Most social media sites involve some amount of collaboration but that collaboration usually takes the form of long discussions about political issues or groups aimed toward school organizations. Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest may help people rally around ideas, but they’re not designed specifically for that.
Well, there’s a new social media site on the scene and it wants to help you get your creative juices flowing. Startup founder Fermín Zelada created coWonder to help people help each other flesh out all of their great ideas. The site allows people to propose “challenges,” which other members then comment on with suggestions.
The site also encourages people to respond with suggestions to anyone who comments on their challenge; something they call the “141 Principle.” This keep the give and take going while simultaneously hooking people in and keeping them engaged.
KillerStartups caught up with Fermín to talk about what makes coWonder so special, what startup life is like for him, and what pearls of wisdom he has to offer.
What’s your company about? What do you do? Who are your customers?
Using an innovative mind-mapping engine, the platform encourages its users to share ideas and challenges by asking for and giving help without divulging their identities.
What’s the greatest thing about your company/website? Why is it better than the competition?
coWonder is different to other social platforms because it uses the power of disassociated and anonymous collaboration. It is a place where users can wonder together to find and share ideas, viewpoints and advice.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
cowonder = Collective + Wondering
What was your first computer? How old were you when you first got on the world wide web?
It was a Mac. I was about twenty something… I am not that young so this is not going to be really shocking…
What time do you usually start work each day? How many hours a day do you usually work?
I have no schedule. I am a bouncing ball this days, but I get up everyday around 6 am (which means that in one way or another my brain starts thinking about coWonder around that time).
When’s the last time you went on vacation and where did you go?
I am from Spain but I live in Istanbul. I went to Spain to see my family last July.
What’s the very first thing you do at work every day?
I check emails, google analytics, database, growth… The I focus on the first task at hand.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
I have been working with between one and four freelancers at a time.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually go after yours?
Its potential. coWonder can actually help anybody find that new perspective, viewpoint or idea to move forward with any kind of challenge. People can help each other here by sharing their own perspective and because everybody is unique, contributions have the potential to be unique.
This is not about coders helping coders about specific questions. Or doctors helping doctors. This is about collaborating (anonymously) and fostering ideas to tackle any kind of challenge, any kind of open-ended question.
Remember the early days of starting up? Describe the struggles you went through.
Not many people could understand the idea at first. So I had to build it to show it, with very little resources. I am not a coder.
How do you handle frustration? What has been your biggest professional frustration?
I handle frustration by taking one day at a time. The frustration of not being able to advance faster due to the limited resources I had.
Who or what inspires YOU? Running? Video games? Snack food?
I run. I love running. No video games.
Quote: “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.” -Albert Einstein
What other advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get started?
Keep a permanent eye on the long term view, but do your best with the task at hand.
What would you do if you had a year off and $500,000 to spend (on something other than work)?
I would help some people. Spain has seen better days.
Do you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur? If not, what’ll make you feel successful?
I have been successful in getting where I am (not very far yet) but coWonder is far from being where it could be.
Number 1 country you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t yet? (And why that country?)
I would like to go skiing to New Zealand in August.
Where can our readers contact you?