Tampa Startup OBCIDIO Is All About Social Collaboration INTERVIEW

OBCIDIO,Tampa startup,Florida startup,startup,startups,startup interviewA new Tampa startup called OBCIDIO mashes up social networks to make one easy to use collaboration platform. OBCIDIO combines real time social communication with file sharing, content management and networking tools. It’s like Asana meets Facebook and LinkedIn to focus on working together with different people in your social networks.

In addition to your private feed that’s leveraging your personal social networks there is also a public feed where you can share whatever you would like with the entire OBCIDIO community.

When we asked co-founder Ryan Waier how he’d describe OBCIDIO to his grandmother he said:

“OBCIDIO is best described as a mash-up between Facebook and LinkedIn. By creating or plugging into different social communities, members can filter out the noise and focus on the communication, people and content that is relevant to them.

Every member that creates an OBCIDIO account also receives their own personal cloud to manage communication, contacts, files, tasks and schedules with the ability to create or plug into existing social communities.

Social communities on OBCIDIO can range from members creating regional networking groups for sharing referrals, to companies creating their own private social network for coworkers to share content, ask questions and crowdsouce feedback.

Our communities provide social communication, collaboration, and project management tools unlike other forums or groups you would find on sites like LinkedIn. The purpose of these communities is to give members both a voice and a medium to actively engage in solving problems, pooling knowledge and forging new opportunities.”

Check out the rest of our interview with Waier, below:

What is OBCIDIO?

OBCIDIO is a network of social communities providing collaborative tools to solve problems, share content, pool knowledge and forge stronger relationships.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

Ryan Waier Founder/CEO


Ryan has years of start-up experience building, buying and selling companies for over 15 years. He currently consults and actively manages multiple companies throughout the United States in the bio-energy, logistics and international import/export industries.

A graduate of Western Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Finance Ryan entered the Enterprise Social Collaboration market in 2009, inking the first designs for OBCIDIO.

James Lopez,  Co-founder/ COO


James has over 10 years of experience designing and building web site applications with extensive experience in PHP, MySQL, HTML/CSS, Javascript, Linux, Objective-C and Java. His management experience includes setup and administration of IT infrastructure to support application development and testing, as well as code based management.


James has international experience with his work taking him around the world preforming IT support for clients in Ghana while supporting humanitarian mission projects in Guatemala.


You can also find more information on our blog @ this link http://blog.obcidio.com/2012/10/23/who-is-behind-obcidio

Where are you based?

We are based out of Tampa, FL with a satellite office located in Destin, FL

What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?

Surprisingly, Tampa provides a pretty strong ecosystem for start-up’s with a strong Chamber of Commerce, tons of professional networking groups throughout the region. Tampa is also relatively close to other major hubs in Florida; including Orlando.

As Tampa by no means offers the wealth of talent Silicon Valley has or provides the impressive package of incentives to a start-up like New Orleans, it does offer a few major advantages. Low business tax rates (including employees only having to file annual Federal not State taxes) combined with great weather and a hip young professional social scene is a great recruiting tool for future talent.

How did you come up with the idea for OBCIDIO?

Initial designs for OBCIDIO were drafted in early 2009 with actual development starting in August of 09 after Founder/ CEO Ryan Waier wanted to find a more efficient way to connect employees across divisions of multiple companies he was running at the time.

Social networking sites like MySpace (at the time) and later Facebook really had a lot of efficiencies in the way people connect, communicate and share. Applying these same principals to the enterprise on a cloud based platform where work teams had remote access to communication, coworkers, customers and content just made sense.

Shortly after development started, we quickly realized the possibility of fundamentally changing the way professionals connect and share knowledge both inside and outside their work teams by building the platform on an open network. From that time all our efforts have been spent on creating an application that allows professionals to seamlessly toggle between networks (communities) while leveraging the collective knowledge base of the entire network to solve problems and build stronger relationships.

How did you come up with the name?

