Interview with Javier Cámara, CEO of beBee
This is a live interview with beBee CEO and co-founder Javier Cámara, conducted on the beBee platform. The interview is part of Di Digital's series #TheContenders. You'll find more info about the series, as well as past interviews, here: https://medium.com/@H_Stahl/why-i-m-interviewing-the-new-social-media-contenders-on-their-own-platforms-c9729041ede1#.jwp8af7i2
The interview with Javier Cámara will consist of two parts. To begin with, I'll publish the first set of questions within this ”honey post” – my very first time using the beBee Producer tool! – at 3:30PM GMT+2 (that's 15:30), and Javier will answer them in real-time through a Live Buzz. We then have a short break to give me time to update the blog post with follow-up questions, which Javier will answer in a second Live Buzz.
The interview is estimated to finish at about 5PM (17:00).
Since Javier has to be in a last-minute meeting at 17:00, we might have to postpone part 2 'till tomorrow, if we're unable to finish it all off by then.
You can watch the Live Buzz in real-time here: https://www.bebee.com/bee/smartinezam?t=posts
Hope you'll enjoy!
1. Why did you create beBee? What void on the web in general, and in the world of social media in particular, are you trying to fill?
2. How many users does the beBee platform currently have? And how many of those are active users?
3. Sometimes, I have seen beBee being described as "a bridge between Facebook and LinkedIn". At the same time, the official beBee Twitter account has quite aggressively tweeted about LinkedIn's demise:
Do you consider LinkedIn a fierce rival, or a potential partner?
4. What differs you from LinkedIn? Why should people choose beBee instead of LinkedIn? 🤔
5. One particular problem that I've come across during the interview series is related to diversity. beBee, being a Spanish platform, seems to have a large user base among Spanish speaking people, which differs beBee from a lot of other newly founded social paltforms. What about the diversity within the company itself? The CEO is obviously of male gender. How many female board members do you have? And how many with a foreign background? How do you work with diversity in both the company and on the platform?
6. What are your main strategies for monetization? 💰
7. What does your user growth strategy look like? How much has your user base grown since the release of the beBee platform? And how much do you estimate to grow by the end of 2017?
8. Who is the typical beBee user? Do you have particular "personas" that you aim for?
9. Many platforms have a hard time gaining so called "critical mass". What is your Plan B, if you don't reach critical mass as fast as you hope for?
10. For a new user, beBee might seem a bit straggly and incoherent. Which features do you consider to be "the core beBee features"? In which ways are you trying to improve the user experience? If I am totally new to beBee and have no idea exactly how to use the platform, or why I should do it, how would you try to A) persuade me into using beBee on a daily basis 🐝, and B) convince me to incorporate beBee into my digital social ecosystem 🌍?
11. After being a beBee user for a couple of months, I've noticed that the mobile (iOS) app is a bit slow in performance. 😳 How much are you working with improving the performance in general, and on mobile in particular?
12. How close are you with the beBee community? How do you take care of user complaints, and user suggestions?
13. How big is the beBee team? How many employees do you have?
14. On November 24th 2015, you and beBee co-founder and executive chairman Juan Imaz invested 11 million dollars in beBee, according to crunchbase. Where did you get that kind of money? Was it your life savings? Do you hope to get more funds in a second seed round from external investors, in order to further develop the beBee platform? 💸
15. What is the state of social media in five years?
17. Regarding beBee providing tools for connecting with professionals: features like instant messaging and video conferences, which you mention, are provided by multiple platforms elsewhere. What is your ”killer app”, or in this case, ”killer tool”, that differentiate you from your competitors? If you don't already have one, will you develop it in the near future?
18. Why did you choose the name ”beBee”? How does bees represent what you are trying to accomplish? 🐝
19. You said yesterday that you are launching a new platform in January 2017. What will be the biggest updates in this release? Will you upgrade the entire platform, including the web application (not just the mobile apps)? What does your data infrastructure look like, is it based on node.js, Java, .NET? And if you're launching a new mobile app in January, have you built it in React Native or some other innovative JS library?
20. You say that beBee is about ”creating connections through passions”. Would it be accurate to describe you as a merge of Facebook and LinkedIn, more than a bridge between the two platforms? Is beBee both personal/private and professional? 🤔
21. Which other platforms are your main sources of inspiration?
22. Do you have any collaborations with other social media platforms today? If not, do you plan to suggest any collaborations in the future? (With platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and so on.)
23. beBee is based in the United States. Do you think the outcome of the US election, with Donald Trump as new president, will have any impact on beBees growth? If that's the case, do you think it will have a positive or a negative impact? 🇺🇸
24. More than 1 million users by the end of 2016 is quite impressive. How many users will beBee have by the end of 2017? 2 million, or more? What is your goal?
25. Where are you focusing your strength right now, in terms of marketing: Europe, North America, South America, Asia, or Africa? Where do you think beBee has the biggest potential to acquire a strong and steady growth?
26. I have been a Rafael Nadal supporter for more than 10 years. So, from one fan to another: how do you think Rafa will end the season of 2017? Within the top 10? Will he win another Grand Slam? Or do you think he'll retire before the end of 2017? (Let's hope not...) ¡Vamos! ✊