This NYC Startup is Taking on the Survey Giants




The advent of the internet was a natural extension of for this existing market – the survey industry.   Anyone looking to collect data at scale from a variety of participants would be able to by easily setting up a survey to collect insights through one of the many services that have propped up. However, these survey services never captured the dynamic and interactive nature of the internet. This is where Newlio comes in – the platform for online surveys redefined.  The company is focused on making online surveys conversational and authentic by optimizing the experience for both the user and surveyor and counts a number of blue chip companies as clients.

Today, Zach Schwitzky, President and cofounder, joins us to discuss the company, its future plans, and the state of everything online survey-related.

Tell us about the product or service.

Newlio is the world’s first online survey optimization platform. We believe that in the same way emails are optimized to drive click-through and websites are optimized to drive conversion, surveys should be optimized to drive authentic responses to the questions posed.

The only recent evolutionary step in the survey/market research world was when SurveyMonkey made it simple(ish) to create surveys online. When you think about it, a survey is just a way to converse with stakeholders at scale. Yet, conversing is something that most people enjoy. But its rare to find someone who enjoys taking a survey. With Newlio, we set out to make creating engaging and optimized online surveys simple, and provide a conversation-like experience, where people are comfortable and willing to take the time to participate in a survey and answer questions authentically.

How is it different?

Quite simply, Newlio surveys don’t suck; they’re more like a conversation. To that end, users can create surveys which don’t look and feel like surveys. We found it interesting that so much time, effort and money is spent to maintain brand standards online, yet, when most companies deploy surveys, they look as though they came out of a box dated “1999”. Beyond looking good, Newlio surveys yield 86 percent higher engagement with 3 times fewer discrepancies than the major competition in the market.

Also, Newlio is the only platform with Audience Engagement Score (AES), which, analogous to a spam score, ensures that a survey is optimized prior to deployment. Using a proprietary algorithmic approach, the Newlio platform tracks question type, time of engagement, response patters and various other variables. Engagement is analyzed and validated in real-time, producing the survey’s AES, or the overall quality of engagement and results.

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

Anyone who uses online surveys or anyone who is looking to garner insights from their stakeholders. We know how important research is in everything from product development to business strategy to campaign implementation. People shouldn’t suffer with sub standard quantitative data. Unfortunately, if you’re not optimizing your surveys your data is likely flawed in some way. Upwards of 85 percent of new products fail or drastically underperform expectations. We exist to help counteract that trend.

Z pictureWhat is the business model?

The Newlio platform is available at Newlio.com. Everyone who signs up receives a free, seven-day survey. After that we charge $299 per survey project or $65 a month for a 12-month subscription. We also offer professional research services through our parent company, Newlio Labs.

What inspired the business?

When we started Newlio Labs two years ago, we were working with large, iconic brands like Stoli, Hilton Hotels, and McDonalds, helping them with their data collection and analysis efforts. We used every quantitative research platform out there and quickly realized that our data was being compromised because the platforms were not properly engaging the survey participants. Literally not one of the many online survey platforms available today is able ensure data integrity. Its ridiculous. So we decided to build our own. The rest as they say is history.

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?

We are on track to signing up 50,000 users by the end of summer. The plan is to celebrate our 100,000th user in six months’ time.

What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?

There is no such thing as a good idea… there are ideas and there is execution. Too often, entrepreneurs are so emotionally connected to their idea (myself included), that they’ll sit in a room and spend months (or years) trying to develop the perfect product. Very few people or companies are in the position to tell the market what it wants (true innovators). And without real feedback from actual (paying) customers, you have no idea whether your product solves a problem, is better, faster or cheaper than what your market is currently using. The longer you go without the feedback, the harder it becomes to face, understand and appreciate when you do finally have it. And you can only hope then, that you are in a position, both financially and emotionally, to go back to the drawing board. Simply put, learn how to fail and fail fast with the help of actual users, paying or otherwise.

If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?

Jamie Dimon. I have to wear a lot of hats… understand multiple items to execute on behalf of a varied range of clients. I also need to have the right people around me and lead them with a shared vision of what the future looks like. Jamie’s ability to be knowledgeable in many areas, manage various stakeholders with different motivations, and acquire and lead the talent of a multi-faceted organization are lessons that would be incredibly valuable to any entrepreneur. Plus, I would love to walk out of a lunch with JP Morgan as a client.

Why did you launch in New York?

In one word, “access”. In NYC, there is access to money, talent, advisers, and customers. While you’re always conscious of excessive spending at an early-stage company, the financial aspects of operating in NYC provides enough motivation to get out there and make things happen.

Where is your favorite outdoor bar in the city for a drink when it is warm out?

The rooftop at the Peninsula Hotel.

About the author: AlleyWatch

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