By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Jawbone’s founding CEO Alexander Asseily wanted a place where everyone could voice their opinions in global conversations, so he and his brother Mark, former product head at Rebtel, created the London start-up venture State (State.com).
State’s goal is to become a cross-platform opinion network for the world where anyone, regardless of their number of friends or followers, can express their thoughts about everything from politics to music to brands to movies to anything in between. Each opinion is then counted and heard.
Recently in Rio, Asseily presented at the Impacto Conference, a part of the Endeavour’s Global Entrepreneur’s week. There, he unveiled State’s mobile app to a six hundred person audience which consisted of professionals from the technology, advertising and social enterprise industries.
After being well received at the conference, Asseily took some time to speak with The Rio Times about State.com and what it could do for international users living or visiting abroad and also its usefulness for Brazilians, a steadily growing percentage of the world’s social media users.
When a State user has a topic or issue they want to weigh in on, they can either pick a topic, using State’s type-ahead boxes, or they can create a new topic, include a link and then choose several words they feel describe their opinion of the topic. For example, a user could create a new topic entitled “2016 Olympics in Rio” and choose terms like “Excited”, “Ready”, “Progress” or conversely choose terms like “Dreading’,”Unprepared” or “Waste.”
With each topic, the users can see how many people responded with the same or similar terms as they did. A bar appears showing the percentage of people that feel the same and users can also view the distribution spread of the counted opinions. If the topic is a polarizing one with State users, that is easy to see at a glance.
Asseily explained that he views Brazil as a receptive area both in terms of market expansion and social ideas. “There’s an awareness in Brazil,” he said. “It’s changing and becoming more inclusive and reinventing democracy.”
Users in Rio could express their opinions about everything including; the upcoming World Cup; the ongoing construction works for the 2016 Olympics; and the increased police presence on Rio’s beaches.
Asseily explained two main ways he felt State could be useful to generate action and bring about change.
The first way can be utilized more by consumers and marketers; “There is a natural audience for the information. For example if there are fifty opinions about a new product that’s been released by Apple or by Jawbone,” he said. “You can be sure that Apple and Jawbone have someone who’s looking at the page to understand what those opinions are. That is a system where the audience is automatically there and it’s presumably having an affect. Efficient organizations tend to listen.”
The second way State can bring about change, according to Asseily, is through connections of viewpoints across borders and through the illumination viewpoints that might have previously been overshadowed.
“If you take a thousand, ten thousand, a hundred thousand people, who are brought together instantly because they share a perspective on a particular thing, amongst those people you will have those whose can provide/suggest actions,” he said “The best part about that is what you’re doing is you’re taking all the knowledge of the minority and spreading it into the whole group. So basically automatic leadership emerges.”
“The best solutions grow to the top,” he said. “The best solutions get married to the biggest democratic potential. That is, in a way, the essence of the whole thing.”
While State.com is still in testing phase, it is open for sign-ups at state.com or you download the IOS app. Simply leave your email address and wait for your invitation to have your opinion heard and counted around the world.
* This is a paid Advertorial for State.com.