Satisfind is a smart social networking app that helps you find and create quality connections in local venues.
An excerpt from an interview with Co-founders Jared Johnson and Scott Salandy-Defour.
How did you come up with Satisfind?
Jared: I was actually working on a preliminary version of it maybe a year and a half ago. I came up to New York just to visit Scott, we worked at Booz Allen together previously, and I talked to him about what I was working on. Turns out he was working on something very similar so we started collaborating and we then molded our two versions of the product together.
And in addition to that, the experience that birthed Satisfind was that we were both consultants as well—so going to different cities, traveling, trying to go out and meet people is a little challenging. So that experience for both of us kind of spurred whatever we were doing on the side.
Scott: To that as well, when you do travel, Yelp and all of these review sites can’t really give you a picture of who goes to these sites or what the atmosphere is really like. There was really no way to capture the mood of an establishment, whether it be a club that plays house music versus a local coffee shop that has a live band. That kind of information is really hard to find when you’re traveling all across the country or globe.
How far have you come since then?
Jared: The first few months was a lot of strategic thinking, with white-boarding, the stickies on the wall, design thinking, that sort of stuff.
Scott: Bringing all the good consultancy frameworks…
Scott: We still have a lot of it up on the walls in our apartments. So his apartment has a set of post-its, my apartment has a set of post-its. My roommate brought a girl over the other day and she was like, “what is wrong with your roommate…is he plotting something?”
Jared: We finished that process in the winter/early spring and finally started putting pen to paper and producing some tangible results. We're now at a point where we’ve built a UX prototype. So all of the visual design, interactions, all that stuff has already been built out. Essentially, we’re at a point where we need a developer to actually implement it and make it come to life.
What has been the biggest challenge?
Scott: One challenge we’ve had is just really articulating the entire picture to people that we speak to. I think we’ve noticed from people that we’ve spoken to that there's a kind of age barrier for people who get it. So people under 30 get it immediately. They totally grasp it. And people older than that find it a bit harder to grasp the problem that we’re trying to tackle, and how it differentiates from the others who have tried to tackle it as well.
Jared: That’s the thing — you have to understand who your target audience is. You obviously have your social butterflies that are out there and they don't need anything, they can just talk to anybody.
What has been the biggest mistake you’ve made?
Scott: There are a lot. I think the biggest mistake that we’ve made is probably related to our consulting background. We’ve done a lot…a lot of planning. A lot of upfront planning, a lot of ideation and any other buzz words that you want to use. I think that has been a mistake that has been hard for us to switch off, given what we do day to day.
Jared: I agree. Obviously working a consulting job and doing this at the same time has been a challenging thing — but I don’t think its a mistake. It’s more so a barrier to progress. I think its something that were going to have to work through, at least in the interim. Obviously, I think that in any kind of startup, the ideal situation is that you just build something and put it out there as quickly as possible. Get the feedback, instead of trying to ideate and determine if your assumptions are correct or not within your own team.
What has been your most satisfying moment?
Jared: Getting the prototype actually built and having something that we can actually show people — something that we’ve been talking about for so long is actually a clickable prototype format that you can actually use. Going from where we started to actually getting to that point has been extremely satisfying.
Scott: On a personal note, whenever I'm somewhere where I know the app would be great to use, I'll open the prototype and think to myself, this would be awesome.
What is success to you guys?
Jared: It’s a good question. At this point, we have a set of assumptions that were trying to test and once we validate those initial assumptions, that will be huge. We have some big dreams of what this can be and we see this as a very first step, in terms of what it can be moving forward.
Scott: Along the same lines, in how we think about it — there is ‘The Internet of Things’… can we create the ‘Internet of People.’ That’s the big vision.
How would you characterize life of an Entrepreneur in one word?
Scott: That’s a very good way to sum it up.
Jared: You have to be though. In order to be successful, no matter how crowded the space is, you still think to yourself, this thing is awesome. And you have to keep pushing no matter who is saying otherwise. You just have to keep pushing forward.
- Interviewed by Z.T., ROKO Labs.