Himani Amoli

Founder of Micromobs

Today we interview Himani Amoli (on the right) who is one of the co-founders of micromobs, a tool for groups to communicate online. Also on the picture is co-founder Ajay Kamat (left).

Please introduce yourself and your co-founders to our readers.

My name is Himani Amoli and I am the co-founder of micromobs. My job description ranges from marketing to user experience design to product design. Before micromobs, I worked at two venture backed startups in the bay area in Marketing and Product Management. There are three of us that work together to bring micromobs to life. Ajay Kamat is the master of user acquisition and analytics and is also a part time front-end engineer for micromobs. Gordon McCreight is a talented Ruby on Rails hacker who has been a crucial part of the micromobs team. Together we’re working on products for connecting groups of people. micromobs is our first offering.

How did it all start?

In college, Ajay and I definitely felt the pain of poor forms of communication for groups. Be it with classrooms, social clubs, student groups, friends or study groups, email always ended up being the main method of communication. It’s great for individuals but not a great tool for groups. So after looking into all of the problems groups face while communicating, we came up with micromobs- the easiest way for groups to communicate online.

How did you experience the last months in beta?

Being in beta is a huge learning experience. We experimented with new features and killed ones that didn’t work. We listened to our users to make sure we’re building something they want. Although, I don’t think the learning will ever stop.

Where there any new things that you learned based on user usage?

When we launched initially we offered both public and private mobs. One of the biggest findings was that private mobs were substantially more popular than the public mobs. In fact, private mobs saw 10x the activity as public mobs. The numbers did the talking and we ended up killing public mobs.

How do you plan on monetizing your platform?

There are a number of ways we can monetize micromobs. There are opportunities to charge users for premium functionality and there is also an opportunity for an ad supported model. We’re still investigating which options will provide the best experience for our users.

What is the importance of 'mobile' for micromobs?

Mobile is definitely a huge opportunity for micromobs! Since smart-phones have become common, they allow individuals to contribute much more to the conversation (pictures, videos, their location etc.) Now an individual is always connected to the social graph. That’s why, as a group communication tool, mobile is a big deal for us. We already offer a mobile friendly web site and we are planning a native mobile application soon.

If there is anything to disclose, what can we expect in the months to come.

  1. Continue improving the email forwarding feature. You can forward a email thread to [email protected] and create an instant mob/list-serv for the people on the thread.
  2. As I mentioned earlier, a mobile app! Or two! For groups. Stay tuned.
  3. Improving micromobs - Optimizing the user experience, adding some cool new features and improving the performance of the site.

Cool. Personally, I can't wait to start using the mobile app. Thanks for sharing your story with us Himani.

If you’re still using email for group discussions, then you should definitely check them out!