Wayin is a new start-up founded by Sun Microsystems founder Scott McNealy that aims to connect users through user-generated, interactive games that can be played while watching live television or big events. I spoke with Wayin’s content manager Bryan Douglass to get more insight into what this new website actually is.
1. How is Wayin different from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn?
- Different... I'd say we're different in many ways, but I'd also suggest we're trying to swim in a different lane.
The truth is this: many in the world dedicate vast amounts of time to those services and have no true way of justifying that expense to their time and the sacrifice made in diverting attention from other efforts. Maybe you covet followers, perhaps you are working more than others in tracking analytics for your site and suggest a rise in traffic is due to time spent on one of those services (or you note decline if you don't)... in general, if you ask the person using Twitter or FB every day why they do so, it's because they feel they need and/or want to.
If you do so by choice in search of personal gratification, or if you do so because you’re professional desires supposedly demand it... wouldn't it be nice to know the true value of that decision, and wouldn't it be optimal if you that decision didn't demand such a significant portion of your day?
At Wayin, we don't want or need huge chunks of your day and we'll provide you with tools and applications to prove your time was well spent. We fit right in to a moment, and for that moment, we give you the power to connect, promote, consider, follow, whatever... and we give you the ability to squeeze that moment for all you might want from it.
I'd suggest that's the most potent difference, but I could go on for a few pages if you want others!
2. How do you guys plan on preventing Wayin from suffering the so-called "MySpace Effect" of worrying about advertising and profit before perfecting the product?
- For starters, I'm not asking Justin Timberlake to buy the while thing to be involved. Seriously... if he would just join in and throw me a follow, we'll be content.
Let's start with this. Feel free to jump on Wayin any time and let me know when you find an ad. Not to suggest there won't be advertising in the future, but the business is not built for the desire of chasing advertising dollars and it will never be a company relying on advertising funds to survive or thrive. If/when the day comes to introduce advertising, it will be to supplement rewards... and not for Wayin, but for Wayin users (like you). It's not of interest to us. That's old school, J... we aren't old school.
Two things. First, we have amazing people on this staff, and none of us are ever happy. We all think this system should be doing more. We all strive to keep it that way, and I sincerely doubt we'll ever change. We already have things in place that are changing the way people conduct their business and we have more coming that will continue to change the way innovative people do business (or pleasure) via social media.
Second, we're going to let Wayin do what it's designed to do: give you a voice. We have our ideas, hopes and desires... we want the same from you. Everything we do is built around listening, in one form or another. We want to evolve that process, we are going to evolve with it, and we'd like to invite the world to join us.
3. How do you plan on integrating live events, games and videos to the site?
- Already done. Next question.
Kidding... though we are already doing this. We have a team of contributors who are hosting Wayin Live Events focused on a variety of events today (sports and otherwise). We have just started to put those features on display... they've evolved significantly in that short period of time and they will continue to do so moving forward (and we have some big announcements coming that will reveal more).
Here's the thing, I would answer that question with one of my own.
What do you want from a live experience?
Just so you know, there's no wrong answer. Whatever comes out of your mouth or fingers in response, we can help and would love to do so.
And if you don't want our help, that's not a problem either... jump on in and have at it yourself. You'll find you can do whatever you want with Wayin Live Events as well. Whatever your goals may be for participating in or hosting a live event, online or in reality (or both), Wayin can help you reach 'em... and we'll make it fun and teach you and your audience a few things along the way.
4. Do you believe Wayin has the potential to surpass Google+ or Twitter or even Facebook?
- Surpass is a tough metric to quantify. Most in our organization would tell you we want your Wayin widget and portals to reside right next to the big three on any site you visit.
I couldn't agree more... I just hope you want to hit The W first, because The W is giving you something in return.
5. Recently Google+ scored a record for being the fastest growing website ever, what can Wayin learn from their strategy to become more successful?
- I love Google and don't want to diminish their work, at all (as a loyal patron, I'd hate to lose them)... but I don't know that we learned as much as we were reminded of lessons we all should have learned long ago.
Recognizing opportunity is a gift. Ignoring it is a crime.
6. During a live event such as the Super Bowl or the 2012 election, what is your vision of how Wayin will make an impact on society?
