It’s great to create rich content but unless its easy to create the barriers of entry are high and the masses are not creating it. Webdoc aims to make it dead simple to allow those with/without technical knowledge to create rich engaging content that everyone can enjoy. In this installment of TZ Startup Hot Seat we chat with Vincent Borel Co-Founder of Webdoc. We discuss the origins of Webdoc and as an entrepreneur how Vincent deals with competitors and the general day to day of being an entrepreneur.
Give Us the Fast Pitch
Webdoc is a web platform that allows you to easily create interactive posts mixing different web contents through a simple and intuitive drag & drop interface. Imagine a white canvas that allows you to create a mixture of any kind of media you want in one space. In this space, you can create or reuse your favorite online content from YouTube, Flickr, Slideshare, Twitter, Google Maps, Facebook, your blog and more by simply dragging and dropping any or all of it onto one canvas, which you can then republish anywhere you wish.
Users range from consumers who are bloggers and/or active on Facebook and Twitter to entertainers who want to share content and better engage with fans, small business owners who want to more effectively share promotions, discounts, contests and products, and big brands who want to generate more awareness and drive traffic.
Think YouTube but for creating and virally sharing rich web creations and going beyond broadcast.
What made you decide to begin working on Webdoc?
The desire to free the web by allowing anyone to edit, reuse, and embed the web. It came from the frustration that although the web has become a lot more social in the past 5 years, our ability to express ourselves online is still limited to a single media / single element post. I can share a link, a video, or a photo album but there is no way to freely mix different types of web content and share them.
Think Minority Report meets the web.
What is the market opportunity?
Everyone has something to say that goes beyond 140 characters or a single media post. Today, if you want to create a digital-rich experience for your friends, fans or customers, you either need a web developer and designer to do it or hours if not days of time to develop something compelling enough to engage your audience. Webdoc solves that problem by giving anyone access to an interface where using a mouse to drag and drop is about as complicated as it gets.
How big is your team?
Webdoc has now about 15 full time webdocers split across 3 locations: Lausanne in Switzerland, Minsk in Belarusia and San Francisco.
We really have an amazing team of developers and designers with over 6 nationalities. As anyone in the startup world knows your team is what makes the difference and ours definitely does.
Are you Funded? How did your company get its initial funding? How much funding do you currently have?
Webdoc is currently privately funded. We plan on closing a Round A by the end of this year.
Have you ever needed to change direction/focus? If so, what was that like?
When you develop a new product, especially one that is disrupting existing habits you are constantly integrating user feedback. So even though our long-term vision remains, we are constantly listening and adjusting our priorities based on the market and our users.
How do you deal with competitors? Do you keep up with other companies doing similar things?
Of course you are always on the look out for what is happening in and around your space. Because of the unique nature of Webdoc today, our main competitor is time and awareness. We don’t compete with existing social networks or social publishing tools but enhance people abilities to create more engaging experiences for their friends, fans or customers on these platforms i.e. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.
What is the most difficult and best things about being an entrepreneur?
The best thing about being an entrepreneur is your ability to pursue your dream, your passion and being able to share it with others. Clearly the most rewarding experience is hearing enthusiastic users share their love. The most difficult thing but at the same the most exhilarating is the uncertainty of what tomorrow holds.
Who are your three most influential entrepreneurs?
Steve Jobs, Chad Hurley, Richard Branson
What does “failure” mean to you?
Never ever give up – learn from your failures and move on.
What does “success” mean to you?
Success is never final – enjoy the moment and celebrate every milestone!
What is coming up next? Your goals, new products, new direction? (Either for you as an entrepreneur or for the company as a whole)
In terms of products, we are constantly releasing cool new product features for our web platform. Sign up to webdoc.com and we will give you more details. On the mobile front we will be releasing an iphone app during the summer.
Webdoc’s vision is to become the YouTube of mixed web content, going beyond broadcast. In the same way YouTube lets you share and embed your video anywhere online, Webdoc allows you to share and embed your rich interactive web experience anywhere. Since Webdoc allows you to share any kind of content in one place and then re-use and publish it, the benefits are enormous.
If you’re a consumer, the result is the ability to share a more complete and rich story of what you see, do and experience with friends and family. Because it only takes a few minutes to create a webdoc, you can swap and exchange content daily if you’d like, whether it’s on your Facebook page, your blog or your website.
If you’re a business or entertainer, you can now communicate and engage with your clients, partners, fans, customers and more at a much deeper level. They will get a glimpse of your brand, offers, products, and company in more places and in a much more engaging and diverse way.