Sramana: Do you facilitate discovery across regions, or do you make recommendations within the same region?
Greg Tseng: We do both. Geography is one of many factors. It is possible to have a really great connection in other factors that do not include geography, and we do see a number of cross-regional connections happening.
Sramana: There are a couple of businesses that have come about in your adjacent space that are worth discussing. One that comes to mind is a travel application called CouchSurfing. Could that be an interesting monetization model for you as well?
Greg Tseng: Maybe. There are probably thousands of social connectivity applications. I was talking to a product manager who wanted to find someone to run with. He needed to find someone who lived close by who ran the same pace at the same time of day. That is a very small use case for us to build on our own. At some point, we have the idea of opening up a platform to allow other people to build their use cases on top of Tagged.
Sramana: What is big enough? How big does an opportunity need to be?
Greg Tseng: At least 100 million users should have the capability to use the application.
Sramana: That is interesting, because the other application I was thinking about is Nextdoor.
Greg Tseng: I have heard and read about Nextdoor, but I have not tried it myself. I think it is a great idea. One of the promises of the Internet has been to connect people. That could be people next door or people halfway around the world. We really have the opportunity to realize the original promise of the Internet.
Sramana: Another application I think is interesting is Grubwithus.
Greg Tseng: I also think that is an interesting idea. It gets people together for activities and gets people participating in activities together.
Sramana: These are big applications that are being funded on their own merit. Given your 300 million registered user base, would it increase your engagement if you plugged in similar applications into your site?
Greg Tseng: It could. There is also a question of focus. Each of these is also its own company. If we want to build all of those apps at the same time, we will not be able to be as good at it as someone who focuses on it exclusively.
Sramana: I think the big effort in those sites is generating users. You already have 300 million users. It strikes me that you have already cracked the hard problem and that the applications we are talking about are not that complex.
Greg Tseng: Growth is tough, but there is more than meets the eye when it comes to engagement. Engagement is also tough. Anything we do must be engaging for users. I can’t name many companies that have built a lot of other companies within their company and be successful.
Sramana: I don’t view them as different companies. I view them as different filters. If I were on Tagged, I would want to find some of my neighbors who have common interests. I can’t do it on Nextdoor because my neighbors are not on it. If you have my neighbors, it would be easier to do it with Tagged. I also travel a lot.
Greg Tseng: I would think that a partnership model would be a better option for us. That is essentially our platform model. Anyone can build on our platform. Those things are definitely in our sites.