Editor’s Note: Semil Shah is a contributor to TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter at @semil.
“In The Studio” kicks off its second season and 2013 by welcoming an entrepreneur with an eclectic past, ranging from time as a lab assistant, media strategist, business development manager, and consultant to many NYC startups until he and a college friend stumbled upon what could be a big idea during a short hackathon. Ever since, they have been slowly growing their addictive and highly personal product to an ever increasing audience.
Jonathan Wegener, CEO and co-founder of Timehop, may have accidentally stumbled upon a big idea. During a time when social media products, especially those revolving around digital pictures, seem to be a dime a dozen and trigger eye-rolling among many observers, Wegener, the CEO and co-founder of Timehop, and his small team in New York City are slowly hacking away at building a social network around our pasts. They begin with resurfacing images, tweets, and other media based on yearly anniversaries of when the original content was created. The result so far has been organic growth and inherently viral interest in the product, which taps into our human desire to reflect, experience nostalgia, and share the past with others.
In this discussion, Wegener and I explore the initial conception of Timehop, how the early product was built, how and why the company grew its base audience through email, how they built for iOS and are thinking about mobile growth, and how they look at platforms other than the web.
Additionally, what’s most striking to me from this conversation is just how much of a product person Wegener is. You can tell that he and his team have long, detailed debates about how to present media to users that are usually private while also paying attention to growth and retention, especially with the recent iPhone application. This video would be useful to anyone building a social product on the web and/or mobile, as Wegener goes into great detail about all the growth tactics they employ.