Snagajob founder talks about new startup

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Print this page by Veronica Garabelli
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Shawn Boyer’s new app, DieHappy, will ramp up marketing this year.

Snagajob founder Shawn Boyer is back with a new startup, DieHappy, an app that he describes as being “similar to Facebook but more intentional and intimate.”

The app, currently available for free in the Apple store, helps people plan and share life’s events with those they are closest to, like their family or best friends.

Boyer started Arlington-based in 2000 and developed it into one of the largest job recruiting sites in the nation. He’s still a shareholder but says “100 percent” of his professional time now is dedicated to DieHappy. He founded the company in 2015 and currently serves as its CEO. DieHappy is located in downtown Richmond and has seven full-time employees, six of whom previously worked at Snagajob.

Boyer says the name “DieHappy” is meant to differentiate the app from millions of other apps and inspire people to ask what makes them happiest in life.

One way DieHappy stands out is that there’s no “friending” and each post is private by default and has to be specifically shared with contacts. Users can share pictures through the app and plan events by voting on dates that work best for them and sending their RSVP.

Although DieHappy is not yet profitable, the plan is to eventually generate revenue through referrals. For example, if people make restaurant reservations through OpenTable  — an online reservation platform — while in the DieHappy app, DieHappy gets paid by OpenTable for sending it traffic. Users also can make photo books through the app and buy a digital picture frame that pulls in pictures from the app.

By December, the company had raised $1.5 million from investors and expected to raise half a million more in the next few months. This year the company will focus on releasing an Android version of the app and marketing so it can grow its user base — a couple thousand people as of 2016.

Boyer says one of the biggest challenges at this stage is driving users to a consumer-oriented product, as opposed to Snagajob, which filled more of an obvious void.

“It’s not like people are saying ‘I’ve got to find a better way to plan to do things with my friends today or otherwise I’m not going to make rent,’” he says.

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