Hello everyone, my name is Justo Hidalgo, co-founder of 24symbols. Let me talk about sowing the seeds of love between publishers and a startup.
That is, let me tell you the story of 24symbols
I love books. I love reading. And I love technology. And when my current partners and I started to talk about books, about reading and about technology, one idea came through.
Is there a Spotify for books? And there wasn’t, so we started a crazy project called 24symbols.
24symbols is a subscription service to read digital books on the internet, no downloads required, with social capabilities. Log in, select the book you want, click and read. That simple.
We started to work like crazy. And, as any other startup, we started to think about our product… but, most importantly,
… we started to think about our users. Sorry, not users: we wanted a tribe, a community. So we used the social networks to create a community of people. Currently 25000 fans in facebook and 5000 followers in twitter that agree with us in that reading should be done everywhere, at anytime, and at a fair price.
So we got seed capital, investment to start!!!
And you might think we started our nice walk that would lead us to glory, fame and money.
But the truth is much more different, of course. Even though we had entreprenurial and corporate experience, every startup is different, and you have to juggle so many things at the same time.
Anyway, we kept on working, and had our first version online! Yoohoo! 10,000 alpha users, and then 25,000 beta users entered the system, thanks again to our community. So we just needed content, right? Books. Bah, easy stuff.
Except that the idea that non-paying, free registered users would be allowed to access 24symbols and read THEIR books was not exactly the best news piece they wanted to hear. However, some small publishers believed in us, and we kept on adding good quality books to our catalog.
Time went by, and here we are.
The platform evolved, both in functionality and look&feel …
And we added more devices (iPad, HTML5, iPhone soon, Android in a few months) and functionalities. I encourage you to take a look at it and tell me about it.
And we started to be part of the publishing industry, and started to understand the forces inside of it.
So, little by little, we get closer and closer to them.
This means that we already have more than 80 publishers that provide commercial, bestselling titles. Titles that you can find in the bookstore's main tables. Specially here in Spain but also in the UK and LATAM.
And with good content and good product, readers come. And they register, and they read actively on their mobile devices, and some of them start to subscribe.
And, while we are still a baby startup struggling to advance, we, little by little, accomplish our dream: provide a place for readers to enjoy ebooks everywhere, anywhere and at a fair price.
And, in the meantime, sow some seeds of love between publishers and startups. Thanks so much, enjoy the evening!