Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy has formally launched his new company WayIn, which he describes as ‘a little bit of Facebook, a little bit of Twitter, and a big chunk of SurveyMonkey.’
Under wraps and the subject of much speculation over the last 6 months, WayIn is a social gaming service which allows users to post photos and create quick polls - the name is a play on words with the idea of ‘weighing in’ with one’s opinion. Visitors can also vote on issues around live events such as sports and news items using links to forums on the firm’s home page - this will also have the effect of encouraging live viewing of the events, the firm says.
The service is accessed via a free app for iPhones, iPads and Android devices, or via a Web browser. A single click allows users to see how everyone else has voted, and McNealy places great emphasis on the low ‘fatigue’ factor in creating polls, voting and viewing results.
The company already has a number of business partners who will use data from the service to tap into consumer sentiment and opinion, analysed by demographics; and who can post their own quick questions for rapid feedback on potential new products or packaging, for example. The first three partners have been named and perhaps reveal something about the breadth of the potential market for the service: they are the LA Kings hockey team, the Republican National Committee and Playboy.
McNealy is Chairman and the major investor in the firm’s US$6.3m funding to date, while Tom Jessiman is CEO and the web site is at www.wayin.com