Welcome to the tenth edition of “Startup of the Week” which features many great startups and interviews with successful business heads. This week, I interviewed Jos de Schiffart, the co-founder of MyAlbum. I’ve asked Jos a series of questions regarding MyAlbum and also regarding tips for budding entrepreneurs. Have a read at what there was to be said.
How did the idea of MyAlbum come about?
Current photosharing services are semi-public and most of them are not really made to share a series of photos. Age and I wanted to share stories, he recently got married and I’ve got two little kids, we have stories to tell! So that is why we created MyAlbum.
Simply, what does your app do?
Actually beta.myalbum.com is not “just” an app. It’s a multi-platform site with an iPhone companion app. The site lets you create visual stories enriched with insights and design. What do we mean by that? It is a way to tell a story with photos and videos which you can “enrich” with maps, the weather, texts, icons, etc. Most of them based on data that are already stored in your pictures (exif data, gps) that make it easy for you.
People tend to forget the details of their experiences as time goes by. People take little time to document their experiences. Therefore we want to offer an easy way to keep memories as real and vibrant as if they just happened yesterday by making smart use of the data that is already available.
Did you have a business plan?
Yes, we use the freemium model. Users get 5 GB storage and when it gets full they get the choice of one of our Plus accounts. We are not too worried yet about making money. We want to build a product people really love, and then the money comes by itself.
What were the boundaries you faced when creating MyAlbum?
Money, in one part we were lucky to be able to start off with an existing photo platform (myalbum.com) by doing a management buyout. However to be able to do that we had to convince the bank of our innovative product. Which was quite a challenge. We are not located in a tech hotspot in the Netherlands so the local banks are more used to financing barns for farmers than a management buyout for a tech startup.
What is the difference between you and your competitors?
- The most important one is enrichment, we make smart use of data in your pictures to fill in the gaps/make the story complete.
- Not just an app but a complete product. Our stories look great on any device.
- High-res download, we don’t want to/need to lock you in by hijacking your photos and videos, you will love our product and if not you’re free to go.
- Available in 5 languages being: English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch.
What were you doing before MyAlbum?
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Be passionate and love what you’re doing then you’re not working but doing something you love and everything will become way easier.
“Be passionate and love what you’re doing then you’re not working but doing something you love and everything will become way easier.” – Jos de Schiffart
What is the one thing you think an entrepreneur should focus on that they may not find important?
Try to get in direct contact with your end users. Answer customer support questions and talk to them. Be accessible to anyone, (users, business partners, bloggers, journalists) and make time for all of them to get great input. It really gives you a lot of insights and helps you improve your service.
In one word, describe your job?
I’d like to say thank you to Jos for this interview. Have a look below at MyAlbum’s social links. Get in touch if you want your startup to be in the running for an interview.
Headquarters: The Netherlands
People: Jos de Schiffart and Age van der Meer.
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