The fear of missing out means we subscribe to way too many news sources and end up being inundated with information we can not possibly handle. News becomes Noise.
The German startup eese (pronounced e-see) is a social network built around news. Users pick a topic and the service learns their reading habits to aid the discovery of articles they would want to read.
“Today you can get information about almost anything online but finding good content, that’s also credible, is time consuming. With eese, you can focus on reading rather than searching for articles to read”, says René Füchtenkordt, CEO and founder of eese.
The eese team consists of co-founders Fabian Lurz (Cheif Technical Officer), Johan Wallén (Chief Story Officer) and David Kreutzer (Business Developer)
René and Fabian know each other since their university days where René was studying Digital Media and Fabian Computer Engineering. All of 21, they created their first entrepreneurial venture – an eBay fee calculator, and even though it was built in only three days, it clocked over 3000 users per month. Its success goaded them to create an recommendation algorithm that they wanted to apply for movie discovery. But when René sister lost her job at a local newspaper they realized journalism was at the precipice of transformation – with the print media clashing and merging with the digital, there were opportunities in creating solutions for shaping its future. So the algorithm was pivoted towards news recommendation. Johan had already thought about a similar idea for a while, but had no idea on how to proceed. They met Johan and David at the Betahaus, a meeting place for startups in Berlin, and it was a perfect match.
The team faced difficulties in finding backers for their project since the startup culture is not very common in Germany, “In our hometown nobody had any idea what a startup was and instead the question “Why don’t you just get a regular job?” was often asked. So overcoming the social pressure took a lot effort.”
Here at Startup Dope we recognize and admire efforts that break tradition and blaze a trail.
The New News
OK, so a newsreader is not exactly ground breaking, they have been around for a while now. “Yes, that is true, but we have taken it one step further. Instead of just being passive consumers, we invite our users to contribute”, explains René on how users are encouraged to share interesting news articles from around the web on eese, comment on others’ share and if they have something insightful to offer, even write their own articles. And René is promising that in the future it will be possible to earn money for doing all of these things.
Currently, eese is available as a closed beta where users have to ask for an invite to become beta testers. The company plans to launch a monthly subscription based premium version of eese where subscribers will have access to paywall-guarded content from the top publishers around the globe. For that, they are seeking partnerships with bloggers, journalists, magazines and newspapers to gather the best content on eese.
The core functionality of eese will be free.