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Mark Evans

Photo-sharing startup Floggia focuses on simplicity Add to ...

One of the most impressive aspects of the Web is how it has lowered the barriers to entry.

Armed with a good idea and some programming skills, entrepreneurs find it pretty straightforward to launch a new service that could become a viable business.

In many respects, Miguel Kudry has been an online entrepreneur since he was 13 years old, when he started in his native Caracas, Venezuela, doing production and DJ work at an online radio station.

Over the next few years, he saw the growing impact of social media and the technology being developed, learned some programming code, and started to work on small projects, such as websites.

His first venture was a local e-commerce platform called Shopgram, which attempted to compete against well-established services such as Craigslist.

While Shopgram didn’t gain much traction, Mr. Kudry said he learned a lot from failure.

“It teaches you a lot, and, with that project, I learned you really need to test the idea even before you start coding it. It gives you a chance to see if people like it or not,” said Mr. Kudry, now 19, during a recent interview.

After moving to Canada in 2009, he studied business at Douglas College in New Westminster, B.C. Mr. Kudry then took another entrepreneurial stab, beginning work in December, 2011, on a free photo-sharing service called Floggia, which he launched in early January of this year.

While there are lots of photo-sharing services, Mr. Kudry said Vancouver-based Floggia is trying to position itself as a different option by being a simple way to share photos and discover other people’s photos.

“I think you should limit people about what they can do,” he said.

“Photo-sharing networks charge for certain accounts and features. It’s not that you shouldn’t charge for them, but you are limiting users’ ability to share and be creative and express themselves. What makes Floggia different is how simple it is to use and interact with other people.”

After Mr. Kudry hired a programmer from Venezuela to help, Floggia recently unveiled a new design that enhances its existing features, while adding new features such as a light box that allows people to quickly and easily see someone’s photos.

Mr. Kudry said it is also easier to upload photos, follow and check out particular topics of interest, read notifications, and access user settings.

While Mr. Kudry said Floggia will remain free for people to use, he is looking to generate revenue by letting local businesses advertise based on users’ interests or what kind of camera they are using.

“I would like to turn into a business, and I think it has great potential to do so.”

Special to The Globe and Mail

Mark Evans is the principal with ME Consulting, a communications and marketing strategic consultancy that works with startups and fast-growing companies to create compelling and effective messaging to drive their sales and marketing activities. Mark has worked with four startups – Blanketware, b5Media, PlanetEye and Sysomos. He was a technology reporter for more than a decade with The Globe and Mail, Bloomberg News and the Financial Post. Mark is also one of the co-organizers of the mesh, meshmarketing and meshwest conferences.

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