Votesy Explainer Video Released

December 3, 2015 Posted by Tyler Cruz

It’s been just over 2 weeks since I finally divulged that "Project V", the new web project I’ve been working on over the past 3 months, was "Votesy" and I unveiled the logo as well.

However, I did not provide any information other than that, so I guess you could say that it was a bit of a tease. I don’t want to reveal everything at once, otherwise I won’t have anything to update you guys on while it completes its development phase.

To make up for that, here is a full explainer video describing just what Votesy is all about:

(Note: You may need to visit the post directly at TylerCruz.com if you’re reading this via e-mail or RSS in order to see the video.)

So that’s what Votesy is all about.

The ironic thing is that when I was torn on which domain to use or logo version to go with, I couldn’t use Votesy to help as it didn’t exist yet!

Votesy has many applications and uses. For example, since a lot of you are affiliate marketers, think about how you could submit banners for your product or service and then see which ones are the most popular. Then you could see detailed demographic information on who tended to click on which banner more often. For example, you could find that banner #3 was a lot more popular with single females aged 20-25 from the US.

My suspicion is that Votesy will be used by visitors for a more casual nature though, such as voting on which singer of a boy band is the cutest.

Development Updates

Unfortunately, development of the site has been slow-going during the past couple of weeks. Thanksgiving took an extra day out of production (ha, that makes me sound so bad) and a number of bugs came up such as user-interface flow issues (for uploading images) and registration problems. E-mail was also set up on the site and some time was spent deciding on which service to use for that (we ended up choosing a 3rd-party e-mail service).

However, the video was completed (as shown above) which I’m happy with, as it would be difficult to launch the site without it.

In addition, I took care of a lot of more "boring" work such as writing out the privacy policy and terms of service. I now cannot think of any really boring work left to do on the site, but I’m sure I’m forgetting something.

There has been absolutely no work done on any of the "premium services" of the site, and it’s possible that I may have to hold off on that feature until some time after launch.

There are a lot of CSS issues with the site and a lot of bugs to iron out, but the core of the site is there. It just needs a fair bit of polishing.

Completion Prediction

In my last update,  my prediction for an early alpha working version of the site was another 7-10 days. Well, it’s already been just over 2 weeks so that prediction didn’t work out.

I now predict the alpha version of the site (that is, a version where a user can register and use 90% of the site functionally, even if it looks a bit rough around the edges) to be in another 7 days from now.

I won’t be able to delay the launch for too much longer, so I will most likely have to forego some of the features I had originally planned for and hope to implement them down the road instead.

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Posted: December 3rd, 2015 under Miscellaneous  

41 Responses to “Votesy Explainer Video Released”

  1. Robert says:

    Wow, looks very good, i wish you the best of luck, Tyler!

  2. Ricardo says:

    Cool! Sometimes I find it very hard to choose between two design alternatives, so I think that will be a strong niche for the site. How do you plan to build the “crowd” side of the platform? The best of luck!

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Yeah, that’s what prompted me to develop the site – I was tired of asking my friends on Skype for questions like these!

      Building the userbase will be tricky and a challenge. I do have a plan though.

  3. Red says:

    Vincent’s winning logo IS the Crunchyroll logo.

  4. Gareth says:

    What is the incentive for people to register, submit personal information and then vote? The power of this site will come from the volume of votes each question can attract, but I don’t see what’s in it for the voters.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Users can register with just basic information required (username and password) or by logging in via Twitter, Google, or Facebook – extra profile fields are encouraged to be filled out but not mandatory.

      Yes, user acquisition and retention will definitely be key here. I do have a plan for this, but I agree with your assessment.

      • Gareth says:

        Presumably you’ll need to encourage a fair proportion of users to complete extra profile fields to enable question askers to target specific demographics. This could quite easily flop or completely take off, all the best!

  5. What are your thoughts on Twitter introducing polling options recently? One benefit Votesy seems to have over Twitter’s offering is that you can do media rich polls (images) — something you can’t do on Twitter.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      I actually didn’t notice Twitter did this until shortly after starting the project.

      There are a number of benefits to using Votesy compared to Twitter polls or poll creation sites, here are the major ones:

      – The ability to use and vote on rich media (images and video in addition to text)
      – Being able to see breakdown statistics on results (not just the winner either)
      – Not being required to have a Twitter or X site account – you can use Votesy by registering your e-mail, or logging in via Facebook, Twitter, or Google. You can only use Twitter by creating a Twitter account.
      – Having a dedicated voted community; receive more votes than just your friends and family
      – Make your questions private, limit it to only certain demographics, disable commenting, etc.
      – The comments to the question are voted on too (like Reddit and YouTube), so the most popular feedback will rise to the top

  6. Filan says:

    Hi man, I launched a startup with similar idea last year. It failed, but I learned something that you might want to know.

