Xoogler Spotlight: Seattle Startup Yabbly Wants To Help Prevent Buyer’s Remorse

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We’ve all been there. We bought something from Amazon or in our local department store or Best Buy, just to find out later that we didn’t really like the item, or worse, it didn’t do what we needed it to do. If you’re like me, you even checked out three or four product reviews before buying. That makes the whole situation more annoying.

The problem with those product reviews is that they  either aren’t addressing what we really need out of the item or they were planted by a PR firm or the manufacturer themselves.

Seattle startup Yabbly is looking to change that with their new community of people who are actually out there purchasing items. The site goes deeper than most but in a way that makes it more engaging.

The company was founded by a powerhouse team of founders who know good product. CEO and Co-Founder Tom Leung is a former product manger at Google. Ian Shafer, the engineering lead, actually comes from Amazon. So while Yabbly is going to be filled with user product reviews, the product itself is also going to be easy-to-use and easy-to-understand.

But Yabbly wasn’t created just because it sounded like a good startup. Megh Vakharia who works in the marketing department at Yabbly tells us that the founders created Yabbly because people often have many specific reasons they are looking for a product, and generalized reviews weren’t cutting it.

“For example, someone looking for vacuums specifically to clean up pet hair won’t find many reviews and vacuums that are recommended especially for their pet hair-cleaning abilities. With Yabbly, you can ask a question about how you need a vacuum for pet hair cleanup, and other Yabblers will give you recommendations based on their own experiences,” Vakharia told us in an interview.

You can read the rest of our interview with Yabbly below.


What is your startup called?

Our startup is called Yabbly.

What does your company do?

Yabbly is a platform for thoughtful conversation about product decisions. Members of our community can ask questions about product decisions they’re facing, including information about their specific situation, such as price range, use case, and whatever else is important to them. Our goal is to help people who are facing a product decision find their “product soulmate,” someone who has made a similar product decision in the past. Yabbly is here to help you kill buyer’s remorse by helping you find products you’ll love!

What’s unique about Yabbly is that we guarantee every great question will receive an answer within one day – no other Q&A site matches this.

What problem do you solve?

People relying on Amazon Reviews to help them find the best products face a problem – those reviews could be written by anyone, and the majority of reviews don’t help you figure out if the product will fit your needs. For example, someone looking for vacuums specifically to clean up pet hair won’t find many reviews and vacuums that are recommended especially for their pet hair-cleaning abilities. With Yabbly, you can ask a question about how you need a vacuum for pet hair cleanup, and other Yabblers will give you recommendations based on their own experiences. (this was in fact one of our best threads, with 18 responses)

Who are the founders, and what are their backgrounds?

The Yabbly team was founded by Tom Leung, CEO, Ian Shafer, engineering lead, and Steven Neuman, UX designer. The team is especially equipped to solve the problem because they helped create it – Tom is a former Google product manager, Ian is a former Amazon engineer, and Steven worked on shopping apps for Target and REI.Where are you based?

Yabbly is based in Pioneer Square, a neighborhood in Seattle, WA.What’s the startup scene like where you are based?

Seattle’s startup scene is awesome, and it’s a growing hub of entrepreneurial activity – especially with people trying to start the next Microsoft or Amazon. VC activity is also ramping up in the area and groups like TechStars Seattle offer entrepreneurs many opportunities to execute their ideas.

Why now?

Americans spend a trillion dollars on products every year, and this will only grow in the future as ecommerce shopping booms. But product reviews haven’t caught up with this – Amazon reviews suck, and Facebook isn’t focused enough to facilitate great conversation about which products to buy. Beyond that, more people are going mobile when making shopping decisions – Yabbly is positioned perfectly to capture this growing market and provide a platform for great discussion about which products to buy.

What are some of the milestones your startup has already reached?

-Almost 2,000 questions asked and over 10,000 responses

-On average, each question recieves around 5 responses
-Top 3 in SxSW Startup Accelerator in Social category

– $1.5 million in seed funding

-Rated #2 for “product reviews” on iTunes app store, #15 for “reviews”

What are your next milestones?

