There are a number of services that quickly grab the attention of the technorati, and then try to expand to the mass market.
Adarsh Pallian, the man who built and sold Chart.ly, is the man behind the JustBought.It (JBI) show, is trying to do just that.
We were curious, and so took a piece of his time to get the real story.
If you do not know, JBI is a service that brings you “crowd powered shopping.” Think of it as a shopping tool that bring you together with other shoppers of similar bent. It is almost a Glue for real-world shopping. We asked Adarsh questions via email. Below, unedited, his responses:
TNW: Give us the thirty second pitch for JustBought.It
AP: JustBought.it lets you share your purchases with your friends – in a nutshell. We found a growing trend on twitter that people were tweeting what they just bought – and friends were quickly giving feedback and opinions. So we took that idea and created justbought.it. It takes shopping with friends to another level – because now, not only can you tell your friends what you just bought and get instant feedback, you can also ask your friends their opinion on things before you even buy it using justbought.it. For example, take a look at http://justbought.it/7xe4
Then we started exploring the idea of how people will purchase an item if a friend recommended it – and we proved that when Fred Wilson used the site when Zune HD first came out… he bought it the same day and 5 others saw his tweet and followed: http://justbought.it/user/fredwilson
Now we’re into building relationships – social shopping has been around for a while… but I believe we’re the first to really go in-depth and make the experience as seamless as possible, using our up-coming new iphone app and our augmented reality andriod app (how cool would it be if you walked into a store and could see what others have purchased using our augmented reality app?)
TNW: After your latest round of publicity, how has user traction been going?
AP: Its been great – we got the techie traction… but it’s not our core audience. We’re going after a slightly younger female audience who loves to shop and share great deals. We’re chatting with a whole range of bloggers and fashion/shopping magazines to get that traction going.
TNW: How have you funded the development of the project? Are you looking for more funding?
AP: This project started over coffee with Boris Wertz (http://www.wmediaventures.com) – a Vancouver based investor who found out about me from my Chart.ly sale. Boris was keen on creating a few consumer focussed twitter based apps and we decided to form a new company, Social Crowd Ventures, where he would invest a round and I had complete control over the direction of the company and the apps we create. It’s been a great working relationship… I have my freedom and Boris has been great in providing insight to consumer trends and marketing.
We are not looking for more funding at this time… but we are looking to build relationships with female oriented networks like Glam media and Sugar, Inc.
TNW: Have you ever thought about working with Foursquare or Gowalla? There might be some fascinating synergies to be explored.
AP: Yes, we have and we will be soon. If you noticed, when you signup to justbought.it, you are a rookie by default… and the more you share and contribute to the site, the faster you rank up to a trendsetter. We’re still waiting on Apple to officially approve our new and much improved iPhone app… once that is launched, we will be connecting with FourSquare and Gowalla and see if there’s a way for us to work together to some capacity. Our iPhone app has options to “window shop” and check into stores and gain points to become a trendsetter.
TNW: How will the service be monetized in the long run?
AP: We’ll be introducing a few features in early 2010 that will be bringing in revenue – right now our focus is to build the brand and the base.
TNW: Has the Chart.ly acquisition allowed you more freedom to build as you will?
AP: Yes, this project would not have even begun had it not been for Chart.ly and the press I got from that. I’ve had a few other offers to build twitter apps… but I’m really enjoying the relationship I have with Boris and the freedom I have to create and run apps that are fun and exciting. You can expect a lot more stuff in 2010 from us… for now, our focus is to build and grow justbought.it.
What do you think? Are you using JustBought.It? Would you if it was integrated with Foursquare?