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QueRank.com: The First Question and Answer Service that Lets you Rank Text Listings or Photos

http://www.querank.com/

QueRank is the first question and answer service that lets you rank text listings or photos.

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Start-Ups.Co had an insightful interview with Mr. ‘Parker Lewis‘; Business Manager at the US (Los Angeles, California)-based start-up “QueRank.com” about his Company.

QueRank is the first question and answer service that lets you rank text listings or photos.

Below is the full interview that we have conducted with Mr. ‘Lewis’ regarding his Company “QueRank”;

1. What is it exactly that you do and what “QueRank” is all about?

QueRank is the first question and answer service that lets you rank text listings or photos.

You can create a question; and then provide answers (for others to rank) or let others submit answers (and also rank).

Answers can be short text listings or photos (you upload). Share your questions within our community or share exclusively among friends.

Publish questions anonymously or be a celebrity with a following. 

You can always browse our growing collection of questions to vote on the best answers, or submit new answers to existing questions, or simply find the answers you’ve been searching for!

2. When has “QueRank” been founded? And what stage is “QueRank” currently at?

QueRank was started, and subsequently launched, in 2012. We are currently in a public beta.


3. What is “QueRank”‘s business model and how does it work?

We are a general-interest website, managing user generated content, and therefore are focused entirely on our services to ensure we add value to the user. 

With improvements to our services, and  increasing the volume of useful data and content, our website’s monthly traffic metrics will increase.

This current phase focuses on user generated content as a service.

When we have enough open-data and user statistics/analytics, we will focus on user generated data as a product. This will allow us to graph trends, consumer interests and behaviors, and generate data sets from our growing online database.

4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?

A few members met as professional colleagues and a few members met through college networking. Our roles fluctuate as we focus on product development and social media marketing.

5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?

We provide a unique service compared to our competitors. Our answers are short text listings focusing on metadata formats for more quick and direct answers.

Other users then rank and organize these answers.

You may be asking what’s the best of something or the worst of something, so the top ranking answer is simply the most voted on result. Answers can be provided as a fixed set (similar to a poll) or a growing set (where users can continue to add answers).

Most notably, we offer the option to upload photos as an answer format. This is our flagship feature that is unique to other question and answer services. If you want to ask people what album cover is best, or which famous paintings are most overrated, where else do you go?

You can also ask questions anonymously and privatize your list of published questions. These two options are provided by some of our competitors.

6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has “QueRank” achieved so far?

We have just launched. Our goal is to build relations with other online communities to develop healthy traffic trends.

7. Who are your competitors? And what is “QueRank”‘s competitive advantage over them?

The leading question and answer services are our competitors. This includes Quora, Stack Exchange Network, Answers.com, Yahoo! Answers, in addition to smaller question and answer websites.

Some of our competitors have given up on what they do. Others are still going strong. We believe that creativity, ingenuity, passion, and a drive to succeed is invaluable when you’re up against competitors who lack direction and innovation due to being employees, and not leaders, under a parent company.

We encourage the growth and success of anyone striving to build a better marketplace for knowledge and information and we hope to surpass those that are only focused on profits and payroll.

8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?

We predict we will confront genuine obstacles as we continue to expand and grow as a service. Our experience so far has been more stable.

9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?

We believe it’s not the outsiders who need insight. Our competitors do not recognize the value of managing open-data sets with metadata tags within a knowledge market.

Consider if Yahoo! Answers initially did this from their inception. How much valuable data would they have on top of a booming community? If they were a standalone website, we think companies like Google or Amazon would have bought them earlier on for their data.

Although we support thorough answers for user questions, we also believe that if a company is not going to track each answer as a keyword, then you’re neglecting a valuable opportunity.

10. Why are you going to succeed?

We are a modest team. Building what we set out to do is step one. There’s no step two. If we gain traction with users, it proves our intuition is valuable.

11. If “QueRank” succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?

Our current startup is limited to the generation and aggregation of open-data and subsequently the conversion of such data into useful intelligence.

In the most liberal case, we could evolve into a consumer analytics company and build products to better track, manage, and interpret the needs and behavior of consumers.

12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build “QueRank” based on?

