course, when they could voice their opinions on a global platform, and they were spending almost 6-7 minutes per session voting on an average of 30-40 polls. Received over 1,85,000+ votes so far, 1000+ registered members and a growth of 150% MoM.
Akhilesh says that he realised two things, “Social polling is engaging! There is no reason to restrict to app-only to gather opinion.”
Following the feedback and further brainstorming, they started developing the website interface and embeddable poll widgets for publishers and bloggers which can be embedded within their articles to trigger higher engagement with their audience.
Akhilesh adds, “Grow our distribution network for polls by partnering with publishers & content developers to embed contextual polls within their articles. Publishers can also monetise through these widgets by showing sponsored polls to relevant audience. In future, we also intend to develop plug-n-play APIs for app developers to enable social polling within their apps as a way to monetise, instead of showing intrusive ads which hinders user experience.”