-Focus on growing our community with engaged users

-Update iPhone app to be iOS7 compatible

-Improve desktop web app experience

Where can people find out more? Any social media links you want to share?

Join the community to get help finding the best products for you!


Check out these other Xoogler founded startups.


Xoogler Gets Acquihired By Google

Xoogler,Google,Android,startup,Behavio,FunfFunf an open sensing framework created by a Xoogler founded startup called Behavio, won the accelerator competition at SXSW 2012.

The platform, launched in October 2011, uses mobile phones as sensors for tracking location, movement, app activity and extended network of it’s users and communities.

The company won a $355,000 grant from the Kauffman Foundation for winning the accelerator competition.

According to Business Insider, and a subsequent update to their original story, Behavio is being acquihired for talent and the Funf product will remain a standalone side project for Nadav Aharony who worked on Google’s Android team before leaving for MIT to finish his PhD.  Alan Gardner and Cody Sumter, Behavio’s other two cofounders will be joining Google as well.

This is a great move for Android’s new head Sundar Pichai, who took over after Andy Rubin switched departments.

Check out more Xoogler startup stories here at nibletz.com

Xoogler Spotlight: Splenvid Zero Button Movie Creation [SXSW]

Splenvid,Xoogler,SXSW,SXSWi,startup pitch video,startup pitch,startupTwo former Googlers (xooglers) who once worked on the UX team at the internet giant have put together something new and exciting called Splenvid.  They spent over a decade at Google building maxable scalable systems so they are taking what they learned there and putting it into their new startup.

Splenvid is the self proclaimed “Zero Button Movie Creation” platform that allows users to tell stories through photos and videos uploaded to the cloud. That’s where the magic happens.

Splenvid is also fully collaborative and content can be combined to make even fuller movies.

All of the media that is uploaded from the user is then intertwined together automagically by Splenvid and spit back out as a complete story.

We got to see the pitch for Splenvid at the TechCocktail Pitch Jam event as SXSW (where I was a judge). While the app hasn’t been released yet, it may be just what the world needs in terms of easy ways to do media. Ease of operation are what make Instagram, Pinterest and Vine so popular.

Sure it’s not hard to string together movies using iMovie or a slew of other movie creation apps, but Splenvid’s value proposition is not having to do anything but upload and wait.

The app should be released later this spring. To get on their waiting list click here. Watch the video below:

Check out more of our startup coverage from SXSW here

Yahoo’s First Mayer Acquisition, New York Startup Stamped

Stamped,New York startup,Yahoo,Marissa Mayer,Startup,Startups,acquisition,xooglerLast April we brought you the profile of New York startup Stamped. Stamped, which is made up of a team of 11 with five being Xooglers, created a recommendation platform that allowed users to put their “stamp of approval” on their favorite places and things.

Stamped offers a unique value proposition by having a quick, easy to understand way of providing recommendations without having to read 1500 word reviews. It’s the recommendation platform for those on the go.

Stamped marks the first Yahoo acquisition under the leadership of new CEO Marissa Mayer who took over the helm at Yahoo six weeks ago after a thirteen year stint at Google.

Prior to this announced acquisition, Stamped had already attracted the attention and investment from Bain Capital Ventures and Google Ventures. Their first round of funding was $1.5 million dollars.  They also have rockstar advisors like Instagram founder Kevin Systrom and food personality Mario Batail.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Mayer made it clear that acquisitions were part of Yahoo’s strategy going forward, in her first quarterly earnings call earlier this week. Several tech and startup focused sites have been speculating on some of the other possible target startups in Mayers cross hairs.

On Tuesday we brought you the story about the hot and heavy rumor that Yahoo may be looking to acquire Baltimore mobile ad startup Millennial Media. 

Like Millennial Media, Stamped is a natural fit for Yahoo who hasn’t had a good review product, much less a mobile product for reviews. Mayer also said that mobile was one of the key focuses for Yahoo going forward as well.