There was a void in the market for a group ranking feature within a question and answer service.

Many questions on these leading websites ultimately have metadata as the final answer.

This is something that can then be organized in a table.

If you’re seeking, for example, the best sci-fi films and only want the film titles and no elaborate explanations, then those titles can be contained in a table; the listings (or answers) can then be ranked and organized according to the criteria of the question.

We also felt ranking photos, as an answer format, is unique feature that is not provided by any other website.

13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?

That a web startup has two fundamental challenges: the development of an idea (as a functional product or service) and the consumer traction post-development.

This is not something new. It’s been discussed before in detail. We’re just now experiencing it firsthand.

You work hard on creating something and then have to work even harder bringing it to market.

14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?

We provide free image hosting for our photo-based questions.

We predict this will take a toll on our servers if many photos are being uploaded (as we do not like resizing photos for conservation).

This could be a problem at a later point, forcing us to either seek capital, create a referral program (to increase bandwidth for new signups), or provide a freemium model.

It is our goal to provide more bandwidth to our users free of charge based on our own ingenuity.

15. What’s the benefit for the customer/user?

A user can ask a question to their friends or the community (currently the same value to users on competing question and answer services).

Beyond this feature, we also offer the option to upload photos for ranking. This becomes very useful for those seeking to have their own photo collections organized, ranging from clothing, food decorations, homemade arts and crafts, and more.

Some people may want suggestions for purchases, with what to buy, ranging from dresses, shoes, handbags, and more.

We will be adding features that enable users to share content, and subsequently receive feedback, more effectively.

16. How did customers / users find out about you?

We are still focused on a marketing campaign to increase exposure to our service.

17. Who are your current customers / users? Who are your target customers / users?

We are a general interest website, managing user generated content, and therefore we are targeting a wide group of users.

Our unique option to upload and display photos will likely appeal to creative types.

This includes fashionistas and fashion designers, visual artists, home decor designers and interior decorators, chefs (showcasing food presentation or designs), handmade craft makers, and more. Consider the following, from a user stand point:

If you’ve selected a dozen outfits to wear or buy, complete with accessories, but don’t know which one is best, who do you ask and how? 

If you’ve baked a line of cupcakes with unique frosting patterns, but don’t know which one is best, who do you ask and how?

If you’ve created a collection of homemade ornaments, but don’t know which one is best, who do you ask and how?

18. Where do new customers / users come from and what makes new customers/users try you?

At this stage, we find traffic from social media websites and other question and answer websites. We will be expanding our reach with a marketing campaign.

19. What do your customers / users say about your product and/or service?

We have input on what new features to build and what changes to make. As more people use our service, we will have better insight as to how they really interact with our website. We’re still new so the feedback is limited.

20. How are you going to scale?

We believe that if we build a great service, the users will come. If they love the service and our community, they may promote us to friends and their followers on social media channels.

This could spark a viral expansion loop. Above all, we only plan on providing a useful service. Anything beyond that is ideal but not strategic.

21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/users keep asking for?

We need to develop a mobile version, a stronger presence on Facebook (with interactive applications), and then build stronger social and sharing tools on our website that connects users more directly with each other and the content they like. 

22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?

We will develop versions of our service in other languages to accommodate questions asked in foreign languages.

We will focus on a larger campaign to broaden our services in select nations when developing new features.

This phase will likely be approached after securing venture capital.

23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?

We believe we can become a notable question and answer service.

If we transition to become an open-data company focusing on user analytics, our growth will be broader. Our success depends on how great our product is.

We want to add value to our users and build a community that grows exponentially.

24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?

We will be hiring more members once we secure venture capital. Our current focus is on proof of concept.

25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?

We are interested in advisers, mentors, partnerships, angels, VCs, and anyone else interested in contacting us. We welcome all feedback and love building new relationships. You can contact as at:

Info@QueRank.com

26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?

There are two types of web entrepreneurs: technical talents and business talents. Advice is dependent on the type. If you’re both, you probably don’t need advice. If you’re one and not the other, we actually think you should seek advice on our competitor, Quora. 

Quora is not a competitor. We love the service and hope it continues to succeed.

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