With the economy the way it is and VC’s tightening the reigns on the funding they are giving out, a startup is hard to do right now, especially without a prototype. Recently, I came across Calley Nye(SiliconCalley) through a tweet from social media genius Gary Vaynerchuk, and they spoke about a stealth site that she was quite tight lipped about.
Yesterday, was the day that she finally shared some information about this site it will be called Dashbuzz. However, she currently doesn’t have a prototype to present to venture firms, so she is seeking to raise twenty-five thousand in grassroots funding through a program she’s calling Start Me Up. I decided to interview her to see if I could get more details that what she had given on her post. She gladly provided answers and I would like to see this service get funded as it looks like an amazing marketing tool.
I have provided the interview below.
I understand that your site is still in pre-alpha stages correct?
Yes, Dashbuzz is currently in very early stages(pre-alpha), but we are moving along quickly and hope to come out with a beta in early 2009.
Is Dashbuzz a marketing tool, and who do you plan on the service targeting, professional marketers or the general public?
The roots of the idea lies in marketing, but not traditional marketing. My marketing experience is in social media marketing and using grassroot techniques. Rather than coming out with a tool that is solely for marketing companies and professional marketers, I’ve decided to provide the general public with the tools that they need for marketing, in hopes that it opens the social media marketing industry to everyone.
It will be a freemium service so there will be different levels; they will range from average social media usage(1-5 services) to extreme social media usage(5+ services). I feel like the site everyone has the right to understand how to get their content out there, whether it be a blog, art, music, films, or their business. We will eventually offer and enterprise size application that will take advantage of the usage statistics from the other users.
What value do you see this service providing to this group?
It will offer a new way to look at how we use social media. Currently, we are using all these services, but we don’t know what kind of activity sparks what kind of traffic and sales. Maybe when you post at 3 o’clock in the afternoon on Facebook, you get more page views than you do at 10:30 o’clock in the morning. Have you ever had a spike and didn’t know where it came from? These are all things that we are attempting to figure out, and I think the knowledge of such events will offer great value to our users.
What other ventures have you been involved with and how successful were they?
This is my first company that offers a real product. I had a social media marketing company for several years, but that was a service, so it wasn’t scalable at all. I made good money for awhile, but couldn’t build it up too much. I decided I wanted to start building things, instead of building things up for other people. So, I started my blog SiliconCalley to learn more about startups. After a brief stint writing for TechCrunch, I started an LA based tech news blog called TechNews.LA. It hasn’t been around that long, but it’s doing very well.
What will the people investing in your service this early be receiving for their assistance?
They will be enrolled on the beta tester list to be the first people to use the service. They will also receive discounts on the site when we open up the premium memberships. Bloggers who invest will then be the first people to write about the service. Service providers and advertisers( and potential partners) who invest will also be considered first when the time comes the top 100 investors will receive free lifetime memberships.
If anyone is interested in providing funding to help start this company please visit her site here, where you can read what she’s written about this, donate to the cause, or contact her for further information.