BizSpark Featured Startup on Windows 8 - PhotoWeaver

BizSpark Featured Startup on Windows 8 - PhotoWeaver

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PhotoWeaver does one thing that you don't expect a smartphone app to do -- it takes the photos in all of your drives and feeds (SkyDrive, local drive, Flickr, Facebook) and gives users the ability to "weave their lifetime worth of pictures on their mobile, on the go."

Pictures from across social networks and cloud locations are "woven" into conversations through the smartphone, and they can even be transported to TV.

Unlike Apple iPhotos stream, PhotoWeaver has no limitations on the number of the photos and the sources to stream from.  And the app is available today in the Windows Store.

PhotoWeaver is also working to help make brands create an impact with images across social networks. Founder Mahesh Mohan Thakur says he believes they are in the early stages of a digital transformation that can be applied to a variety of verticals including Print, Travel, HealthCare, Social Media, and Commerce.

The team is currently featured in the app store and have won several awards for their design and strategic approach. The founders include folks who have over a decade each of rich industry experience, working with industry leaders including Microsoft, Amazon, Verizon, Intel, EMC and US Airways.  We are always open to business partners, and to integrators.

 

  • Connect with Facebook, Google+, Flickr and many more cloud drives comprising of photos and social activity
  • Stream unlimited photos to TV(Superior to iPhoto’s, eliminates need for additional hardware)
  • View friends feed and stay on top of all your social networks likes, comments and activities
  • Enjoy slide show on a screen of your choice while cherishing comments
  • Advanced photo editing features that offer best in class photo management and print capabilities
  • Add custom tags to help organize & sort
  • Weave your memories …Share your story
  • There is a branding and a commercial side to the product that is in very early stages.

 

Microsoft technologies that the company is using to develop the application:

Windows Azure, SkyDrive, Live API, Team Foundation Server, Microsoft Advertising API, AdRotator, Visual Studio

 

Do you build for scale first, or for revenue? How are those things related in your mind?

While revenue and profits form the goals for every business, we are thinking about the long term when we design and build our products/features. This long term thinking implies that our designs start with an extensible platform that can scale in several dimensions.   We are solving huge problems across cloud and social networks, for almost 100 countries, and that has required us to focus on the platform and the architecture extensively.

Where do you include technical members of your team during the building of your business plan?

Technical members are included during every phase and that includes the business plan. Each of the co-founders has over 11 years of industry experience which becomes extremely valuable during all phases of the company and the product. We believe by involving members of all disciplines, we benefit by sharing ideas and brainstorming feasibility early on, eliminating chances of failure.

How much of what you are building is based on leaving a legacy and how much of it is based on technical challenges, or the ability to make something just for fun? In other words, where do you fall on the seriousness scale? For fun, for profit, for life?

We invest in solving problems that users face on their Mobile, Tablet and on the TV i.e. Multi-Screen. We are extremely customer and business focused and validate both business and product plans before early on. We are strongly committed to this venture. We want to build products that become the de-facto solutions for the problems we are targeting. We are fully committed to this goal and will continue to refine our ideas, plans and evolve our products until we achieve it.   We have been featured as the Top Rated app in the app store and have also won several awards including the Spotlight award from Aviary. http://blog.aviary.com/windows-8-partner-spotlight-photoweaver/.

We believe in having the right product strategy in place. Strategy is essentially a plan for meeting a goal. A goal is realistic only when it’s backed by most recent data and information about future trends. Having critical data about consumers, their use of your product, devices they use, types of devices where usage is high, and the devices that indicate poor product adoption can be super important. Research reports point to devices of the future. With those devices, the strategists can foresee the problems they'll present. Having insights into current and future digital strategies can guide and inform the product strategy. A product roadmap is complete only with a thorough product strategy which further relies on a 360 degree insight into the consumer and partner digital strategy. Once you have these pieces together, they become core to inspiring the product, development, analyst, marketing and operations organizations to rally together towards the single unified goal.

 

When did you decide that you were “startup material”?

  • When we were ready to take personal risks in order to follow our passion
  • When we could never settle and continued striving to make life better for our consumers
  • When we knew that building great customers and partners starts with a powerful vision
  • When we knew we wanted to appeal to an ecosystem and not just to a single entity
  • When our customers congratulated us on building a prototype and kept using it everyday
  • When we created a global innovation flywheel – offering innovative products to scale at a global level and eliminated the physical boundaries.
  • When we created a culture of collaboration and openness

What characteristics do you possess that make you an entrepreneur? What makes your startup a startup?

An extremely powerful vision, passion to change the world, combined with hands on approach. The founders on the team are highly customer focused – right from the idea phase, to validation, and launch. The team believes in agile execution and in launching iteratively on a weekly basis. We differentiate early on by constantly looking for new technologies and platforms that enable unique ways to solve existing problems.  From the time we learn about a new request, to the time we launch it at an international level, the cycles are sometimes just a couple weeks. We are always open to business partners, and to integrators.

 

Can you describe the relationship that you have had with Microsoft in building your startup?

Microsoft has been an awesome partner and it is our privilege to be working closely with them. Microsoft has been available to us at every step of the way. We have had the honor and the opportunity to work with the BizSpark Marketing and Technology teams and the Azure Teams. We also work closely with the App Store team and the Surface teams.  They truly understand the business and technical challenges that their partners face and provide their valuable time and advice.

Why would an entrepreneur turn to Microsoft for help in building scale, a team, or using software?

Microsoft provides an end to end perspective to business and product building. It has the technology, the platform and the global reach. For developers, it offers the tools and the technologies that allow the team to focus its very limited resources on the customer and the product. Microsoft has the community and the support system that is superior and is very approachable. These are essential resources for companies of every size that present across the globe.   Whether your product is focused on Enterprise or Consumer, Mobile or Cloud, Microsoft is a great platform to start. And with Azure becoming competitive to AWS, you are certain to find more than one reason to partner and to build using Microsoft platforms.

 

How is Azure implemented in your solution?

Azure forms the backbone of our user registration and management system. We use Azure Mobile Services in our registration workflow, wherein we update perform various operations on Azure SQL Databases. The database is also used for storing app data, and in running complex data queries in order to analyze usage patterns.   

How did you get excited about Azure?

While we were designing our solution, we were looking for a cloud service that would provide a full suite of products and would be ready to use for Windows Store App development. We reviewed a number of possibilities, but Azure came out on top for all of our needs.  

What were the Azure features that prompted you to decide to build on Azure?

Full suite of services: Databases, Web sites, Mobile Services, Cloud Services, Virtual Machines, etc. Awesome management interface plus PowerShell support; Natural .Net integration coupled with competitive pricing makes it the number one choice.

 


Mahesh Mohan Thakur – Chief Executive Officer & Founder

Comments
  • Wow wow wow !!!

    Awesome product with cool features.

    Good job by the team.

  • Loved the app. In fact, that is the first thing I'll install on my new Surface 2 that I just ordered.

    Love seeing all my pictures together, and the fact that I will never lose a picture again.

    Keep it up. Very well deserved

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