Yahoo Senior Vice President Adam Cahan told the Associated Press that Stamped would be “a great asset as we expand Yahoo’s mobile efforts and build a world-class mobile development organization.”

Stamped issued a statement on their website today that said:

“We’re excited to start work again on something big, mobile, and new — but we can’t discuss the details just yet. And we’re really stoked to be able to hire lots of talented engineers and designers for this new project.”


Stamped is here

More startup news from “everywhere else

This is the must attend event for startups “everywhere else” 

Xoogler Spotlight Interview With Boston Startup Price Intelligently

Although it may not seem like it, pricing products and services is one of the hardest things that a business owner has to do. They of course need to make money and make a profit but at the same time, it’s a scary thought to most that a bad price could leave product sitting on the shelves for an indefinite amount of time. There is a huge problem with the way prices are calculated these days, and that just shouldn’t be in the 21st century.

Former Boston based Googler (Xoogler) Patrick Campbell has set out to find a way to more accurately and more effectively price products.  As he tells us in the interview below, until now business owners have relied on weak data, archaic practices and even “gut feelings” when it comes to pricing. Price Intelligently’s technology is built on a scientifically proven methodology that leverages existing and potential customers to determine a products price.

How important is pricing? Campbell tells us that a 1% improvement on price correlates to an average increase of profits of 12.5%.

Check out our interview with Campbell below:

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Xoogler Spotlight NYC Startup: Flatiron Health

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In 2010 Nat Turner and Zach Weinberg sold their startup Invite Media to Google for $81 million dollars. At that time they were absorbed into Google where they spent the last two years. Now the co-founding team is back at it again, and navigating through unchartered territory.

Their new startup is New York City based Flatiron Health. FlatIron Health hopes to streamline cancer screening for clinical trials. Currently biomarkers among other diagnostics, are used to identify cancer patients for clinical trials however the team told Business Insider they feel that the process could be improved upon and streamlined.

“It’s actually very complicated to find out if you’re eligible,” Turner told SAI. “It’s like 120 variables and there’s no way to know quickly. We hope to speed that up for physicians because clinical trials are huge for cancer. In general, treatments fail and trials are the way to go.”

After both 26-year-old founders had loved ones suffer through cancer they knew their next mission would somehow be related to cancer. They admittedly don’t have their exact product yet however they’ve been holding weekly brainstorming sessions and have a pilot going with some of the major hospitals.

FlatIron Health is a far cry from the ad technology and bid manager platform Turner and Weinberg created with Invite Media. That platform allowed advertisers to manage online campaigns across multiple platforms.

Weinberg and Turner are in a better financial position than most new medical startups. They’re attacking this startup with the vigor of anxious entrepreneurs and aren’t intimidated by the fact that neither founder has any kind of background in medicine, biology or cancer.

“Flatiron Health is either going to be a great success or a horrible failure,” says Turner. “Hopefully we’ll do well by doing good.”


Here are some other Xoogler spotlights at nibletz.com

Source: Business Insider via Fierce

Xoogler Spotlight: Powhow Learn New Hobbies In The Comfort Of Your Own Home

xoogler, powhow, viva chu, startup, new york startup, nibletz, techcrunch, pandodailyFormer Googler Viva Chu has come up with something that hasn’t been done before. His new, New York based startup, PowHow allows people to take classes via webcam from the comfort of their own home.

Whether you want to learn how to knit socks, make fancy gift wrap or take a fitness class, there’s no need to comb the internet to find out when the next local class is happening. There’s no need to worry whether the class will be canceled because the instructor’s kids are sick. Powhow brings the class to your PC or Mac.

The classes cost each participant between $10- $30. Powhow takes a flat 30% fee off each “ticket” sold and the teacher gets the rest of the money. Simple enough right?

Now, all those great crafters on Pinterest could make a couple bucks sharing their knowledge using Chu’s new platform. It’s like Google Hangouts meets Pinterest for money.

More after the break

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