    First of all, there are already a TON of social voting platforms. None of them really hit it big because if someone need people’s opinion they can just ask it directly on Facebook, text message, or Twitter (which now actually has its own voting feature). You’ll need a smaller target audience, a niche. Don’t make everyone your target market because you’re not Facebook. Instead, for example, create a voting platform specifically for designers, programmer, marketer, or entrepreneur, etc.

    Second, there’s one thing that caught my interest in Votesy’s feature. You showed it at the very end of the video, that thing about statistical and demographic. Now, this is interesting. You should’ve focused on this one and make Votesy a voting platform for business or people who want to do market research. This is much better because it will have actual value instead of just for fun.

    It’ll be better if you validate the idea even more, just so you wont waste money to create something that people don’t want/need to use.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Votesy is definitely has a wide net and isn’t catering to a specific niche or group, but I do have some plans on bringing in specific groups to use the site.

      Regarding your second point – yes, this is something that I couldn’t find any other competition doing (although I couldn’t find any other competition allowing media-rich votes either), but how would you expect it to work for businesses to do market research yet not have anybody voting? Unless you meant for it to act more as a SaaS that companies could use… but that would eliminate the whole community aspect of the site, which I think is very valuable…

      As for the validation thing – yeah, I understand what you’re saying for sure, but I don’t see a way to test this small without releasing it with a majority of the features… it’d be like testing out if Twitter was a good idea, but not allowing it to function on mobile phones…

  7. Patrick says:

    Very good idea. Impressive video. I can see it working. You are the real deal Tyler.

  8. Guys Gab says:

    Seems like a cool concept, Tyler, best of luck to you! Maybe I missed it in the video, but how exactly do you plan on monetizing the site? Through display ads, selling user info, etc?

  9. joe says:

    Ditch all but the most important feature and get it out there.

  10. Catt Mutts says:

    Tyler,

    I actually know of someone who had this same idea and failed. Look it up on Thisorthat.com on archive.org. They even received millions in funding. With Facebook polls and Twitter, I’m not sure why I would use this?

  11. Charlie says:

    Here’s why this won’t work.

    Let’s take the use cases from your explainer video (which is pretty good by the way). The girl who’s going out tonight and can’t decide on which dress to wear. Do you know what she does? She takes a selfie and posts to Twitter or more likely a friend on a chat app (whatsapp, viber, line etc). Why wouldn’t she use something like Votesy? Because she doesn’t want just anyone’s opinion. She wants the opinion of people that matter to her – her friends. People who know her. Your target is ‘everyone’, but she doesn’t want to know what ‘everyone’ thinks.

    And this is ignoring the problem of how you are going to get the hundreds of thousands/millions of users you would need for this to take off. I mean I just don’t know how you’re going to market this and get enough users. Search – no. No one is searching for a ‘crowdsourced social voting platform’. Paid ads? No, too expensive. Hopefully you have some ideas.

    And to take your second use case, Vincent, the entrepreneur and his logo. He doesn’t want the opinion of just anyone either. He wants the opinion of other entrepreneurs, which is why he posts his logo question on the private internet entrepreneurs forum he is a paying member of.

    So you have two fundamental problems: 1) no users aka how the heck do you get anywhere near enough users to make this even half viable? 2) other platforms (chat, social media, forums) better suited for your imagined use cases.

    • Aaron says:

      Hey Charlie,

      You do make some good points. I’m not sure how the demographic information will be collected and what users will have access to it (free user, premium user, advertiser, etc.), but I think it COULD make all of the difference.

      Let’s use the same example of the girl in the video who wants an opinion on her outfit before going out that evening. She posts a couple of outfits to receive feedback on. Perhaps the poll is open to everyone but she can filter out her desired results to only display her peers. i.e. she only wants to see the results of single females between the ages of 21 and 29. If the tool has, or will eventually have, this level of control, it could be pretty powerful.

      Posting something on Twitter you can get a large number of impressions and a respectable number of engagements, but you don’t really know anything about most of them; you don’t even know much about your followers. With Facebook you don’t have those demographics available directly, but you likely know your friends on there, and therefore know who’s opinion to accept. The downside to Facebook is that you don’t have the same reach outside of your circle.

      Perhaps Votesy will (eventually) have categories or groups, so people can participate in polls that interest them, as in fashion, business, entrepreneurship, travel, etc.

      From reading Tyler’s previous posts, it sounds like the bulk of the project has already been paid for. The cost to run the site will likely be relatively low in comparison to the original build out. No doubt, they will need to have a budget for advertising and customer retention but that is an expense they can ratchet up or rein in as need. I guess what I’m saying is that, I hope they can ride out the storm long enough for it to catch on with a loyal user-base.

