Winning the accolade of 2015 Facebook app of the year, Whichit is a highly engaging interactive editorial content format. From a consumers’ perspective Whichit is an addictive poll tool that lets them ask and answer image-based questions and rewards them with real time feedback and promotions. For Brands, Whichit will be the leading interactive content publishing tool in the field of native advertising.
Take a read to find out more about the driven team behind the Brand as well as hearing from the CEO and Founder, Jonathan Gan himself…
What is the story behind Whichit?
My wife used to constantly ask me “which” questions; which restaurant would you like to go to? Which movie would you like to see? Ect… One day I told her: ‘I’ll build you an App for those questions, just stop sending me those questions by email or IM during work…”
When daydreaming, I always have idea. Every time I thought I had a good idea I would pitch it one of my mentors or friends. And the Whichit idea caught on instantly!
After that initial brainstorming meeting, it took just 3 months for me to build the initial plans to full execution, making sure the idea was valid for the long run. The vision and concept, the product and definitions, market research, business and financial plans, marketing, strategy and tactics, risk management and emergency plans, HR and skills. Once I saw and checked all the plans were valid and could hold in the long run, I started to execute.
With social media and the internet allowing us to explore new realms which were previously non-existent. What are your thoughts on the power of the online world and it’s impact?
I think we gave only just started to experience the online world. As amazing as Google search is, as as much as the social media and networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are overwhelming, I think we haven’t even got started. Those Sci-fi movies are slowly becoming our reality.The question is…are we going to end up in one of the post-apocalyptic scenarios, or as Star Trek – when of humankind are united.
Being a former Israeli Air Force Major, with military and leadership experience. How have these qualities aided you in getting to where you are now?
The Army provides you with a lot of experience, management skills, motivating people, self-discipline, order and organisation. All of this working under conditions of stress and short deadlines.
But main skill is the ability to operate under conditions of uncertainty, when you don’t have all the data and information about the situation, that experience is the basis in very entrepreneur’s life.
During you time in University, you were involved in several large scale technology modernisation and innovative projects. This must have given you a valuable insight into the world of innovation and technology. But what was the most important lesson learnt at your time in university?
Indeed, I have a BSc and also MBA in Management of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Tel-Aviv University. Those two degrees, and in general my time at school, is the time for the individual to get his/her ‘tool box.’The more one studies, the bigger and more sophisticated the tool box will become. Yet, the ability to use this ‘tool box’ depends on the person. One can have a rich tool box but do nothing with it, while another can have a few tools but has the drive and the power to build amazing things with it. School is just the ‘tool box’, the rest is up to you.
‘Team work makes the dream work’, is a fundamental quality for Whichit. What is it about the Whichit Team that particularly makes the company thrive?
Each one of the Whichit team is a highly professional in his or her domain, with strong knowledge and experience. But the ability of the individual to work as a team, synchronised and coordinated, at the professional level as well as a personal level, gives the added value for us as a team.
Finally, what advice could you give to young students who are aiming to one day create their own startups?
The idea is less important, there are plenty of good ideas. It’s all about the execution! The ability to take an idea to full operation. Those capabilities and skills are not based just on tech knowledge, but on the operation and management side. I’ll recommend to those who want to have their own start up one day – acquire skills and knowledge in project management, product management, risk management, business planning, strategy and tactics in business, operations and administration, HR, employe motivation, basic psychology and read a lot of case studies on companies!