CLASSIC: Guy Behind Opinionaided Thought He Was Building One Kind Of App, Users Showed Him Otherwise


Dan Kurani is the creator of Opinionaided, an app for asking questions to get advice and opinions on anything in realtime. But it’s not the app he had set out to build.

He originally designed it for users to ask questions about products while shopping. But the volume and variety of questions people were asking surprised him.

Questions were getting 100 responses instead of the 10 Kurani expected. And instead of asking questions about products, users were asking about “whether they should dye their hair, or whether they should wear these shoes or those shoes. The breadth of questions was incredible,” said Kurani.

“It was frustrating,” he said. “Our business model was about monetizing with commerce suggestions. You’d ask a question about a product and there would be an extra tab in the results to show you alternate products or the same product at a better price.”

Kurani took a gamble and reengineered Opinionaided to be a more social app with categorization and messaging capabilities. When he relaunched it in November, it paid off – the user base quadrupled.

This got the attention of General Catalyst, Softbank Capital, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson, who invested a total of $1.2 million.

When we asked what’s next, Kurani said, “We’re going to keep making the product better. We want to extend the product to Android and build up the website. Our users want location-based services and more messaging capability.”

His users haven’t steered him wrong so far.

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