      There is a good chance the site will fail, but I can see the value in it. I wish Tyler and his partner(s) the best of luck! I love projects like this and happy people are willing to take the chance to make cool new products.

      • Charlie says:

        Yeah just wanted to add I wish Tyler luck with it, I just think, like you do, the project is likely to fail, and wanted to outline the reasons why. Tyler (and his investor) can afford to lose the money so I’m not too worried. And you never know, it might take off. And if it does I will take my hat off to Tyler and bow down to his marketing skills.

  12. Joe says:

    Yep. Agree with all the criticism here. Looks like Tyler didn’t think this one through. Actually, this is the danger of obsessing over keeping your ideas “secret” instead of getting feedback from your readers.

    • Kid B says:

      Exactly. Ironically Tyler should’ve gathered some feedback himself for a project like this. This project is never going to succeed because of all the aforementioned reasons. Tyler, let’s face it, you had a few successes on your name in the early days but the internet landscape has vastly changed. Unfortunately, you have not adapted to this. I admire your spirit but failing to acknowledge that other than targeting maybe a niche market, this project is doomed to fail. This is of course the risk of entrepreneurship, but again this is one of your so many enthousiastic ideas where you simply get blinded by that same enthousiasm.

  13. Reggie says:

    Do you have plans to make an app to go along with the site?

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Definitely, but it’s not in the project’s budget so that will have to wait for a 2nd round of development. I want to make sure the iOS and Android apps get developed properly by talented developers, and that won’t come cheap.

      • Matt Coddington says:

        Just hope you made that clear to the original developer as you’ll need restful services for your (eventual) mobile developer(s) to use. But since they’re using Angular/Node, I doubt that will be a problem.

        Also: exciting & ambitious project, Tyler. Love reading your blog when you’re doing something pie in the sky. Condo/rental Tyler is frankly boring 😉

        • Tyler Cruz says:

          Yes, already have a custom internal API for mobile porting.

          I personally loved the real estate stuff! Wish I had more money to buy more and do more hunting… so much fun.

  14. Mark H. says:

    Someone on Dragon’s Den (Canadian version) had the same idea… can’t find the link. If anyone has the link feel free to share. I thought it was an okay idea but sadly there were no investors for it.

    Marketing and monetizing the site will be the biggest challenges.

    • Kid B says:

      Projects like these usually have the same end game as ventures like Twitter, their sole business model is to grow and try to gather as much market share as possible and then hopefully be able to open it up for investors or simply get bought out.

      The idea itself is nothing special and ton of them have preceded Tyler and have failed. He will have no means to monetize it and not deep enough pockets to truly get somewhere meaningful in terms of growth and size. The project and idea itself has absolutely no moat.

      I wish you all the luck with this project Tyler and hope you prove me wrong.

  15. Matt Coddington says:

    Hey man, was your alpha prediction off due to the developer taking longer than he estimated or for other reasons? I ask because I’ve been considering Toptal for my next project, and my main concern is accountability. They promise premium developers (and charge as such), but it sounds like you’re having the same issues as you would grabbing a dev off Freelanceswitch.

    I don’t mind paying more if it means better service/code, but if it’s run of the mill I don’t think i’d be interested.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Well, the programmer I’m using never gave me any ETA’s for alpha/beta/etc. – those are just things I tried to estimate myself. He gives me updates daily on what he worked on and what he will work on the next day so that I can stay informed as to the progress. I also hired him on a “part-time” basis (4 hours a day, 5 days a week), so things are not as speedy as they could have been.

      Toptal actually offers around a 1-2 week guarantee as well; there is no charge and you can be set up with a different developer if you are not happy with the results in the first week. Toptal is great, but you really need the cash to take advantage of it. If I had had the budget to hire more than 1 programmer (I hired the designer and video production outside of Toptal), or pay more per hour to bring in a full-timer, I would have, as things would have gone dramatically faster.

  16. Ravi Kumar says:

    Seems like a cool concept Tyler. You have done a great job. However, I still fear that it will fail because we have already witnessed many similar projects in the past.

    Anyway, Best of Luck!

    • Andrew says:

      Yeah, it’s pretty clear what the problem is: not being interested in the hard work of building and maintaining a website. It’s not interesting to him, but he still feels he needs to develop sites, and the only ones he can be bothered with are hugely ambitious ones.

      Making good sites can be a grind. If you can’t handle that, then you shouldn’t develop them. If you build a lot of good, successful smaller sites, then maybe you’ll be ready to build something bigger, but otherwise it’s a waste of time and money, done only to satisfy the desire to feel like a developer again.

  17. Jon says:

    Tyler – genuine query. Do you actually believe this will work? How much?

PeerFly

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