I met Srinath Nagabhirava, CTO of Zahdoo at the spring Web 2.0 Expo SF 2008. We chatted while I autographed a copy of my book Web 2.0: A Strategy Guide. I caught up with Sri in September, just a week before his unveiling of his “social network for families” product at the Web 2.0 Expo NYC (September 16-18) for private beta.
At what stage of development was Zahdoo in April, 2008 when we met at the Web 2.0 Expo SF?
We were in the midst of developing a web 2.0 product targeted towards families. Zahdoo is a socio-cognitive utility that helps individuals and families manage the daily juggle of activities, information and relationships. We use customized semantic indexing algorithms.
Was the Web 2.0 strategy book helpful?
Your book was our reference in building our product (especially for our team in India) and some of the learning was incorporated in Zahdoo product development and marketing.
What were some of the lessons learned?
Your book changed our company strategy perspective and focus. We started by thinking that our product focus would be “ERP for the home”. Reading Chapter 1 of your book on collective user value changed our mission and framework into becoming a web service-oriented software app-- “ a social network utility for families”. We prioritized putting our company’s focus on web-enabled social and per-user benefits and network effects.
We realized that we could generate more positive network effects by helping enable smaller trusted private social networks, neighbors, circles of friends to benefit from their collective online conversations, know-how, social/school/sports/kids calendars—whether in planning a trip to Disney World or Europe, finding a local plumber quickly or figuring out if your kid’s stomach-ache was likely something going around third grade or something the doctor should look at.
Who’s your target user or customer profile?
Parents—Mom or Dad—with kids at home and who value time with family and friends. Mom and Dad—who are knowledge workers and professionals but whose expertise is in more traditional companies and industries (and maybe less web-savvy) need an easy to use social network utility that helps them juggle their many commitments and networks, optimizing resources, money and time. Zahdoo is the Web 2.0 answer we've developed for them.
How does your company make money?
We are trying to build in three revenue streams—
(2) Other channels such as listings for small/local businesses and services like the plumber example.
(3) Sponsored content such as prepopulated lists for local services
What are your growth targets? 50,000 users in 6 months, 100,000 in a year’s time.