- Wayin is going to help you know the teams (and the players, and the managers, and the leagues... and everyone in between). We're going to help the teams and all of those people associated with it know you. We're going to help you all take advantage of that opportunity.
Wayin is going to help you understand the candidates. We're going to help the candidates understand you. And if we have our way, we'll help you take part in the journey and tenure that follows.
We're going to help you all understand the world, and with a little luck, we'll help the world understand all of you. I believe Wayin is an idea that has the power to influence every one of us, and even better, it has the ability to give every one of us influence over power.
You just have to grab it and decide how.
7. How should President Obama, his Republican opponent or even members of Congress use the site to develop a national conversation about the issues that matter to us such as jobs or the economy?
- This would be a great question for our analytics staff... I am not qualified to give that portion of our menu proper context or praise. Yet.
Here... I loved "The West Wing". Probably dating myself a bit, but I love political drama (actually, I love Allison Janney... another story for another time). In that show they used to have theses scenes of the pollsters, these huge groups hidden in a basement who employ a bunch of people to spend hours making random calls to hundreds of voters, gauging reaction to various events and speeches, measuring approval ratings and emotion of the American public.
At it's most basic level... Wayin will take that room and all of those pollsters and put 'em in an iPad or smart phone. We'll take that crop of several hundred polled, we'll push those same questions around the world and turn it into several hundred thousand. We'll take the data provided by all of those calls, we'll improve it, grow it, integrate it and cross reference it and turn it into a fountain of knowledge never achieved by the original system. Best of all, we'll take the hundreds of hours dedicated to that effort and shrink it into minutes, and we'll take the hours spent tabulating those results and give you new, improved results in real time.
Then, we'll tell you how to do it, where to do it, when to do it and who you should be doing it with the next time around to insure you are achieving your ultimate desires.
8. Why did Wayin decide to be headquartered in Denver rather than a tech capital such as Silicon Valley?
- I live in Denver, and J... I rock.
Actually, CEO Tom Jessiman is from this area. This is his baby and his partners, coming from all over the world, are behind him in making Denver our home. It's a wonderful city my friend, and those of us here understand the lack of desire to leave.
Besides, we've already moved in next door to our industrial neighbors. We're just doing so where it matters. Online.
9. Is there enough room for Wayin in the social media world which is growing so rapidly and will soon be congested?
- We fit in perfectly. You can be as active or not as desired. The benefits are still there and fruitful, and to be honest... congested or not, if we give people what they like and want and we can show them new things they will like and want, we'll make our own way.
We aren't followers, as individuals or a team. We couldn't care less about the roads already paved. We want to make our own, and we think you should, too.
10. What needs to be done to create more opportunities for innovators and trendsetters in this new technology era that we live in and how will Wayin play a part in creating those opportunities?
- Simple... we need people to realize THEY are the innovators. You create your own opportunities. At the very least, you identify what you believe to be an opportunity and you either give it a go or you don't. No one is going to create anything for you, J. There wasn't anyone out there screaming for a better search engine... the folks now known as Google believed there was opportunity there and they went for it. That's been their business model since: if they believe there is opportunity to do something new, innovative, or better, they have people who can envision that with them and who want to make the best of it.
Wayin will definitely play a role in that. We're all about helping people and organizations seek and identify opportunity, and I would bet we can help in suggesting how you might attack those opportunities. If anything, we'll be there to provide clarity... wherever you may be looking and in many place you might not.
11. I know it's available to use now but when will WayIn be fully operational?
- Fully operational now, but understand... we will NEVER be complete. The Wayin you see today is a significantly evolved from the Wayin we released several weeks ago. The Wayin you'll experience tomorrow will be different than the Wayin you experience today.
I hope we are never "fully" operational. If I ever reach a point where I don't feel frustration about something we are NOT doing, I should quit.
12. And finally, what should have been my first question: What is WayIn?
- For me... Wayin is a new way to be heard, a new way of hearing others, and a new way to accept, entertain and incorporate it all into every aspect of your life. I have no doubts it will mean different things to different people... that's what Wayin means to me.
Visit WayIn now at http://www.wayin.com