Pia Frey (Co-Founder), Stephen Lumenta (CTO), and Cornelius Frey (Co-Founder) © Jasper Kettner
What inspired you to found your startup?
Our founding team was scattered between Lagos, Johannesburg and Berlin – and kept asking our journalist co-founder Pia the question: why are you guys not managing to host genuinely interesting and relevant exchanges of opinions among your users? Why do your comments section and facebook debates so often degenerate into unproductive trolling and hate? We decided it was a product issue and went to work in many long night shifts..
How do you define success for yourself and your company?
A happy and productive team that believes in our mission. Hundreds of millions of users who think about debates and issues differently for engaging with our product. A healthy and growing business with happy clients behind it.
Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?
Think twice before opening new remote offices – our biggest asset is our diverse team working closely together every day.
What problem does your product solve?
We visualise thousands of interesting questions and debates – allowing for multiple perspectives. This is something that is badly lacking in most people’s lives as we retreat ever deeper into our own filter bubbles.
Where do you see your company in 1/5/10 years?
We are building a global, distributed social network for opinions – letting users share their view and see what others think on any platform and medium.
How are you different?
Stop shouting, start listening: in publishers’ and brands’ battle for attention, we do away with clickbait, autoplay etc – and instead put users and their views front and center. If you really want someone to listen to you, ask them a question first!
How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?
10-15 times / week
Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?
In an ever more polarized and populist political climate, we are building tools that let orient and empower users by easily yet thoughfully weighing the different sides of the debates that will shape our future.
How has the startup scene in Berlin changed?
The people coming here from all over the world keep getting better.
What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?
Pro: great people, freedom to build, space to think.
Con: Berlin can be a little too pleased with itself.
Opinary was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.