"With any new idea I try to consider the longevity - where do I see this going? What resource will this take and do we have the skill-set in the team."
Meet Ali Benmoussa CEO & Founder of Searchub – the world’s first social shopping platform. They use social data – in a meaningful way, for an improved shopping experience.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your company – what is Searchub all about?
Searchub is a worldwide community shopping platform. We unite customers with stores and products customized through the use of smart algorithms – for an improved retail experience.
Searchub is also a vertical search engine (specialized content search) – with a shopping index of over 300 million products – from over 10,000 stores. This includes all the big brands you know, as well as a range of up and coming independent boutiques and designers. Searchub aims to offer users the best deals on products from all types of stores – big or small.
Searchub is designed to be a truly personal shopping experience. Users can customize their own product feed displaying the brands and products that they like. They can upload products from other websites, and create alerts for price drops.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you started your company?
My background is in project management and online marketing. I co-founded Ticketwood with Mohamed Bennani back in 2006. This was the first website to bring vertical search to the ticket purchase industry.
I always wanted to replicate the technology that we developed for the ticket industry and apply it to the world shopping. I knew it would not be an easy task. To take the growing abundance of e-Commerce data, normalize it – and make some sense out if it, this was going to be a mammoth task. Two years later, here we are – we have tailored intelligent technology for a personalized and social shopping experience.
Q: What are some of the projects you are working on right now?
My whole focus right now is on growing Searchub in every way we can – learning our customer tendencies and needs, and continuing to develop our tool.
Q: What are your plans for the future, how do you plan to grow this company?
Our future growth is centered on understanding our clients – in order to make Searchub a platform that they will always want to use when they want to discover or buy products. We are also planning to grow the company by expanding to other international markets.
Q: How do you bring ideas to life?
You need to start with trying to maintain a clear mind – which will allow you to focus and evaluate effectively. With any new idea I try to consider the longevity – where do I see this going? What resource will this take and do we have the skill-set in the team. I also think delegation is essential. Letting my team innovate and execute drives a culture of knowledge and creativity.
Q: What’s one trend that really excites you?
The big data trend: I believe that data in general from financial to user generated data, coupled with creative insights and algorithms will be huge in the future in predicting pretty much everything.
Q: What were the top 3 mistakes you made starting your business and what did you learn from it?
- Hiring the wrong people: I learned that I should be very careful about hiring and always look for passion and the ability to learn over experience.
- Not planning thoughtfully: I learned that I should plan carefully, and not rush into implementing strategies.
- Trusting the wrong people: I learned that I should be very careful on who to put my trust on when it comes to a new project. The people you trust should be brave, and share your passion to grow something truly extraordinary
Q: How do you go about marketing your business, and what has been the most successful form of marketing for you?
We spend a lot of time optimizing our UX and creating content that people will love. I believe it is our most successful marketing strategy yet.
Q: What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur – and why?
- Focus: As an entrepreneur you have to be able to perform at a high level in various fields – and fast.
- Directed Daydreaming: I believe this can be an amazing tool to develop your ideas through thought experiments.
- Attention to details: I believe that the difference between an amazing and a mediocre product is in the details.
Q: What are the top 3 online tools and resources you’re currently using to grow your company?
- SEO tools for link building and analysis, keyword research, webpage performance, we use Moz.
- Unbounce for optimizing landing pages and increasing conversions.
- Quora knowledge sharing community.
Q: What are three books you recommend entrepreneurs to read?
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
- TRACTION: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth by Gabriel Weinberg
- Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster by Alistair Croll
Q: What is your favorite entrepreneurship quote?
“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.” – Steve Jobs
Q: How can our community get in touch with you?