OBCIDIO (ob-sid-ee-ooo) is a play on a Latin term {obsideo} “to invest”. We knew from the start this was going to be a long journey with a small team outside Silicon Valley so the word “invest” would be a constant reminder that we invested into this project was what we were going to get out.


What problem does OBCIDIO solve?

OBCIDIO solves three major problems:

1.) It provides everyone with a voice and a purpose (expertise) adding to the collective knowledge base of the platform to help solve problems and forge stronger relationships through active (non-static) networking.

2.) It provides everyone with a personal cloud to store/manage communication, files, task, contacts, events and schedules on the go without ever having to worry about accessing that content remotely.

3.) It provides everyone with an ecosystem to manage content with work teams on premise or remotely, pool resources and locate new opportunities within social communities.

What’s your secret sauce?

OBCIDIO connects people first on a regional level where they will gain the most out of expanding their network. Most professionals and companies still need to network, drive leads and solve problems on a local level so connecting individuals within these communities helps them form stronger bonds.

Also, OBCIDIO is built on an open network with the ability to leverage the entire collective knowledge base. This model allows work teams to pull experts or resources into a community they may not have access to inside their company walls.

Are you bootstrapped or funded?

OBCIDIO is self-funded, a major reason it took years of development to get to market. Outside funding from the onset was available but those partners were not a fit for our overall vision.

It was a very tough decision to make early on but we knew this vision was going to take years to develop and did not want to take on capital from partners with short term visions of revenue. We defiantly have some “river boat gambler” blood running through our veins as most business experts would consider us nuts.

All that said, as our user base grows we will be both ready and actively looking for capital with a strategic partner who shares the same vision.

What is your goto market strategy?

We have been focused on providing a value to each individual who signs up from launch, giving every member a reason to use the platform as we introduce them to new applications. Once the individual sees the practical use of the application they will invite others on ranging from work teams to other professionals in their network.

This allows us to benefit from viral growth and better control marking cost in a bootstrapped start-up.

What’s one challenge you’ve overcome in the startup process?

There have been many! Honestly too many to remember as both founders were nascent to the tech start-up process. I personally, underestimated the process of developing a tech start-up as I thought it would be similar to other companies I have started.

Most tech start-up’s these days prescribe to the Eric Ries method of launching a product early, using customer generated feedback to fix it, and continue to refine that build, measure, learn process.

I was never comfortable launching a product that was inferior or had major bugs just to gain market share and oblivious to the fact we might be building the best platform nobody uses if we don’t start letting our customer base drive our development. Once we became focused on building out our vision around customer generated feedback things started to fall into place.

Another challenge was building such a massive platform with no defined identity or niche before launch. After launching we really had to focus on the core values this platform provides and stop worrying about how others would classify us. Once we got past this mental roadblock growth started to steadily increase.

Who are some of your mentors and business role models?

Early on a lot of my mentoring and coaching came for Tampa native Peter Fingar, one of the earliest pioneers in cloud computing and the monumental impact it would have on the market over the next decade. He gave me the confidence to stay focused on our vision and provided great advice along the way. I continue to call upon and get advice from him today.

I also follow Eric Reis and think his methods of launching a tech start-up have defiantly changed the paradigm over the last 3-5 years in the road most entrepreneurs take to get their product to market. His theories on development have defiantly given us a more formal way to both build and measure the success of applications.

What’s next for OBCIDIO?

OBCIDIO’s vision going forward is to help level the playing field for smaller work teams by allowing them to share resources and solve problems by leveraging knowledge across an open network, while continuing to connect and actively engage people on a local level through social communities.

We plan on making a strong push in early 2013 to integrate students onto the network offering them a practical way to work hand-and-hand with other professionals in communities. This allows them to build real world working experience and a powerful network before they graduate; with the goal of creating more opportunities when they enter the job market.

As we keep our roadmap on specific application development private we can promise some exciting new features over the next 90 days!


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