Interview with Moodalytics co-founders
This interview is the fourth in a series of interviews with people working on interesting online projects.
How would you describe Moodalytics in under 50 words?
It’s a fun and fast way for people to record user’s moods and look back over weeks and months for any interesting patterns. After a month of entries, we give users the ability to find their best and worst days of the week.
Who came up with Moodalytics, when and how?
Connor and I were talking one day in February about what kind of Web sites might be interesting to students at his school. He thought that an application which could be shared easily with others would stand a good chance of being used – noting that middle school and high school students are easily bored.
Who came up with the name?
Well, credit goes to me (Lance) for the name. The name combines “mood” with “analytics” which is something I earn a living at (Web analytics) and am quite passionate about.
You co-founded Moodalytics with your sons Alec (age 8) and Connor (age 11). What issues have you faced working with family? What does each co-founder bring to the operation?
We’ve managed to navigate working together very well so far. It’s been a fantastic learning experience for all of us… for me with having to learn how to write PHP code again, and for them with deciding on how an application should function and look. Now, if the site ever earns any revenue, I’d better look out, as they’re quite the pair of young negotiators.
What with your day job and other projects, have you considered taking Alec and Connor out of education and having them work on Moodalytics full-time?
Now don’t go putting ideas in their head. They both really love school, but they also are getting to love the idea of being an entrepreneur and setting your own course in life. Connor seems quite interested in learning how to program, and Alec is an artistic lad… so together they’d make great co-founders (providing they could get along until launching the product!).
Questions for just Alec and Connor: What do you enjoy most about working on Moodalytics? Do you use it yourself? Have you told your friends about it? How often do you work on it? Does you Dad pull his weight?
We enjoy it when all the work is done and what it looks like at the end also Alec enjoys all the artwork he does for the website. Yes I (Connor) use it. I have told my friends about it. We do not get a lot of time to work on it together because we are not at our dad’s house every weekend. Yes he does.
Has Moodalytics got the feedback and growth you expected since launch?
We’ve really only told our friends on Facebook and some students at the boys’ school so far. It was definitely a “soft launch”, because we wanted to make sure everything worked as planned. As for feedback, we’ve only received positive comments so far, which is encouraging and drives us to move forward with some new features. It’s very exciting to see people using something you built – and using it on a regular basis.
Why did you choose Facebook for login?
We chose Facebook because so many people use it, and because they make it very easy to create login functionality for any Web site. Leading up to the launch, we heard from a number of people that having to create a new set of credentials on a Web site is a big turn-off. In the near future, we’ll be adding a Twitter login option as well.
Who do you see as your target audience?
Mood tracking is great for anyone, but it’s probably best-suited to people who are open to keeping daily journals. Typically this would be women and teenage girls. We’ve done nothing with the site design to exclude males of the world, but in my own personal experience, it’s not that common for men to journal. Perhaps Moodalytics will change that!
Who is your biggest competitor?
That would have to be the friendly diary. We have nothing against the diary, but our site has a fun visual element that the diary does not.
What is the biggest hurdle you have faced or are still facing?
Getting the word out is the toughest part. Building an application is a ton of fun, but it’s not entirely fulfilling until people are using it. There are so many Web sites and Web application competing for everyone’s attention that it’s tough to stand out. We’re very grateful that you’ve let us talk about our little project!
What are you most excited about at the moment?
No doubt about it: The ability to show the moods of people in different cities or countries. In aggregate, some really interesting patterns will emerge when you have thousands of people recording how they’re feeling. A world mood map will be lots of fun to build.
Can you convince the reader to start using Moodalytics in under 50 words?
Forming a habit like recording how you feel everyday is a challenge, but if you can make the small time investment, you’ll be rewarded with a view of your life that’s difficult to get any other way. It’s a fantastic way to learn about yourself and what makes you happy.
Big thank you to Lance, Connor and Alec! Check out Moodalytics!