Are you a Startup? please take a moment to complete this Survey
(it takes 1 min) http://bit.ly/surstartups
One of the most important mission of RocketCompanies is to discover new Startups, the rising stars of the Industry. Finding “Theneeds” has been a revelation for our team, believing it could become an extremely popular platform with features specifically tailored for each user, in order to create a full, high-quality experience.
Do they fit the profile we look for?
The answer is yes, since they have registered a 71% growth Rate during the month of June, from 182,350 monthly estimated unique visitors in May, to 312,156 in June. Lucky for us, Gabriele Pansa, one of the founding members of Theneeds agreed to answer a few questions for us, in order for our audience to get to know them better:
Theneeds is the best place to discover news, videos, social posts, and more, tailored to your specific interests. In a nutshell, Theneeds scours the web so you don’t have to, constantly learning about your interests, and bringing you only the web you love, in one single place. Theneeds pulls from thousands of sources, from top sites to cool blogs, social networks, and people just like you, and its advanced Artificial Intelligence technology constantly learns from your activity to get smarter and more relevant the more you use it.
When and in what context was the idea behind “Theneeds” created?
“Everything started two years ago trying to catch up on the topics I’m interested in. I jumped through different websites and just wasted a lot of time. The online experience is fragmented and noisy and this makes it almost impossible to keep up effortlessly with what’s relevant to us across our interests. Search is basically the only option and there is no “personalized curation” available for those of us who want to discover. So we thought, wouldn’t it be great to see just the web that matters to us? There were a bunch of solutions out there, but they were technical and boring. We wanted to build something for the average consumer. For everyone who doesn’t care about the technology behind it. For everyone who just wants things that work.”
Who gave you the first jump-start? – Financially and/or morally.
“We discussed our initial ideas with friends and quickly learned how many shared our frustrations with today’s online experience. We started building the product we ourselves needed, then adapted it along the way to work for others. From a financial point of view, we decided to do an initial founders’ round at the beginning of last year in order to bootstrap the company towards reaching a solid beta with unique technology and able to show the right market validation.”
What were the biggest struggles in creating the final version?
“Well, creating a streamlined user experience and UI are always a big deal. Products have to be easy to understand and easy to use. We soon realized that we were presenting the results of our amazing technology the wrong way. Too many features, too complicated, too confusing, so we went back to the drawing board and focused our alpha phase on listening to our early and potential users by conducting more than 100 direct interviews and collecting 500+ pieces of feedback. Thanks to what we learned during that phase we immediately went through a big UX/UI redesign to validate the product idea in a way that was tested and proven.”
What do you wish you had known before creating Theneeds?
“How hard it is to actually build a company. Even if you went to top schools or got trained in challenging professional experiences, you are never prepared enough. But the most important thing is probably that a clear vision, commitment, and hard work go a long way. Obviously you will also learn a lot from your mistakes and the sooner you learn, the better it is.”
What about your team? Founding team:
- Gabriele Pansa – Former Manager at Accenture, Strategy Practice; M.Sc. in Management Engineering
- Emanuele Cesena – Former Researcher in Computer Science; Ph.D. in Mathematics
- Luca Albertalli – Former IT Consultant at Accenture, Telco and High Tech industries; Double M.Sc. in Computer Engineering”
Since its foundation date in 2013, Theneeds received incredible exposure in the Media, many tech-oriented websites sharing our opinion in the value they bring to an overcrowded web space: TechCrunch, VentureBeat, Gizmorati, Wakefield being only a few of those who have shown interest in them, so far. With many thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, we wish the team at Theneeds good fortune in all their future projects and may they rise like a true “Rocket Company” we believe they are.