Rajesh is the founder of GSF, India’s leading multi-city Tech Accelerator for the brightest tech startups in India.GSF provides tech startups mentorship from celebrated digital founders, initial capital and global exposure. At GSF, Rajesh is architecting the vital building blocks of a nascent early stage startup ecosystem in India.
My Yo rendezvous started when my son Rohan sent me a link of a Techcrunch article with this comment: “Why am I working so hard to build my app when something as simple and as dumbass as Yo can raise a $1.5 Mn from investors?”
This article is about Yo, a simple app that just sends a “yo” to friends. It has been called the dumbest app in the world. It’s so simple and dumb that iphone app store rejected it when it first applied to it. Eventually, Yo has managed to close $1.5 Mn in seed funding with a $10 Mn valuation from investors that include Betaworks, Mashable’s Pete Cashmore, and the founders of China’s Tencent, among others.
Busy as I was with the launch of #GSFGlobal in mid June, I read the note, rationalized it as a quirk of a few maverick Silicon Valley investors and moved on. However when I reached SF, I started to think a lot more “Yo” and why it mattered as I immersed myself deeply into understanding the profound and dynamic shifts taking place in the mobile app economy.
The first Yo debate: It was in Waterloo that I finally downloaded the Yo app on my iPhone. I shared it with the #GSFGlobal founders with whom I shared dorm rooms in the University of Waterloo… finally over dinner, I got 4/5 of them to download the app and asked them to start sending random Yos to me and to each other. As a founder of a technology accelerator, my motivation in pushing Yo down their throat really was to make them think of their MVPs in extreme, given that “Yo” is so symbolic of extreme unbundling. Over the next 2 weeks, I tried my bit to convert the 20 #GSFGlobal founders to one-bit communication magic of Yo, but succeeded only moderately. Here were the top 5 reasons for resisting Yo:
1) It’s so stupid