Allentrepreneur: Thanks for having us Ed! First, tell us what was the problem you were out to solve with a startup like Diddit?
Ed: Hi Tien, thanks for having us, we appreciate the opportunity to chat with you about Diddit. We set out to build a fun and engaging consumer Web site that in parallel could generate business value. From a consumer perspective, Diddit is a fun place to discover, aspire and share your passions. Simply check off experiences from our giant database of places to go and things to do that is organized into interest channels, or get recommendations and reviews for new experiences. Diddit is your engaging guide to a life well lived.
From a business perspective, Diddit is a social objects platform for the experience economy. Ludic Labs is building the world’s largest database of “things worth doing”, coupled with engaging, sticky social machinery around passion-point social objects. User interactions yield vast quantities of content, ratings, recommendations, and psychometric data around communities of interest.
Allentrepreneur: So if I’m not mistaken, Diddit is an innovative way to socialize your bucket list. You can not only list things you want to do (wannados) and things you did (diddits), but by exposing the content to a community of like-minded doers (!) this can easily culminate in helpful reccomendations. Was this always the plan or did the reccomendations part something of an afterthought?
Ed: We always envisioned Diddit as a place to discover interesting new things to do. In fact, we have used the expression “Amazon.com for your life” for that very reason. Diddit is a place to go and get recommendations based on what you have done and wanna do!
Allentrepreneur: What would you say are the main reasons that make the Diddit experience so addictive?
Ed: There are a few and they often happen in sequence – First, the experience of simply checking off things you have done is somewhat of a nostalgic experience. You start recalling all the great things you have done and that is a compelling reason to discover and share more experiences. Second, is what we refer to as social game play. You start looking for new things to check off because you are trying to build up an impressive list of life accomplishments either for your own gratification or because you have friends you are sharing your diddits with. You can level up in each of our over 20 channels of interest. For example, you can be in Top 10 % in Sports and Top 25% in Travel, etc. Finally, it is always fun to discover something new to do by either watching what other people like you are doing or based on our recommendations.
Allentrepreneur: While on the topic of community, what would you say makes Diddit an important player in a field dominated by the likes of Facebook and Twitter?
Ed: We are not a social network like Facebook, in fact we use Facebook and Twitter Connect because we hope our users will maintain their friend or follower lists on those respective properties. We are a social application or utility where our users share their diddits or wanna dos by tweeting or posting to their Facebook wall.
Allentrepreneur: Behind every great product is a great team. Can you tell us a bit about your co-workers and how important it is to find the right people for the job in a startup?
Ed: My co-founders and I all worked at a company called Inktomi (Yahoo! Search pre-Bing). Starting a new venture is a great adventure that requires a lot of trust and support. Working with people who fit that profile and are very skilled is extremely important. We are still a very small team and for the next year will grow slowly as we find the right people to fill roles required to take the product and business to the next level. And equally as important to sourcing the right people is letting go of people who do not fit or are ready for something new.
Allentrepreneur: I’ve read that Diddit was in private beta for six months before opening up. What can you tell us about your marketing strategy? Which methods did your startup use to engage and more importantly, retain users?
Ed: We used that time to build a registered user community and refine the user interactions on the site. In addition were building a database of social objects that the community revolves around. So it was much more a product and business strategy more so than an external marketing tactic.
Allentrepreneur: Diddit has a solid user base. Around 10, 000 people are now hopping around Diddit, checking things off. With such a growing user base, are there any plans to monetize the site other than advertising? Can you let us in on your business model plans?
Ed: We actually just passed 30K registered users and 100k unique monthly visitors! We are looking into both onsite and offsite monetization plans that are anchored around the database of social objects – think of it currently as a half million worthwhile things to do – story-worthy experiences for people. There are quite a few interesting business models we are exploring and testing right now that we will be talking more about in the fall.
Allentrepreneur: Finally, care to give us a preview of what we can expect from you guys in the near future? What benchmark can we expect from Diddit next?
Ed: We plan to have to have some interesting partner, database, and community engagement news in the fall. We will be continuing to drive both viral and SEO traffic to the site over the coming months and building the database. The next milestone will be to validate a business model based on leveraging those two things in conjunction with partners that we are working with. Please stay tuned for more on that in the coming months.
Thank you for the opportunity to share the Diddit story and plans with you today.