You have to admire the competitive drive and adventurous spirit that would stir an entrepreneur to challenge the likes of Facebook or Twitter. It goes without saying that commercial success is a long shot. Then again, when you’re 16, anything can happen, and there’s so much to learn from any endeavor regardless of the results.
Shonik Raj is the founder and developer of Crokes, a social networking site for sharing life’s moments and discovering more about both people and news. He’s a student in Pathankot, India, and a reminder of why the global startup culture is bound only by nerve and imagination. Shonik tells us more:
What’s your company about? What do you do? Who are your customers?
Crokes.com is a small community/social media service that allows you to post brief, 300-character messages with images (called “crokes/updates”) and to follow other users’ activities.
Crokes is great for blogs and business. It leads to more sales, because your updates appear in search results (in Google) and also appear in front of all Crokes users. Crokes also run contests to let bloggers show their blog on the homepage of Crokes. It is not necessary to have lots of followers on your Crokes profile to generate more traffic from Crokes. This is the main advantage of using Crokes.
Most of the users on Crokes are bloggers and nearly 75% of users are women. People join Crokes to grow portable web identity and to share quick tidbits about their lives with friends. It’s also great for keeping up with what’s going on in the world.
Crokes unites the most popular features of social media sites – sharing, seeing, and commenting on photos – and provides many other services. Updates and images allow people to share fun, light moments. And that’s what most people use it for: posting goofy or embarrassing photos and updates to one another.
What was your first computer? How old were you when you first got on the world-wide web?
I was around 11 years old. It was a HP Laptop. Currently I am 16 years old.
What time do you usually start work each day? How many hours a day do you usually work?
Whenever I get free time after school.
Shonik Raj, Founder and CEO of Crokes
When’s the last time you went on vacation and where did you go?
It’s been a while. I never get time to go on a vacation. On holidays, I sit in front of my laptop for about 12-16 hours a day – because I don’t have the money to advertise Crokes.
What’s the very first thing you do at work every day?
Checkout Crokes and see if anyone has signed up at Crokes or not?
When do your best ideas come to you?
Day time, when I am free and have nothing to do.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
I currently work on Crokes myself. No one is working with me. I am looking for volunteers to help me out. I cant afford employees.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually go after yours?
To create something new that people really want. To bring their lives more ease and comfort.
Remember the early days of starting up? Describe the struggles you went through.
I launched Crokes on 1 Feb 2014. Since day one I have struggled at every moment. I made and built Crokes. But I don’t know how to promote Crokes or how to market it. I still have no idea. That’s where I’m lacking right now.
How do you handle frustration? What has been your biggest professional frustration?
Promoting Crokes without advertisements. Up till now I have been promoting Crokes for free on Facebook, Twitter, etc. I still need money and new ideas for promoting Crokes.
What’s your office environment like? Do you listen to music? Watch movies? Play video games?
I love to play video games. When I get frustrated or I want a break, I do play video games. I also play football, my favorite sport. I also listen to music while working on Crokes, especially Eminem.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get started?
Never give up.
What would you do if you had a year off and $500,000 to spend (on something other than work)?
I would like to spend all that money on Crokes.
Top 5 websites you couldn’t live without and why?
- Crokes – my own website.
- Facebook – all my friends are there.
- Twitter – professional people had joined us from Twitter.
- Alexa – always need to see my website stats there.
- KillerStartups – if you publish this!
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
- Shonik Raj for social media updates and my personal suggestions.
- Crokes for getting tips, news about Crokes.
- Your competition.
Where else can our readers find you online?