“Power the crowd.” That’s the slogan for evly.com, the first social network designed to launch new products, do market research, find funding and basically solve anything using the crowd. The site does so by enabling users to create and support custom web businesses, manage both open and closed networks, the ability to grow a network based around a particular interest or need and to integrate with other social media platforms.
Perhaps the most defining function of the site is its ability to empower users to make money. Members solicit insight from the community about what product features will suit their needs. Then those that helped can be linked them back to an e-commerce site to purchase the perfect product that they helped create. The site is free to join, with options for paid premiums services.
Founders of the South Africa based company Eran Eyal and Eric Edelstein have three years crowdsourcing experience from start-up Springleap, a community that achieved local success with 25,000 subscribers. Now the entrepreneurs are excited to channel their experience into a more ambitious project.
In an interview, Eyal explains that the site draws on a mathematical model used for calculating returns for businesses with viral loops. It has been built in the cloud, which he says ideally should expand and contract to accommodate scale but the technology is so new it’s a bit of a gamble.
Of course the site is practicing what it preaches. When faced with some challenges registering users early in the launch, evly responded via Twitter to accusations that the site had launched to soon. “We don’t agree! the feedback has been INCREDIBLE” read one tweet. “We made a decision to let the ‘crowd’ help us with bugs, suggestions etc.” chimed in another. The homepage visibly supports this concept “Got any ideas for evly? You decide what we should build next.”