Meet Danielle and Sheena. Two Quarterlettes who are on the brink of introducing the world to its latest social network – Qwiki. Launching today, this new app combines users’ photos and videos to produce share worthy masterpieces, complete with background music. Entrenched in this product’s launch as two of its most stellar employees, they are here to tell us what the start-up world is really like.
Quarterlette: Our first thought when we heard about Qwiki was “Awesome! Instagram for video! A social media dream come true.” Can you tell us what else we should know about Qwiki?
Sheena & Danielle: Qwiki automatically turns pictures and videos on your iPhone into brief, beautiful movies to share. The app allows on-the-fly customized video creation that you can instantly share via Facebook, Twitter, Email, SMS and embed on any blog or web page. You can even play a Qwiki on the big screen (with airplay on AppleTV)! When you download the App, you join a community of Qwiki users around the world. You can follow, like and comment on any Qwiki and engage with others sharing life’s best experiences.
Qlette: Being that the social media industry is extremely saturated, why do you believe Qwiki will be different?
S&D: Users may be quick to call Qwiki a video sharing App, but we call it a storytelling App. It allows users to tell an entire story rather than view only a video clip or a single image. (e.g., an entire wedding story, concert, vacation, etc.) The most unique thing about Qwiki? The App creates your Qwiki for you, then you have the ability to edit as much, or as little as you like. Qwiki is about sharing experiences instead of snapshots. Take this one for example:
Qlette: What has it been like to work on a new start-up that is gathering some buzz – especially by a little company called Apple?
S: It’s been extremely exciting, fulfilling, and full of ups and downs. It’s been amazing to walk into Qwiki everyday and to know that everyone here is passionately working towards the same goal! A lot different than working at a large corporation with thousands of people. We’re like a Qwiki family.
D: It’s been an incredible journey (my one year anniversary at Qwiki was yesterday, the day before our launch) and even though it’s only been a year, things move so quickly in our world, it feels like so much longer. Qwiki’s previous products have generated a lot of buzz and attention from the media, which is super important, but more important is to stay focused on what we’re working on and continue to iterate and bring our users the best possible experience with Qwiki.
Qlette: How did you get involved with Qwiki?
S: I initially worked on a news-related freelance project with Qwiki virtually (since my background is in journalism) and then when the company moved to New York last February, I started working with the team more closely and eventually joined full-time.
D: I had met Doug (founder and CEO) a few years ago while I was working for Summit Series. We became friends, and I was one of the first people to beta test a previous Qwiki product, providing feedback as they further developed the product and prepared for their move to NYC. At the time, I was looking for a new opportunity, already inspired by Doug’s vision and passion for Qwiki, it was hard to say no when he offered me the position.
Qlette: What advice would you give to Quarterlettes who want to work on a start-up?
S: Keep yourself updated with tech news on sites such as TechCrunch, Mashable, AllThingsD and check jobs on sites such as VentureLoop.com which posts positions of startups that have venture capital backing.
D: Agreed! Read as much as you can and follow those doing work you’re interested in on twitter and other social platforms and when appropriate, engage with those who inspire you. Social media gives you the opportunity to actually connect to people you never thought possible, so give it a shot. Attend industry events and maintain relationships with everyone you meet throughout the year, not only when you’re looking for a job.
Qlette: Indulge us and tell us what it’s really like working for a start-up – we want the inside scoop! Is it all sweatshirts and jeans at the office?
S: It’s a lot of self-management, flexibility of wearing many hats , taking on different roles, and organizing your own priorities and schedule. And yes, you can wear jeans in the office!
D: Ha – Well…there have been days where I’ve rolled into the office in leggings and sneakers, and it’s all good. Our conference rooms are really untraditional and most of our meetings take place in a “living room” setting. The fridge is always filled with beers (and juice from a juice press!), teas, yogurt and there are cabinets filled with our favorite snacks. We also have a full DJ set up that we’ll have to start making more use of soon.
Qlette: We know working on a new start-up requires you to be on call almost 24-7 – but do you get any down time? How do you maintain your sanity when the work-life balance starts leaning towards work?
S: Sometimes I have to remind myself to take a break from my phone or else I could literally be on it ALL the time – while walking on the street (which can be very dangerous!), on my bed, at dinner, etc. I make time to cook, go to yoga class and to go jogging outdoors in the park, where I am completely disconnected, and that really helps me re-fresh my mind.
D: It’s definitely not a 9-5, BUT I think most of us have a “work hard, play hard” mentality. My role requires me to be out and about a lot, meeting and engaging with our community. So I may be “working,” but not always in the office. I always try to make plans with friends in advance, so if it’s on my calendar, I’ll make sure I am able to go. I try to go to SoulCycle after work when I can, but my iPhone is pretty much always glued to my hand (oops!). I also do a lot of work with UNICEF, which is something I’m really passionate about.
Qlette: What has been your most memorable moment so far working for Qwiki?
S + D: On the night we shipped the app to Apple, the team was together in the office until 2 AM crushing bugs, sorting out copy changes, and making sure that the app was at it’s best. It really shows how much everyone here is passionate about what we’re doing at Qwiki!
What has been one of the biggest challenges?
S + D: Being flexible… nothing at a start up is set in stone. You need to be comfortable with and ready to wear those many, many hats!
Qlette: How will Qwiki change the world of social media?
S + D: We’re going to change the way people capture and document their lives. It will allow people to easily create and share their life experiences with friends, family and with the world. If a person has an iPhone and a story to tell, they will have a platform to share it on, with minimal effort, time and money (and without having to be a video producer or editor!)
Qlette: What’s next?
S + D: Our official iPhone App launch!! Followed by evangelizing Qwiki and building our community. So far in our short one-month beta period, we have seen users from 30 different countries and in two-dozen languages – talk about an international community of storytellers! We’ve only begun to scratch the surface…#QwikiLove #Qwikified
Want Qwiki? Download here!