Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Startups That Help Startups - Wahooly.Com

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In the tech world, most startups fail not because they have a crappy product but because their marketing efforts fail to create enough end user interest in the product itself. For a company just starting out, marketing can be costly, and keeping burn rate to a minimum is of paramount importance, especially in the early stages.

Wahooly is an Austin startup that aspires to empower other startups in a way that's never been explored before. Wahooly’s business model proposes to provide traction to a startup by taking a small equity percentage in the startup, and in return, Wahooly allows 28,000+ members of its platform to compete over that equity via promotion, feedback and engagement. Naturally, the member that provides the most noteworthy input gets compensated via the equity Wahooly receives in the event of a company sale or liquidation event.

The best way to illustrate Wahooly’s business model is through an Austin tech startup c alled tweetTV, which aims to revolutionize the way TV guides are seen and utilized. Instead of the old static TV guides you used to receive in the mail, through tweetTV, TV guides now also enter the social, online and dynamic realm where users can watch the same shows other people watch and communicate with them through Twitter real-time.

Wahooly provides the company with about 5,000 users – selected based on fit from its pool of 28,000+ members – who now compete for the equity Wahooly owns on tweetTV. Wahooly then tracks each member’s interaction with tweetTV via the metrics promote (any promotional activity done by the user, including social media promotion), improve (user feedback, especially on ways to improve the product) and engage (using the product just like any ordinary end user would).

Essentially, with Wahooly, a product or an idea gets tested by actual users who determine whether the product or idea is even worth a thing, sans the engi neer having to shell out cash he might not even have. Wahooly aspires to become the place to be for cash-strapped engineers with great products and international startups that seek the exposure they need.

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