As a follow-up to the company pitch that ran last week, StartUp Beat conducted a Q&A with YAK ABOUT IT CEO, Jeff Gawronski. Comments are welcome below!
SUB: Who do you consider to be YAK ABOUT IT’s primary competition?
Gawronski: Ourselves, meaning there is currently no retail site that launches and retails products from independent inventors and entrepreneurs only. This means that YAK ABOUT IT’s competition is itself in that we must ensure that as the first mover to that open retail/Internet niche that we can secure a strong and meaningful brand quickly.
SUB: Do you have any particular inventor success stories so far (recognizing that the site was just founded this year)?
Gawronski: We have been in touch with several big retailers who have caught notice of YAK ABOUT IT and the products. We expect some of the products to hit a level of success soon.
SUB: What is your business model for the site? How does it, or how will it, make money?
Gawronski: Retail. By obtaining the product at wholesale and selling them at retail, YAK ABOUT IT is able to achieve success and show other retailers that the featured inventions will provide them the margins they need.
SUB: How many inventors have posted their products to the site, to this point?
Gawronski: To clarify inventions have to be approved in order to post. There are sites that allow anything to post and what happens is that it gets watered down and the good inventions get lost among the useless. We also limit how many products can be featured on any given day—in saying that the total is close to 70. All past featured inventions can be viewed in Yak Nation.
SUB: How has your visitor traffic been so far?
Gawronski: Considering the infancy of the site it has been impressive. That question is usually relative. What is most important is that our repeat visitor rate has grown each week. Of course we want YAK ABOUT IT to have an “addictive” quality, so this piece of information is most important.
SUB: How are you promoting the site, both to inventors and to site visitors?
Gawronski: The site is promoted through various websites, pay-per-click campaigns, PR, social networks and of course word of mouth. People are “Yakin’ About It”.
SUB: What advantages does YAK ABOUT IT offer inventors over other ways of promoting their products?
Gawronski: Beyond the obvious promotion to consumers and retailers, YAK ABOUT IT also provides inventors with a place in which they can relate. Inventing is a lone road and to be able to view and hear about people who have gone through what you, yourself, did as an inventor is always encouraging.