Newzstand CEO and founder Anand Jagannathan calls himself a news junkie. So, it’s no surprise that his entrepreneurial aspirations led him to start a company that helps people curate and share the news that matters most to them.
Newzstand’s first product, NewzSocial, delivers exactly what its name implies: news with a social component that allows you to follow, create, and share news topics you are interested in. The iPad app has unique social curation features, allowing users to tap into their network of ‘topic expert’ friends and get the news they want, selected by the experts they trust.
“I want to be my own news editor for my changing interests,” says Jagannathan. “Even better is if my friends can also be editors in their areas of expertise, and we can all share news streams.”
When it comes to news consumption, users have plenty of options. The news reader app space includes several popular, established products like Flipboard, Pulse, and Zite. But, Jagannathan saw plenty of room for improvement. “They all have the same issue — you get articles on broad categories, selected by the app’s editors,” he says. “You can create your own news stream on a topic, but you cannot share a news stream — and you definitely cannot curate a news stream.”
So, Jagannathan set out to create an app that wouldn’t become just another news curation tool. His solution needed to be precise and personal. “I do not want my news reader app pushing me articles that some editors have selected,” says Jagannathan. “Worse is a fire hose of articles across too many publications.”
NewzSocial lets its users become the go-to sources of information on topics they care about, and then lets them share that information on Facebook, Twitter, and through email. So, as you and your friends curate more news, you are literally creating a network of knowledge.
Jagannathan and his team don’t seem to mind the extra work involved in creating a product that will stand out from the pack by staying on the cutting edge of technology – even if it meant some major last-minute changes.
We had submitted our app to the App Store and were getting ready for the launch, when we got some feedback that we really needed to have support for the high resolution display in the newest iPad. We bit the bullet, pulled the app from the review process, and delayed everything by a month. It was well worth it; the app looks beautiful on the new iPad, and the reviews in the App Store support this.