WHAT ARE THE TERMS FOR INVESTMENT?
WHAT IS YUDEK?
YUDEK turns links and files into trading cards, which you can then organize using beautiful decks and tables. YUDEK is your online home for everything that matters to you.
WHAT PROBLEM DOES YUDEK SOLVE?
Every day it becomes increasingly difficult to manage our digital lives. As our tabs multiply out of control, and our bookmarks pile up as a clumsy and forgettable mess YUDEK provides us a way to centralize all that we care about in a beautiful, simple way that grows with us over time. As files and links are turned into trading cards, a community of curators is allowed to flourish making YUDEK not only a powerful curation tool, but a natural social network, and a powerful search engine as well.
WHO IS ON THE TEAM?
The YUDEK team currently consists of three people: the core team of David and Ankush, and a full time machine-learning and back-end intern from USC's Masters program.
David Kopp is the company's conceiver, designer, and visionary. His strengths are design, and user experience, and succeeding in highly competitive industries. He has extensive experience from his own freelance design and consulting company (branding, UX/UI, copywriting, motion graphics, music production, editing, and voice over) which earned him clients such as OpenTable, Verizon Wireless, Umano (sold to Dropbox), MuMM (app), and creative tech agency MRY, among countless other private clients. Before YUDEK, David earned multi platinum sales as a pop songwriter and music producer, with songs placed on major label projects (Epic, Sony, Universal), as well as in film and television.
Ankush Dharkar is a full-stack developer with a Masters Degree in Computer Science from the University of Florida. His role has consisted of constructing YUDEK's back-end architecture, and choosing the front-end languages, frameworks, platforms, and plugins that make YUDEK's curation, social, and search operate in a way that scales beyond prototype. He has also developed YUDEK's browser extension and app (Android) prototype. His strengths are creative problem solving, bug fixing, and tackling the steep learning curves required to validate and implement emerging technologies appropriate to YUDEK. Before choosing YUDEK as his future, some of his accomplishments included:
• US Imagine Cup 2013 Accelerator Finalist (top 15 in the nation)
• Developed apps for Android & Windows 8
• Co-authored research paper in Grade-A (highest) international conference (EMNLP, 2012)
WHY TRADING CARDS?
We use the web today to either be social, or to consume media of all kinds, not just text. And most often we use the web to be social about this media, which is why the term social media has become so common. We believe that the metaphor of a trading card matters for the following reasons:
• Intuitive – Trading Cards, introduced in 17th century London, were actually the first form of social media. It's even in the name trading card. Trading is social, cards are media. Someone figured out that by condensing media into a smaller, more digestible format, it made it easier to share and consume information. Trading Cards are indeed the ideal visual expression of social media.
• Universal – Virtually every modern society is intimately familiar with trading cards.
• Cross Platform – A card is about the size and shape of our handheld devices. Even the Apple Watch has approximately the aspect ratio of a trading card (portrait rectangle as opposed to landscape like our computers). Pages hold too much information, which is okay for our desktops and laptops, but cards can both be useful on desktops and our mobile devices making it a truly cross-platform visual language.
• Future–Facing – We are just now on the brink of the new-and-greatly-improved world of virtual reality, and augmented reality. And yet, there is no natural graphical interface for these worlds. How will we translate "bookmarks" into a 3D reality in a way that makes sense? What about "tabs" or "pages"? On the other hand, it doesn't take much imagination to translate YUDEK's fundamental visual language of rooms, tables, decks, and cards into the 3D world of virtual and augmented reality. In fact, we've extrapolated our operational metaphor beyond rooms, into places, villages, etc. Of course, this is something we can turn our attention to down the line, but the point is, that YUDEK could easily be a natural bridge between our flat 2D and virtual 3D worlds.
There was an article published on June 16, 2015, (How Cards Are Taking Over The Web) which confirms why YUDEK has maintained that the card is the ideal form for the Web's user experience and user interface design. But remember, while everything in this article rings true for YUDEK, nobody but YUDEK has utilized cards as part of a comprehensive operational metaphor that aims at converting digital information into the actual world of trading cards (complete with decks, tables, rooms, etc.). Doing this makes digital content easier to create, discover, organize, and share.
OTHER COMPANIES ALSO USE "CARDS." WHAT MAKES YUDEK DIFFERENT?
The major difference has to do with what it means to refer to cards, as opposed to what it means to represent cards.
In other words, while all these and other companies refer to information objects as "cards," because of their shape and size, YUDEK is actually representing a world of trading cards, where the metaphor of a card is fully extended to decks, tables and rooms.
None of these other companies is representing cards in the way that YUDEK is – as part of a comprehensive operational metaphor – which is arguably a primary reason why YUDEK is so valuable.
ARE THERE OTHER COMPANIES DOING THE SAME THING AS YUDEK?
While other companies are doing similar things to parts of YUDEK, no service solves so many interconnected, systemic problems we face on the Web today.
When looking at potential competitors here's the checklist.
• Beauty – Does it have state of the art design?
• Files & Links – Are you able to save anything–websites, videos, music; all file types, notes, etc.?
• Efficient – Does it offer in-app consumption, minimizing the need to open tabs?
• Social – Are you able to share and collaborate with your friends, and follow other curators?
• Search – Are you able to search and discover other people's collections?
• Organization – Does it offer a scalable organization system?
• Metaphor – Is there a GUI based on an intuitive metaphor?
• Trustworthiness – Is it from a company we trust?
As explained above, the operational metaphor is most important. The trading card metaphor is really what makes it possible to offer so much utility in a way that feels light and simple, not overloaded with useless and confusing features.
HOW WILL YUDEK BE MARKETED?
YUDEK is primarily targeting students and young professionals between the ages of 18 and 35. These are the people who create and share the most. Many of these are undergraduate and graduate students who desperately need a way to manage all the online content they collect as they study and research. Following its public Beta release, YUDEK will test for feedback in other verticals.
The spearhead of YUDEK’s go-to-market strategy is a crowdfunding campaign. More than asking people to use a product, YUDEK will inspire them to join a movement. YUDEK will incentivize backers with special offers like bragging rights, first dibs on usernames, founder badges, early enrollment in the BETA program, and special membership privileges. Cash raised will go toward product development for both web and mobile.
YUDEK will boost awareness through
(a) a media PR campaign led by Josh Korblin (VP of Digital Marketing, Focus Features)
(b) a "tweet tour" of college campuses, and
(c) tapping David's music industry celebrity networks.
Our goal is to signup 50,000 users over 2 months, and to roll them out following the close of the campaign in “Beta Waves.” Focus will then turn to
(a) bug fixing
(b) feature building based on the response of our users
(c) further development of mobile app
(d) raising Series A
YUDEK will immediately focus on growth in the vertical of undergrad and graduate students in universities across North America.