If you don’t like stories, I swear you’ll like this one, if you still don’t think so, go ahead and skip to “The Why”
It all started during AngelHack Kuala Lumpur 2015. Our first idea got destroyed while we’re validating whether it’s viable. Asyrique, Julie and I were lounging around the beanbags, tinkering with daily problems we have. Asyrique spew out multiple ideas, one of which became my favourite. It’s called BeLonely, an app that uses aggregated location data to drive you away from populated areas, which let’s you, literally, Be Lonely. But it’s not a burning need nor big of a problem i’m facing, if I wanted to be lonely, I can just lock myself up in my bathroom.
We joked around with all the buzzwords, Synergy, BIG DATA, IoT, SaaS. All of a sudden, one of us spitted this phrase: “Validation as a Service, VaaS.” Heck, all of us got so excited, my eyes became so bright just like I was on some industrial grade crack. In my mind, a virtual checklist appeared. Problem that i’m facing, check. Problem that my peers are facing, check. There’s no easy solution on the market, check. Check, check, check. We’re all asking ourselves, WHAT IF there’s something that can validate your idea within hours & doesn’t take up much resources. Will I use it? Heck yeah. Will you use it? I hope your answer is heck yeah as well.
The next step: Validate the idea. In a hackathon, everybody is validating their newly born idea. Which translates to, everybody is our target market. We looked around for people who’re free. Asyrique happened to pull a guy into our conversation, YM, who happened to be the cofounder of SoftSpace, a payment solution company. YM gave constructive feedback, and we got our asses to work.
The vision is to create a platform where you can ask the right questions, to the right people, and get the right answers to make the right decisions.
We wanted to connect people with ideas to their target market, ask their audiences whether it’s a good idea, will they buy it, before anything is built. That in turn, became a customer acquisition channel. Now we got 3 problems to solve.
- How do we know what’s a right question?
- How do we find the right people? (we name these guys “Vasers”)
- How do we make them want to answer your questions?
We understood that this is a loop, the more people creating questions with our platform, the more people answer these questions with our platform, the more (BIG) data we get, the more we understand about the process, the more we know what’s the right question, who’s the right people. Machine Learning, BOOM.
We lost the hackathon, but as a team, we believed in the idea and vision so much, we sticked together. YM referred us to potential clients, we got excited, we kept building.
But why? Why build Vase? Why not build BeLonely (To those of you who skipped, this is what you missed)? Why not build anything else? I do not have a specific reason. Maybe it just resonates with what I like to do.
Inefficiencies in Status Quo
The current solution for market research, specifically for surveys, involves different firms working together. Nobody really owns the process, which creates dependencies and slowdowns. Turnaround time is slow. Margins for suppliers are really low. There will be no process innovation taking place due to limited collaboration. Ultimately, this drives up the price for consumer, slowdown the results, discourages innovation.
At Vase, we envision a product that vertically integrate all the processes together to create one single solution. By owning all the processes, we drive down the cost by 10-100x, the time needed for results to come in by 10-50x, depending the on the research that you want to conduct.
I Face this Problem as Well
As an entrepreneur, I get amazed by all the ideas that I can think of. Keeping them intact in a list is painful for me. Yet, I do not want to get distracted by all other ideas except for the current one i’m working on. How do I validate them in an easy & cheap way? Here’s when Vase comes in. Create a questionnaire, select target demographic, spend a few 100, get results and see if your idea is really that amazing. Now I can easily validate Uber for Prositutute without getting out of the building. What will you validate if you have such a tool? EVERYTHING.
Guess what? Every entrepreneur was once a wantrepreneur. If you made the leap, congrats! Else, we’d like to help you. We want to build an ecosystem where the barrier of entry to entrepreneurship is really an idea. An idea worth pursuing. An idea with market demand. An idea in need.
With more wantrepreneurs making the leap, we can influence the tech/startup ecosystems & help it thrive.
By vertically integrating all the processes, we can achieve what I call the “SpaceX effect”. What I mean by that is, by owning all the process from researching, manufacturing, building, and deploying, we can do some pretty cool stuff in between processes. Like how SpaceX drove down the cost of building rockets by orders of magnitude, Vase does the same thing. Like how SpaceX can attempt ambitious feats like landing rockets in the middle of the sea, Vase can introduce new features that totally change the reason for doing market research. One of our features that gets our users excited is CTA. At end of each survey, we include a call to action which prompts respondents to do whatever you want. Either “Buy Now”, “Try Now”, “Learn More”, “Contact Us”, “Get a Free Trial”, whatever. This changes the game, we now become a customer acquisition channel, a highly targeted one.
Here, right in front of you, there’s something that can be improved 10x, 100x. We chose to take charge.
But most importantly… We believe in what we’re building.
We believe Vase will change the way people start businesses. We believe Vase will change the way people build products. We believe Vase will change the way companies make decisions. We believe Vase will be the biggest repository of human opinions. We believe Vase will be the 100x solution to a current, PiTA problem.
“If you don’t love and believe in what you’re building, you’re likely to give up at some point along the way.”
-Sam Altman, YCombinator