Oct 14, 20144m read
Bringing People Together
I am Nadav Shoval, founder and CEO of Spot.IM and this is our Blog. Here, the team and friends will discuss the world of social media, human connection and the Spot.IM revolution. As this is the first of many posts, I decided to tell you a little bit about myself and about the motivation and ideas which eventually created the Spot.IM experience.
When I was very young, I was diagnosed with a very rare autoimmune disease named “Kawasaki Disease”. This is a serious illness, which afflicts many functions, including movement. Thankfully, and after a long battle, I was cured. But the disease left me with a very weak body. I was told to engage in sport, so I started running around all the time, which I still do.
Today I’m all well, of course, a sports addict – running, swimming, boxing and climbing on a regular basis. But after I was cured, the disease left me weak. I could hardly use my hands to write. I found myself using computers instead. I learned how to communicate with people using the PC. The idea of human contact in the controlled, safe environment of the web brought me to new levels of excitement. I started many projects in chats for youths and dedicated forums and created my first chat-based business at the age of 11.
Communication became my passion – it’s why I do what I do. I met Ishay Green, our co-founder, through mutual investors. We immediately hit it off and became good friends, and quickly started to work on Spot.IM. He is a major force and his wisdom brought life to the company. And so, at the age of 23, I became the CEO and founder of this company that brings people together. Using technology – we give them the confidence, security and dare I say, happiness.
In our world today, two people who don’t know each other will not start up a conversation in a public place if it’s not for one of two purposes: business or sex. People don’t just stop in the street and talk about psychoanalysis or about tea or even about a new album. We are generally a bit shut off from the outside world. We do not trust unknown people and we feel, and for a good reason, that we need protection. This is where technology comes in. It makes the world a better place, makes our lives easier and simpler, but it can also can identify and filter behavior and keep us safe from unwanted people and unwanted content.
Spot.IM fits in perfectly to this human need. If I like a book and I have thoughts, ideas, questions, or even criticisms regarding the book, I can go to the author’s website, and easily find people to discuss the subject with. It all happens instantly – it’s an Instant Message. The world is moving in real-time – less people are writing fewer comments in the traditional social way. People need the human dialog, the immediate answer, the experience of a conversation.
Our lives are over-exposed in social media, but only to our friends. Technology can help us reach out and meet new people, not just watch photos of a friend in Rome. In a Spot, we get the opportunity to open our minds to new ideas, different people and amazing thoughts. And it all happens here and now.
As we were researching the subject, website owners and bloggers contacted us and asked us to make their websites more social, to allow their users to become more engaged and to create User Generated Content. Today, websites, publishers and bloggers create content and users discuss this content on social networks outside the websites. This is illogical – why would anyone make money off content created by others? Why would anyone outside the website make money off content created by the website, when the site owner doesn’t reap the fruits of his or her labor and creativity? As a former site owner – I know this to be a painful cold fact of the virtual world.
We want to bring the power back to the websites. The Spot is free, easy and simple. Just copy & paste to turn any website to a mini-social network for conversations about its content. Public and private conversations take place instantly and across all platforms: web, desktop, mobile web and native.
Our goal is to help the website owners, bloggers and publishers to form a real partnership – anything from technology to music, from politics to movies and from traveling to gaming can become a Spot. All you need is to love the topic of discussion. The hype around great website content can now stay in the website itself, benefiting the website itself and not just random social networks. Live conversations in the site also draw new visitors simply by automatically improving SEO. As YouTube allows you to share videos on any website, we want to turn websites into live communities.
Our team is incredible! I have the privilege of working with passionate, great people who understand the needs of different websites and all work with one thing in heart – creating connections between people. Wacky developers, talented designers, innovative products, and UX professionals compile one of the best teams I have ever seen. Every day is a new experience. Every day – we break a new record.