Grant Yim and his team of co-founders at Montreal startup Hypejar are hoping that their startup becomes the “wikipedia of new products”. Hypejar aims to help manufacturers and startups with new products, generate buzz and excitement before a products official launch.
The web based platform promises to feature new and exciting products before they hit the market. Hyperjar users will be able to keep track of the upcoming products that they’re interested and get notified when those products officially hit the market. Users will also be able to vote products up and down in reddit style to indicate which products are more popular and which ones are more highly anticipated.
Hypejar is also targeting those smaller startups, and independent inventors. Inventors will be able to add their own products to Hyperjar and update their products “wiki”, to notify potential customers of new features, pricing and availability.
While Yim realizes there are plenty of sites out there that post reviews and product information after a product is released, there aren’t many sites that post information before a product is released. We know from our previous website that many manufacturers do vet out “review units” of products before a release, however Yim sees one of Hypejar’s main differentiators as the fact that users will have access to information on a large number of products before they get released.
Hypejar will become a vehicle for those early adopters who love to find out about the newest things first. It will also be a great vehicle for manufacturers, and inventors who need to gain traction for their products before they are released.
We got a chance to talk to Yim about Hypejar and the startup scene in Montreal. Check out the interview below:
What is Hypejar?
Hypejar’s aim is to organize the world’s upcoming products and make it more accessible. In doing so, it is the go-to website to see which products will be releasing in the future. Visitors can see when products are coming out along with information about them. Also, users can keep track of products and be notified of their releases. From a more technical perspective, it strives to be the Wikipedia of upcoming products and a social network where we can see others’ anticipation levels for the them. It’s a fun way to see what your friends and public figures are anticipating.
In layman’s terms, how does it work?
Simple. Users join Hypejar through a very simple registration, either by email or through Facebook. Thereafter, they can freely browse for products by various categories or by dates. They can also search for anything in the future by product names and/or product attributes such as actor, manufacturer, artist, author, director and so on. On products’ pages, they can either hype products up or down based on their levels of anticipation. On the same page, they can leave comments and also add content such as information, pictures and videos. Heck, any user can even add a new product with a future release date in its entirety onto the site as Hypejar is a wiki. That last aspect is a significant driver for awareness of indie artists’ products.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
Hypejar was founded by Wonjun Bae, Dylan Jude, Mike Kwon and myself, Grant Yim, in Montreal, Canada. Wonjun and Dylan are software engineers with programming experience ranging from video games to web applications. Mike brings foresight into strategy along with superb poker skills. My experience comes from sales, business and law. All four of us share a strong interest in new products and have gotten tired of googling for information and their release dates.
What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?
While it does not have the mindset nor the resources of Silicon Valley, Montreal is a solid place for tech startups. There is an abundance of quality developers with entrepreneurial spirits. That may be attributable to the fact that there is a very large student population per capita and there are many schools offering solid programs. Also, operational costs are relatively low – enough for a startup to endure being bootstrapped. On the support-side, there is an ease of access to experienced entrepreneurs and developers.
How did you come up with the name?
In other terms, ‘hype’ is a concept that equates to a high level of anticipation. It is something that is invisible, but not only does it exist, it has become a driver of consumer behavior in today’s world. In a product’s pre-release stage, it is something that is quantified by out-dated and unreliable means, and by traditional outlets such as surveys and clustered compilations of chatter from social media. Hypejar aims to funnel the ‘hype’, capture it in a single container to quantify, and to then present it to the world. The container we chose is a jar. Thus, “Hypejar” and its logo.
What problem does Hypejar solve?
First problem is that before Hypejar, there was absolutely no way to find in one place, information about future products and their release dates. If the information did exist, they were scattered across the Internet and googling was the only means to discover them. But the fundamental flaw in that is how can one search for something that he/she does not even know exists (or will exist)? Second problem it solves, is that while there are hundreds of sites devoted to post-release reviews of products, there are none that adequately reveals mass opinions before they release.
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