Considering how much information we share online, why is it that we don’t necessarily know all that much about what our coworkers are really like?Or friends, either, for that matter?
Knozen is a fun new app that’s changing that.
In a friendly way.
It’s a quiz-based social game that encourages people to discover and share more about their personalities with the people around them. With a five star rating in the App store, Knozen’s mission is to bring personality to mobile and the Internet by transferring cafeteria lunch table chatter and water-cooler conversations to the digital space in a fun and engaging way. Founded in 2013 by Marc Cenedella, investors FirstMark Capital, LererHippeau Ventures, David Tisch’s BoxGroup and Greycroft Partners are all already totally on board. Good company to keep, as Cenedella tells us more.
Tell us about the product.
Knozen is a quiz-based social game that encourages people to discover and share more about their personalities with the people around them. With a five star rating in the App store, Knozen’s mission is to bring personality to mobile and the internet by transferring cafeteria lunch table chatter and water-cooler conversations to the digital space in a fun and engaging way.
How is it different?
Unlike other trivia apps, Knozen engages its users by asking fun and silly questions about each other, such as ‘who is more likely to know all the rules to sumo wrestling?’ mixed in with slightly more serious questions. A big component of Knozen’s competitive difference is the personality profiles, which highlight your traits based on the types of questions that you have answered, and have been answered by you. Knozen also generates scores to show how compatible you are with your friends, and how well you know them. It provides a comprehensive look at the things you know about the people around you, providing an extra level of detail.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
We’ve found that Knozen resonates mostly with women aged 18 to 34 and for this reason, we are focusing our product on accommodating for this demographic. However, given the entertaining and addictive nature of the game, it also does appeal to teens. Now that we’ve opened up access to everyone, really anyone with an iPhone and Facebook can join in on the fun. There are 35M women in the age bracket of 18-34 (source).
What is the business model?
We’re building a tremendous audience and will have multiple revenue streams — ads, subscriptions and enterprise data licences.
How has your experience at TheLadders shaped Knozen?
TheLadders was a great starting point for Knozen. I’ve always been very interested in personality traits and hidden qualities (the ‘invisible self’) that generally do not make an appearance during job interviews or in the workplace. And funnily enough, this is where how people perceive you matters most. Incorporating personality profiling into the recruitment process and team building makes them stronger, by playing to people’s strengths. I’ve also always been fascinated by the amount of information we are willing to share with our phone and so I wanted to find a way to take the soft stuff inside of us and digitize it in a fun and interesting way. It is through our differences that we become stronger, and Knozen helps us to identify and celebrate this.
What inspired the business?
I find it very interesting that, although we spend a large amount of time with our colleagues, we actually know so little about them, their personality traits and what makes them tick. I am very interested in how people perceive others and what their strengths and weaknesses are, which is generally (and sadly) not shared information. With Knozen, we’re using technology to encourage people to open up and share this vital information with one another so we can understand each other and better play to our strengths.
What has the data that you’ve collected so far revealed about how we communicate?
Obviously, people are fascinated by personality and talking about their opinions about other people. We’re really pleased that we’ve bucked the industry trend and gone with a positive, constructive, supportive approach to these conversations about others. And it’s gratifying that so many users find that so much more worthwhile than the negativity that prevails in other feedback apps.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We just launched a new featured, Question Booth, which provides user-generated questions. We are also excited to be welcoming an additional team member, who will be joining us in June to help us out with some cool new projects we’re working on.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?
Rick Heitzmann. He’s been a friend for over a decade, and worked with me on this idea for more than a year before the seed round. He’s been a friend, supporter, advisor, and believer from the start.
Why did you launch in New York?
New York is such an open city, which I think really comes down to history and having been founded by the Dutch. The tech scene here is really only just warming up and so I think the best is still yet to come. New York has been at the heart of so many things artistically and culturally, and it’s only a matter of time before the same is so for tech. Launching here makes more sense, as it really is at the epicenter of the world’s media. Having lived here for 17 years, I am also familiar with the market, so from a business perspective, launching here was an obvious decision.
Where is your favorite outdoor bar in the city for a drink when it is actually warm out?
What is this word you mention in the sentence? “Warm”? I think I’ve heard of it….
The ferry to Governor’s Island — terrific views of Manhattan, ocean breeze, and the gorgeous new Governor’s Island park awaiting you…. awesome!