Social Samosa gets into a conversation with Harsh Snehanshu Co-Founder, CEO at YourQuote an app which enables writers to write in 15+ languages every day, broadcasts text as beautiful pictures and a lot more.
Please take us through YourQuote’s journey – how did it all start?
I have always wanted to start YourQuote, so much so that I had booked the domain YourQuote.in as long back as 2012. The idea stemmed from a desire to have my own quotes searchable on Google. I always wondered, “Why are there quotes only of famous people? Even I can come up with something original and profound.”
I kept renewing the domain every year, trying to figure out the right way (in terms of design) to build it for mobile. In July 2016, I came across an app called Prisma, which turned photos into artworks and I was like: “Wow, I can do the same with words. Turn words into artworks using wallpapers.” That’s what triggered and I started YourQuote with my cofounder, Ashish, who built it in a month’s time.
Funnily, we moved to Himachal (a small village called Burwa for the first few months) to build the community and the product bottoms up with complete focus.
2- What are the key highlights of the app?
The app lets you:
WRITE: Post your original writings in any language on beautiful wallpapers or your own photos
CREATE A PORTFOLIO: Create a stunning portfolio of your original writings
PERFORM: Record your short 1 min performances ranging from spoken word, stand-up comedy, songs, raps or acting.
GET GOOGLEABLE QUOTES: Make your write-ups Google searchable as “Your Name Quotes”.
3- What’s in the name?
YourQuote does what it says. It democratizes the quotes business by making anyone and everyone preserve their original thoughts for eternity, turning an original thought into a timeless quote.
4- What motivated you to start up?
>> Being very passionate about the problem of democratizing writing and publishing for smartphone users was the impetus to think of doing something. The trigger came from Prisma, as I’d mentioned above.
5- How do you see social media?
>> Social media has changed the dynamics of information dissemination and consumption. While it has revolutionized the way we discover information, there’s still a long way to go before making it closer to fact than fiction. A lot of fake news and propaganda are spread in the name of news.
6- What were the biggest challenges that you had to overcome?
>> Personally, finding a committed tech cofounder was the biggest challenge I ever faced. I was lucky to onboard Ashish, my friend from IIT, who was just transitioning jobs at the time and was more susceptible to give entrepreneurship a try.
7- Your WTF moment…
>> When a VC after listening to our ideas said, “You guys are a good team. We have an idea we want to fund. Would you be willing to pursue that instead?”
8- Industry as you foresee
>>The media and content industry is going to see a massive tilt towards the vernacular as more and more Indians come online and start interacting with social media. As a platform, we are riding the crest of a grand wave that’s going to revolutionize the way Indians express on phones and discover content. Imagine YourQuote as everyone’s own TV channel where they can broadcast what they want, right from the mobile phone.
9- How is YourQuote helping new content creators?
>> The biggest impact YourQuote has had on the creator ecosystem is to provide a safe space where their words are heard and valued. And we are doing it at scale. Our app has over 600k users and we host open mics across 45 cities in India every month, bringing together thousands of people speaking different languages to interact and meet each other. It’s a noble mission to democratize art and bridge the demand-supply gap that exists in the content industry.
10- Has the app helped writers get exposed to supportive career avenues?
>> Yes, a couple of our writers and performers have been able to generate a secondary source of income thanks to YQ’s exposure. Their performance videos went viral through us and now colleges across India are inviting them for shows and events.
11- How are you monetizing the app?
>> We are tying up with brands and doing curated shows, where some of the best performers of the app are handpicked and they perform for the large audience out there.
12- Basis your user data, please shed light on what kind of content is in demand?
>> Majority of the content (60%) being created on our platform is around love and heartbreak. The remaining is spread equally between motivational, devotional, stories, childhood and humor.
The article is a part of our Platform Feature series a launchpad for budding digital platforms to share their story with our engaged readers.