When I lived in New York, I did the social planning for my friends. The problem was that it was New York City, and choosing a restaurant to eat at that everyone agreed on was an extraordinary feat. We make hundreds of decisions a day – where to eat, what to wear, what book to read, what movie to see. A little help with these decisions would be awesome, right. Yopine agrees. This polling app helps make decisions fun, quick, and social.
We caught up with startup founder Gary Mendel to talk Yopine inspiration, DC startups and best business advice.
Tell us a little more about your background and the inspiration for Yopine.
I’ve spent the last 21 years in tech via accenture, platinum technology, CA then my first startup outtask which was sold – nasdaq: CNQR in 2006. My second startup failed horribly and yopine is the latest endeavor. It literally was one of those moments where something annoying happens (our yearly ski/snowboard trip begins with one email and turns into 500) where there is a better way to figure out what people want to do.
What makes Yopine so killer?
It’s simple, laser focused and utilitarian. you can poll friends or the public, you can call a brainstorming session. It stays organized and curated (vs email and text which quickly becomes an unmanageable mess). List of new features forthcoming – photos, groups, social network integration, commenting, brainstorm to poll (bs results can spawn a poll using the bs content).
How’s the startup scene in DC?
The hottest in the country…thats right silicon valley. I am a member of the 1776 campus – an amazing group of 90+ entrepreneurs working in awesome shared space where skills and knowledge and experience and ambition rule the day. There’s a story alone there for you.
What’s the best/worst thing about being an entrepreneur?
Best – creating something that people use and like. Being able, on a daily basis, to talk to like minded smart people – people who put it all on the line to follow their instincts and dreams.
Worst – that queasy feeling that creeps into your chest often on Sunday nights before you have a big meeting with partners and investors to talk about whats not going right.
What would you do if the Internet didn’t exist?
I would renovate homes and sell them.
Best business advice you’ve ever received?
Know to whom you are speaking… my pitch to an end user is quite different than my pitch to a potential investor (features vs revenue).
Any new projects/Yopine features you’re working on and we should know about?
Mentioned above – Our roadmap has about 15 stories in it. our mantra is no feature will ever become reality unless it is dictated, quite literally to us by our users (customers).