Neven Zeremski launched Dubb as a way to eliminate the tedious step of asking one friend for another friend’s contact information. The app, which will officially launch in beta October 1, allows users to request the contact information of peers in their extended network. Those friends of friends will be able to accept, deny or limit the information available to those who have requested it. Consider it a next-level address book that adds another layer to one’s mobile networking capabilities. We caught up with Zeremski to find out more about Dubb’s long-term plan, as well as his response to privacy concerns and most accomplished milestone to date…
What was the inspiration behind Dubb?
The inspiration with Dubb was that I have many friends and acquaintances but not their contact information. Sometimes those acquaintances that we may have a hard time contacting are actually of more value than our everyday friends. They hold untapped resources, whether social, businesses, or private, and often we cannot get in touch with them… or mostly we have no idea they are even part of our network. Dubb helps you discover your network and see who you are connected to, much like Facebook and LinkedIn, but in a simpler, more accurate, and personal way. Second of all, I was tired of losing touch with people when they moved, changed jobs, or simply switched carriers. It is annoying calling your friends to ask for someone’s contact info, as you have to first of all find who has it, and then bother them multiple times to do a simple task that is actually quiet annoying to do via current iPhone functionality. Basically, I wanted to stay connected and never fear losing touch.
What type of young professional would benefit most from this app?
Professionals who are in the business of relationship management, as well as sales people. It helps them continue having a personal and direct relationship with their clients, and be there to help them transition if and when they change occupations or move. The neat thing about Dubb is it notifies you when someone’s contact info changes, therefore if you are a real estate agent, broker, or whatever, you may see that someone’s email address has changed to a new company and a better position; therefore, you can reach out to them and see if they are in the market for a new home.
What has been your biggest milestone in preparation for the launch of Dubb?
My biggest milestone has been my past failures. I have failed more times than people have in a lifetime and have made more startup mistakes than industry veterans. The benefit of making mistakes is that through experience, and through these trials and errors, I have learned a lot. Every time I failed and persisted at it again, I moved one step further with more success. It has brought me to this point, where all of my past learning lessons have been applied to Dubb, hopefully creating a product that really solves a problem and at the same time rolling it out properly.
What has been the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge for me thus far has been exercising patience and dealing with expectations. I have the business, development, and startup part down. Now that I have traction and people are starting to take note, it is become increasingly hard for me to exercise patience when it comes to things like PR, raising capital and communication. When someone tells me an article regarding my startup will run on Monday, and it runs on Sunday, it is challenging because I am so excited to tell the world about this awesome new product.
Privacy is certainly on top of everyone’s mind. How have you managed privacy concerns?
I wrote a blog regarding my privacy views regarding Dubb. My general thought is that nothing changes, rather it creates a path of least resistance to connect. Contacts are not shared without approval of the contact holder. It is no different than me calling John for Jane’s phone number. We have also created privacy tools to be able to make certain sensitive contacts invisible, therefore preventing people from knowing you are even connected to them. Mostly I believe people exercise extremely good judgement when it comes to sharing contacts because of the repercussions of social trespass and loss of trust.
Where do you see the app in 1 year? 2 years? 5 years?
We are going to remain a free service for the first year, where our focus will be on growing and scaling. We will introduce additional helpful but simple tools such as contact tagging to enable you to reference contacts for easy search and referral. For example, I can tag where I met you (location), but also #writer #notable #business #online. It helps supplement search and helps you organize and categorize contacts in a better fashion. Within two years we hope to have scaled enough and built a large enough user base to introduce in-app instant messaging and capitalize on the market we have built to compete with viber and WhatsApp. In five years, I hope to have a big data company that not only helps people connect, but helps categorize and organize the world’s personal data almost like a modern version of a phonebook. Though I must mention that we have no plans to sell this organized and categorized data of people’s personal information to third parties; rather, we want to make it easier for people operate and manage their life in an ever-growing social world.
Will Dubb be available worldwide?
Dubb aims to connect everyone. We have become global citizen, therefore our connections and contacts span the earth. Limiting the use to a geographical location would be counterproductive. Actually, one cool feature that Dubb has is that it has an intelligent algorithm that helps complete phone numbers with country codes when ones are missing in your address book, therefore facilitating complete and accurate information.