Amir Aghaei – INTERVIEW X ENTREPRENEUR MINDSET
Hey Amir, thank you so much for sitting down with us and sharing a little bit about yourself.
As the Founder of People App, what was your motivation to create such an App? What inspired you to start this adventure?
We live in an online social environment where everything people do is somehow related to their online presence. Over the years, we have all experienced wearing different hats on the internet: buyer, seller, freelancer, renter, event organizer, event attendee, and etc. Finally, two years ago we came to this conclusion that the internet has not been fully utilized in favor of “the people” yet. Yes, you see people using the internet more and more every day, but mostly as a consumer. When it comes to gaining visibility, companies, without doubt, have more resources so they are more adept to allocating a professional team for SEO, another team for social media management, another team for content creation for YouTube, and therefore, they have been able to dominate the Internet.
The internet has changed to a battlefield where companies compete for visibility and people are crushed in the middle. Platforms like Google have made it extremely hard and expensive for ordinary people to be found and seen. To gain visibility you need to have a website, do SEO, create SEO content, submit your sitemap, and more just to appear in search results. I realized none of my friends know how to do these things so they are left with only one option, which is finding employment with companies that can afford to invest in their online presence. This leaves people to neglect their own business ideas and creates a perpetual cycle of companies getting stronger while people are becoming weaker and weaker.
We also noticed the need to eliminate the list based search results to help people have an equal opportunity to get seen and found without fighting to be on top of a list. We founded People App with a single mission in mind, to empower people and create an equal opportunity for everyone to be seen and found.
Why should we download People App? What are the main advantages compared to other similar Apps?
We have designed People App as a unique platform with the unique goal of empowering people by providing them opportunities and tools for growth. To achieve this goal different tools were incorporated into the app. Think of it as an operating system like Microsoft Windows where you can use different things based on what you are trying to achieve. There are many reasons why you should download and use People App, but to name a few I would say the top reasons are to make money, see what’s going on around you, being able to see other local people and their skills, events, items for sale, rentals, jobs, and more. A quick glance is all you need because everything appears on a map. Even better is that it takes less than two minutes to sign up and start being seen on the map. In addition, it is borderless so you can navigate to other areas and see things in different regions; this creates new opportunities and an international reach. Our biggest difference with most social media platforms is that we are not limiting you to your friends and followers; everyone gets to see everyone else.
It is commonly said that technology, especially social networks, keeps us isolated and distant from each other. I believe that People App’s mission is exactly the opposite. Using the best of technology to bring us closer. Can we consider it as a tool for social cohesion?
Yes, you are right and People app’s mission is directly the opposite. We designed the app to connect people. To help establish this connectivity with ease, instant connection can be made on the app through video, audio, chat, or when dealing with locals you can simply plan a coffee meeting. No more filling out forms, no more emails, no more middlemen, just instant connectivity. In order to make it socially cohesive, we are trying to revolutionize and unleash social media stories. The main difference is that People App stories are public and as soon as you post a story on the map, other users who are navigating within that area will see it. Not only are you available to view personal stories from all over the world, but you can also like and comment on your favorite ones too. Therefore, by associating each story to a geographic location and making the stories public, we are unleashing a new and very powerful social media tool to be used by everyone who desires to be seen without needing to have friends or even without needing to be directly searched for.
Can you tell us something about the process from the moment you had the idea until the moment, you launched the App?
I was actually looking for a good developer for a while on the internet for one of my projects and I had no luck finding the right person. One day I was at Starbucks and I got to meet this great developer who had all the skills I was looking for and the spark was created. There are great opportunities around us, and we are simply kept blind by relying too much on the internet. So, I started by hiring that person, along with other great talents, and since then People App has become a passion for all of us.
As it is a free App, what is your business model? How do you plan to make your business profitable in the future?
We have laid foundational plans and secured the means through which we will continue to build upon our foundation. Our business plan is structured to guide People App into the position of being a profitable business. One of the main plans for generating a revenue is through targeted ads. Basically, we will generate revenue by allowing users to run targeted, location based ads to boost their posts and stories.
Are you also looking for investments or funds to finalize or optimize your App?
Yes, of course! Our vision is big, and we are going to need funds and investments to achieve this vision. Many new optimizations are needed on the app and all these require additional funding and investments as well. In order to achieve this, we are intending to increase the team and the number of users on the app. To do this, more massive marketing and branding will be required. Our short term goal is to get up to 100,000 users before the end of this year, while our long term goal is to gain users globally in the years to come and become the place for people that they trust and believe in.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned since founding People App?
I have realized that all these huge, outdated universities did not come about to serve people, they came about for money. I believe all students can learn things by themselves and I suggest to employers to boycott universities by evaluating candidates based on their skills and talents, not their degree. I have also learned that most of the entrepreneurs we have around us are stereotypically wealthy, yet greedy people who will do anything to build large companies and hire people to build their castles. I do not see them waking up each day with the goal of trying to empower people. I’ve discovered that all we need are people who positively think about people.
Based on the feedback you have received from your users, what can we hope to see from People App in the future?
So far we have had many great reviews from users, especially in Southern California. We read and evaluate every single review that we get from people to make sure that what we are doing is aligned with their actual day to day needs. It’s really surprising to see how fast our user base is growing and that’s why we prepared ourselves for a big wave.