Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Kamel Zeroual, CEO of Stribe — Gold prize winner at Le Web ‘09. We covered topics ranging from this Paris-based startup’s origins to where it is going and how it is planning to get there.
The Stribe product is a freemium online service, seeking to provide the capability to instantly create a social network on any website, confronted by a diverse array of competition from the likes of Ning, Facebook, and Meebo. And, it all began shortly after the 20 Kilometers of Paris race where the Stribe team…
“… noticed that all the people were checking their time two days after the race without being able to share, discuss, and experience the benefits of the online relationship. At that time, we (the Stribe team) were sure that all websites held the (unrealized) potential for being a social network.”
From this Stribe was born, seeking to provide the average online user…
“…more social features, getting more relevant content from any stribed website…”
… the website owner…
“…a plug-and-play service for interaction tools and getting in touch in other websites on the same topic…”
… as well as the application developer…
“…ability to create specific features, to suit their needs, such as casual games, special surveys, and so on. And an API will soon be available.”
Startup, Growth & Revenue
Stribe’s current strategy goes beyond its freemium business model to monetization, driven by virtual goods, casual gaming, advertising, and the crafting of viral mechanisms to drive the product’s growth.
In speaking to the realization of the long-term vision, and where Stribe would like to be in 3 years, Kamel provided the wonderfully framed insight that only a startup founder can — by responding (with a big grin)…
“Well, could you ask me this question in a couple of months?”
“Running a start-up means being able to listen, discover the pain of your customers and users. We are a lean startup … very agile … making the best moves as fast as we can.”
And, as far as tips for the aspiring entrepreneur seeking to follow in the footsteps of Stribe, and other exciting startups like them, Kamel has the following advice…
“While it’s my first company … I’ve learned many things in a couple years. My advice is to focus on customers and market feedback … to figure out the perfect value proposition, price, and service.”
All Wrapped Up
Stribe provides a broad suite of features and functionality that touches the many cornerstones of Modular Innovation, from the Shareability of content to Interoperability with Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail, facilitating relationships amongst and between websites and the users that frequent them.
Check them out — and share your thoughts, advice and experiences in the comments below.
The Product Guy