OtherOEN Member Spotlight – Todd Silverstein, CEO & Cofounder of Vizify

Q:      What does your business do?
A:    Vizify transforms your social media profiles and content into a series of interactive infographics that show the people looking you up online what you’re all about.  Our hope is that it will help you impress a potential boss, client, or even date.  

Q:      How did you come up with this business idea?
A:    My cofounders Eli, and Jeff and I were inspired by Zuckerberg’s Law (yeah that Zuckerberg), which states that the amount of online data about you doubles each year (in more precise terms, that’s a ton). We were skeptical, but then we actually went out and saw this was true of our own social media data. As we began sorting through it  to make sense of it all, we were struck by how disjointed and overwhelming it was–career history here, tweets there, check-in data everywhere. It didn’t communicate a cohesive story; it felt like it was a jumbled mess of important stuff and unimportant stuff, it didn’t play well together, and worst of all, it was boring.

And this is when we had a bit of an “aha!” moment. To see if we could get a better handle on it all, we started doing visualizations of the data. When we shared those pictures with some of the web-savvy folks in our network, they began demanding that we make pictures of their data too. So that’s when we realized we had stumbled onto something special. And led us to launch Vizify with the mission of helping you look your best online.

Q:      What are your biggest challenges?
A:    Making sure we prioritize what we do; we’ve got way more ideas than we can implement at any one time.

Q:      What are your goals for the company?
A:    It’s an audacious one—if you’re someone who spends any time online, we want to showcase the best of you.

Q:      Are you looking for funding?
A:    Not at the moment. We closed a Series Seed round in March.

Q:      Have you been an entrepreneur before?
A:    Yes, this is actually my third startup as a founder. I guess I just have that start-something bug.

Q:      What brought you to OEN?
A:    It was the whole Portland startup scene really—I’ve never lived in an environment that at the same time feels so vibrant, close-knit, and creative. OEN is part of what makes this place special; it helps create and reinforce the really great bonds between entrepreneurs living here.

Q:      What has been the biggest surprise in your entrepreneurial experience to date?
A:   I’m continually surprised by how supportive and helpful other founders tend to be towards other entrepreneurs. Making something out of nothing is always incredibly hard and stressful. The encouragement and advice from my peers was simply invaluable to us as we were getting Vizify off the ground.

Q:      What has been the best entrepreneurial advice you’ve received?
A:    That personality in your product is not an add-on. If you don’t express a point of view, there’s no way for people to relate to what you’re doing.

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