This week it's the turn of Qutee, a data-driven discussion platform that provides insight into audience conversation.

Here's Tim Wilson, co-founder and CEO, to tell us about the highs and lows of building a tech startup.

Econsultancy: In one sentence, what is your product/service?

TW: Qutee is a data-driven discussion platform that lets community owners curate online discussions and engage with audiences in a more meaningful way, using advanced sentiment analysis tools that ensure every voice is heard. 

E: What problem(s) does it solve?

TW: The internet needs an overhaul of its approach to comments. Even on news outlets’ channels, reams of audience comments die and disappear in hours without being properly explored. We developed Qutee to put a stop to this comments chaos.

Qutee lets digital community owners regain control of the debate by transforming masses of qualitative comments and quantitative poll data into tangible insight on how audiences think and feel. This insight can be used to inform future content. For consumers, Qutee provides a genuine chance to contribute to debates and feel that their opinions are being heard – providing true data democracy.

qutee poll

A Qutee poll

E: What were the biggest challenges involved in building the tech or growing your team?

TW: The initial challenge was finding a way to test during beta with a relevant audience. We achieved this by partnering with tech influencer Marzbar. 

The subsequent feedback and user data helped us refine the UI/UX and on-boarding at a very granular level. 

The next challenge was how to grow ‘grade A’ communities providing great data stories that we could use to showcase what the platform can do. 

Via Marzbar we quickly had an influx of other influencers asking to join and become strategic partners. We decided at that point to focus on influencers with university degrees in gaming and tech. The result has been stellar retention rates, and some really insightful discussions and data stories.

E: How will the company make money?

TW: We recently came out of beta and are focusing on generate revenues via advertising and affiliates, and also by licensing the core technology and API.

E: Who is in your team?

TW: We currently have 10 employees. Our board includes the former senior Facebook head of worldwide government relations, Elizabeth Linder, and consumer data expert Jim Hodgkins, formerly CEO of VisualDNA and Experian.

E: Where would you like to be in one, three and five years' time?

TW: This year we would like to reach around 5 million monthly active users (MAUs) and establish Qutee known as the place for elevated debate and data democracy. 

In three years’ time I hope that our core tech will be ubiquitous across the web and that Qutee will have in excess of 100 MAU. 

Five years? I’d like to be on one of Elon Musk’s space ships looking down on the blue dot!

E: Other than your own, what are your favourite websites/apps/tools?

TW: In terms of pure day to day? WhatsApp, Small PDF and Keynote. Skype I used to love until the “snapchat” update.

In terms of websites? I have found I visit far fewer than ever before, just simply because of the excess of video ads and the subsequent downgraded experience.

Ben Davis

Published 9 February, 2018 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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