[quote style=”boxed”]In Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell discusses his thesis that ideas, products, messages and behaviors “spread just like viruses do.” He follows the growth of “word-of-mouth epidemics” triggered with the help of three pivotal personality types, Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen.[/quote]
David Swerdloff is the co-founder of Mojingo, an exciting sports entertainment website, which offers free pick ‘em contests with cash prizes, and provides sports advice based on user picks. He is an entrepreneur who has recently merged his passion for sports with his experience of creating technology products from the ground up.
Growing up in New York, David Swerdloff was born into a family of eager sports fans. At a young age David experienced both the highs (Mets winning the World Series) and lows (the NY Rangers 50+ years of futility) of sports. As he got older, fantasy sports became an equal obsession, participating in many football, baseball and hockey leagues. However, in College, at Indiana University, David was introduced to the world of college football and basketball and Las Vegas. It was one of his many trips to Las Vegas for March Madness, among fellow sports gambling enthusiasts, when David realized there was an information gap in the world of sports gambling. A single resource of collective wisdom among fans was needed to allow for more educated wagers on games. The idea for Mojingo was born. Launched in November of 2010, Mojingo already has a strong community of users and has been featured on websites such as Killerstartups and Springwise. Mojingo combines elements of fantasy sports, vegas style sports betting and the competitive spirit of sports to create an extremely fun and entertaining web experience where users can win cash prizes!
What are you working on right now?
Currently I am focused on marketing our site to new users; getting the word out to sports fans and gambling enthusiasts. We know our users love us – now, we are exploring ways to connect to our market and let everyone join in on the fun.
3 trends that excite you?
2010 was an exciting year in the world of sports and social media. We’ve seen explosive growth in this area, fueled by fans who are thirsty for content about their favorite sports, teams and athletes.
I believe there will continue to be even more opportunities for sports fans to engage in real-time interactions. Mobile and Internet game viewing will hit mainstream adoption, and fans will be looking for more ways to interact while watching sporting events. Social media has become the forefront for marketing to audiences like ours. Each user has become a marketing tool through sites like Twitter and Facebook.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We have a vision and want to share it with others. To execute the vision, we’ve developed a team of people who share our ideas and passions. We’ve used feedback from users to understand what’s important to them and how to best structure each new idea for the site so they get the maximum benefit. We spend a lot of our time brainstorming on the best, cleanest and clearest way to bring our latest ideas to life. We have found that working with a visual and filling in the functionality later works best for us.
What inspires you?
We are passionate about sports and are inspired by our fellow fans. Their enthusiasm and knowledge are a valuable resource. We strive to provide a community where the fans are the experts; where users can apply this knowledge for bragging rights or to beat the sports betting odds. Mojingo is a place for interactions between fans who know sports best and those seeking to benefit from this expertise.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Expanding beyond the traditional big six U.S. sports leagues is something we are looking forward to approaching. The world influence of soccer would open us up to a new pool of user experts.
What is one book and one tool that helps you bring ideas to life?
In Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell discusses his thesis that ideas, products, messages and behaviors “spread just like viruses do.” He follows the growth of “word-of-mouth epidemics” triggered with the help of three pivotal personality types, Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen. Our marketing campaign partly relies on word of mouth marketing via the Internet and email to bring Mojingo to the sports fan and gaming enthusiast community.
We use Amazon Web Services to host our site, and I would highly recommend it. Since most sporting events occur during the same 3-5 hour window every night, the affordable scalability that AWS offers us is invaluable. We have the option to add servers for hours at a time if needed and then revert back to our normal level after the games end.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Matthew Cerrone of Metsblog. Not only am I a Mets fan (keep your jokes to yourself) but I am big fan of the work Matt has done with Metsblog. He has turned a hobby into a career, covering the team he loves with a very unique lens. His blog has become one of the most popular team blogs in the country and I believe is an excellent role model for the new media.
Why will sports fans love your website?
- Fans compete against each other for cash prizes and bragging rights
- Fun, legal, and risk-free way to “bet” on sports
- Track results in real-time, adding enjoyment to sports viewing
- Gain sports insight from the larger community of fan experts, with easy to find expert views on all sporting events based on user-chosen criteria
What is your favorite sporting event? Why?
Nothing compares to March Madness. In my view, the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament is the most exciting 3 weeks in sports. And the best way to enjoy the action is to head out to Las Vegas with friends. The vibe in the sports books is unbelievable, and having a little action on the games makes it that much more fun. Of course, don’t make a move without checking Mojingo first!
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.