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Dublin Web Summit excitement

Thanks to our ninja-like refreshing skills - we managed to snag some of the first tickets to the Dublin Web Summit. Needless to say we’re stoked about going. We can’t wait to network, share our progress with Whatser, and - of course - find out what’s going on in the community around us. The small preview of speakers available already has us looking forward to what the event will have to offer.

Here’s a few of our most anticipated speakers:

1. Michelle You from Songkick - Songkick is a product several of us here have used quite frequently. We’re curious to hear more about how it has been after launching Detour and her take on demand driven marketplaces.
2. Niklas Zennström from Atomico - We’re impressed with the empire Niklas has built for himself and are curious to hear his insights on the market today. The fact we are avid users of Skype only adds to our interest.
3. Rina Onur from Peak Games - It’s great to see a game company on the stage at Dublin Web Summit. We’re hoping we’ll hear her opinion about the future of Facebook gaming (and the business models that support them).

Filed under whatser startup dublin web summit

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Startup Skills: Pitching

The Whatser team has quite some experience as entrepreneurs. We have experience sharing our ideas with investors, the practical experience that helps us develop successful products, and the knowledge of how to build the best team possible. We’d like to take a moment now to share some of our insights we’ve gathered over the years - first starting with pitching. How do you get people excited about your idea?

The art of pitching
Pitching is an art. Explaining an entire idea in only a short amount of time is challenging - especially if you’re super enthusiastic about your idea (like we are!). Here’s a few things we have learned during our adventures in pitching our product:

Timing is everything
Be sure that your pitch falls in its time limit. You want to make sure you get the chance to tell your audience everything you think is important about your idea. Running out of time isn’t fun and usually costs you points.

You don’t need to overload your pitch with your entire business plan. You’ll have the chance to show that later if you peek your audience’s interest. Plus, talking a million words a minute to cram everything in to a 5 minute presentation usually just makes everyone - including yourself - tired. Focus on what makes your idea special, achievable, and (eventually) profitable.

Finally, be sure to have fun. If you’re calm, relaxed, and enjoying your moment to share your idea, your audience will too.


Melinda representing Whatser after her presentation at the Amsterdam American Business Club’s annual Meet & Greet.

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Introducing the Whatser 2.0 team (part 1)

We are on a roll, working on a new Whatser. A different service, a Whatser 2.0. More about that later, assuming you’re particularly curious. In the coming weeks, we’ll introduce our new team, give you some sneak peeks and keep you informed about the progress we’re making.

Melinda Jacobs - chief design officer
So let’s start by introducing our first team member, Melinda Jacobs. In 2012 she became co-founder and chief design officer of @Whatser along with Michiel Verberg (@verberg) where she is working together with a talented team to change the way local merchants interact with online media.

Melinda S. Jacobs, M.A. is an entrepreneur and user experience designer, specializing in behavior changing designs and strategies. She started consulting and creating engaging designs for companies in 2011 and based on this passion she founded her own company @subatomicnl.


Hear Melinda talking                                                                                   Melinda is active in her research on how to create behavior change through experience design. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed literature and she frequently gives talks about her work. She continues to teach at the Hogeschool Utrecht and give guest lectures at colleges and universities across the Netherlands.

In her spare time she is an avid gamer and the proud owner of a quirky Siberian Husky named Gwyn. Beyond her current pursuits she one day dreams of publishing her novel.”

Melinda facts
- You can find out more about her at: about.me/melindajacobs
- In 2012 she was one of the Viva 400 women.
- You can check out one of the articles on gamification she has written here: G|A|M|E article
- Has published in: “Digital Virtual Consumption”, “Computer Mediated Communication”
- She has spoken about UX and gamification at many conferences, including: “Games for Brands”, “The Social Conference”, and “Festival of Games”                                                                                                         - Currently stuck in Candy Crush’s level 30                                                 - Likes cooperative board games

Whatser and Melinda
Melinda’s skills as a designer, UX and gamification are proven: she’s able to visualize ideas, concepts and needs in an unique way. A true professional with a strong vision and personal preferences.

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What’s next?

In 2009 we started with a vision. We wanted to use technology in order to help you experience the true diversity of your city by suggesting you where to go based on your mood, location and time of the day. Although we did manage to realize a portion of the vision, we are convinced that we need to change our direction in order to help realize the long-term vision: making the real time diversity in the city visible by using technology.

Foursquare and many other services are doing an amazing job in helping you to find great spots wherever you are. Our aim is to work together with these services in the future and to contribute to the larger picture: shaping the digital cities of the future.

We are excited about the change in direction that we are currently undergoing, but we’ll need more time before we communicate it in more detail. This will allow us to focus on building the product.

We want to thank you for your amazing support, belief and the feedback you have given us over time. Additionally, we would like to offer you the possibility of retrieving the spots you collected when using Whatser. To do so, just send us an email.

Please let us know if you have any questions.


Michiel Verberg

Founder @Whatser