Survey app provider - fast and affordable
● Company name:
IDINCU (Idea incubator)
● Application name:
● Co-founder and CEO:
Kim Dong-ho, 26
● Age: The company started operation last February, the Open Survey beta version was launched last December in Korea and also took off in Palo Alto, Calif. this April.
● Employees: 24
● Registered users:
50,000 respondents and 50 corporate clients
● Monetization model:
Clients who request a survey pay for the service.
Angel investors include co-founders of TicketMonster, a founder of TransLink Capital, a head of e-commerce at Facebook and a principle product manager at Oracle. The firm also raised $1.5 million from Softbank, a venture capital firm.
Excerpts from an interview with CEO
Q. What is OPENSURVEY?
A. It’s basically a market research mobile app. We have two types of clients, the ones who request us to conduct a survey, which vary from media groups including SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System) and the Chosun Ilbo to consumer-goods makers who want to do a market test.
They will first register on our site, and submit the survey questions and criteria online. Then we will conduct the survey to our ‘respondent’ clients using the mobile platform.
They register by downloading the OPENSURVEY app to their iPhones and Android devices, and they can fill the survey in return for rewards such as vouchers at Starbucks.
Q. What’s new about the service?
A. The existing market research services like Nielson were expensive and it took a long time for clients to get the results. We brought the traditional methodology to mobile and social media platforms, which have the advantage of instant feedback.
Our service costs on average 100,000 won for a 100 sample size and it only takes about an hour from start to finish when we send the survey result in graphics online.
Q. Because it’s a reward-based survey done via smartphones, is there an issue with credibility?
A. We have the advantage of having an access to user profiles from mobile carriers and social networking sites like Facebook, which has gone through an identification check. As any market research firms have challenges with their survey methodology, we invested in our program with its core algorithm to analyze the survey input such as a respondent’s average time of finishing a survey. Based on some 180 criteria, we detect bad answers and filter them out.
Q. What’s the lesson you learned about running a startup?
A. Having a good team is the most important thing to sustain a business.
I’ve seen many startup people take off based on an idea, make a team around it but later fall apart as the first or two attempts do not work.
Although it’s easy to change the ideas — and it rarely works the first time, ours took off on the fourth trial — it’s difficult to reform the team. As long as you have a good team, ideas keep flowing and the funding and other things will come along.
Q. What’s your short, long-term goals?
A. We have done 250 projects until now and aim to reach 1,000 by the end of this year.
Before Henry Ford came into auto industry, the car was a luxury but he changed that. We would like to play that role in the market research, to bring an affordable and effective services for end-users.