Everyone should want to hear your take on the new restaurant in the neighborhood…the only problem is that you are too lazy to make an account with all these different review websites. Why should it take more than 30 seconds to leave your thoughts on a café or new store? With MyVibz you are getting the quickest way to leave your thoughts about a shop ever. With 6 taps or less you can give the next person who goes there the only information they need.
Yvann Filipczak, CEO, tells us about his product that is just getting off the ground and where he plans to take it.
Tell us about the product or service.
MyVibz is a NYC based startup offering a new way of reviewing businesses. Leaving a review is not just about the facts, it’s about the way you felt when visiting a business, and we want to look at reviewing from that angle, with an emphasis on the user’s “vibz.” We just launched our beta version on the app store.
MyVibz is designed to make it super easy and fast to leave a review, in 6 taps and less than 20 seconds. The founders felt that writing reviews took too long and seemed inadequate for the fast paced life of today’s reviewer. By displaying emotional adjectives that the users can select from, in order to leave feedback about their experience, the app offers the current day reviewers a fast tool to leave their “vibz.” Those then add on to the “vibz” other users left, and the business gets an overall “vibz” score that is summarized on one screen making it easy to get a global idea of what to expect when entering the business.
Picture yourself in a new neighborhood or a new city and you’re looking for a coffee shop and it’s 20 degrees outside. You’re looking for something cozy and warm, and you wonder if your latte is going to be worth $5.50… You can check MyVibz and see if that business is “warm,” “cozy,” and “worth it.”
How is it different?
We focus on transparency and neutrality, the process is fast, but mainly, our reviews are up-to-date. When looking at other platforms, some reviews are from 2008. Those are most likely outdated. For example, which restaurant has had the same team for 5 years? Businesses evolve as time goes by and we believe the reviews should reflect that more accurately. One of our features is keeping reviews for a couple of months only, in order to be fairer to both, the businesses and the users.
We believe the simplicity will increase the chances of a user leaving a review. Normally, you’d have to feel pretty strongly to leave a review due to the nature of the process, but we give our users the possibility to do it fast enough that if the barista smiles, or the pizza is delicious, or you got your money’s worth, you can quickly leave your “vibz” and go on with your day. In short, MyVibz offers you a new tool to share where you like to go or choose rapidly where you would like to spend your money.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
The local business reviews market is substantial and consists of anyone that looks online for a quality business experience, therefore our audience is virtually unlimited. But we do want to target specifically millennials, who are now the largest population group in the U.S. and estimated at over 80 million people. Being at the beginning of their careers, they are an important part of the economy for the decades to come and we would like our app to become their review platform of choice, while creating a new habit of checking out a business’s “vibz” before entering.
What is the business model?
We want to focus on giving our users something that they will enjoy. We have ideas for monetization in the future with, for example, offering our highest rated places a weekly spotlight, and other advertising ideas but we value transparency infinitely and do not plan on giving that up to increase revenue.
What inspired the business?
We were inspired by a series of bad experiences with local businesses such as our leasing office, our washer/dryer rental company, and a high-end consignment store. When we went to leave reviews on a couple of different platforms, we were discouraged by the time investment to go from creating an account to finally leaving a review. In addition, there was no guarantee that the review was going to be posted.
That’s when we realized that checking out a business’s reviews before entering and spending our money was not a habit. After thinking about it, we understood that it was because reading all of the reviews took too long, the experience of one person did not mean we would have the same, and the stars ratings did not give much insights. The whole process seemed boring and we decided to turn our frustration from our bad experiences into something positive and started working on MyVibz.
Has this not been tried before?
While we appreciate that there are big players in this particular space, we know that there is a gap in the market for something new, easy, and enjoyable. We really want to be fairer to both, the businesses and the users, and we are trying to do so by taking everyone’s opinion and pooling it all together.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
In the coming six months, we’re excited to learn from our users’ feedback and to continue to improve. Our plans for MyVibz are:
- Building up our active reviewer base
- Facilitate an increasing amount of “vibz” left on our platform, exponentially
- Rollout on Android
- Add some of our next exciting features, already in the pipeline
- Raise our first seed round
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
There is not one specific piece of startup advice that we never got but taking a step back after working on MyVibz for over a year, we could say that we learned to trust our guts when something feels wrong or right, and to believe in our ideas. Determination is key and a pivot is always a possibility.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
We would like to be put in touch with Lerer Hippeau, because of their experience in consumer facing products and their focus and expertise on startups that are trying to transform large markets.
We would also like to meet with Charlie O’Donnell from Brooklyn Bridge Ventures because of his proven track record in early stage investments in NYC startups.
Why did you launch in New York?
New York City is the most exciting city in the world. Everything seems to happen faster and there is always this feeling in the air that everything is possible. It’s very energizing.
Creativity, technology, and financial institutions are all in one place… It’s the perfect recipe for a successful consumer facing startup. We love NYC and its diversity, and we
believe it’s the perfect place to build a strong company.
Where is your favorite bar in the city for an after work drink?
Little Branch, in the West Village. We love the fact that it’s a little hidden, its prohibition feels, and they serve the best cocktails we’ve ever had. Amazing “vibz” all around, and no, we were not bribed.