What is wahwah FM?
Wahwah FM is a new form of radio App, more precisely it is a cloud searching radio which the user is able influence in different ways. The main idea behind wahwah FM is giving the possibility to users to listen the same song someone else is listening to in a synchronized way. The App on your smartphone connects to the App of another smartphone that you have chosen (you do not have to be connected in any social network), and starts playing the same song the other user is listening to synchronizing your smartphone to his. There are two main ideas behind this process: the user that connects cannot stop, pause, forward, or rewind the song unless he owns it on his smartphone. In addition, the App does not share your own music, it recognize it and pull the same song from a cloud to your smartphone, and then synchronize it to the other App. This is the reason why it is considered a radio: the user cannot influence the music he is listening to, unless he already owns the song.
What is Senzari and what is your relationship with them?
Senzari, one of the biggest competitors of Pandora, is a San Francisco based music company. It is now live in U.S., U.K., Spain, and Brazil. Being interested in entering the German market, the company decided to acquire wahwah FM. This will be a win-win relationship because wahwah FM can access the knowhow of Senzari, having the possibility of a free flow of people within the two companies. In addition, Senzari will be able to help solve some of wahwah FM problems, such as: the small range of availability (only Germany), the small scale the business model is build on, and the not yet sustainability of the company. On the other hand, Senzari will be able to gain a big market share of the European market, and have a first mover advantage against Pandora (which is not live in Germany either). Also, the U.S. based company will be able to improve its App with wahwah business model and knowhow.
Why did you decide to become a member of betahaus?
Before the acquisition of Senzari we used to have our own office in Neukölln, then, we needed a bigger space in a short notice, and the option of betahaus sounds perfect: we could have our own office within a day. Another reason why we chose betahaus as our own working space is the possibility to easily connect with other people. This was a decisive point because, after the acquisition, we realized we need more developers, and betahaus is the place to find them.
How does coworking affect you and your company?
Coworking is an essential component for our work at betahaus. It helps us to keep a fresh and updated mind while being able to create a good network. In addition, sometimes it is good to distract from your own work in order to have a more open mind and be able to think outside the box. Lastly, working at betahaus is a great opportunity to meet people that would perfectly fit in wahwah FM team as a permanent member or as a freelancer.
What are the main difficulties you faced so far?
The main difficulty that we faced so far is the copyright issue. In fact, a radio always need deals to play music it actually does not own, and being a cloud searching radio, where users can actually influence the music it is played requires the company to make other deals with copyright companies. As a matter of facts, we were able to sign contracts with GEMA, which solve one part of the problem. Another issue we found is a more technological issue that is still related to copyrights: by law, it is not allow to play more than three songs from the same artist in a row. This would not be a problem in a typical radio with a real DJ, because he personally decides the music to play, but wahwah FM is different, we needed to created an App that meets this requirement.
What are your future goals?
The first goal that we are trying to reach is expanding the team with more App developers and Europe market developers. In addition, we want to create an App that is a combination of the knowhow of Senzari and wahwah FM. Another goal would be to solve an issue that we noticed during the last months: when a user goes offline and is not playing music anymore, the people that are synchronized with him cannot reach him anymore.
Thanks for the interview!
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Republikken // Copenhagen, Denmark // Vesterbrogade 26, 1620 København V, Denmark
Le Laptop // Paris, France // 6 Rue Arthur Rozier, 75019 Paris, France
utopic_US // Madrid, Spain // Calle de la Colegiata, 9, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Nest 71 // Saravejo, Bosnia & Herzegovina // Milana Preloga 12, Sarajevo 71000, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Toolbox // Milan, Italy // Via Agostino da Montefeltro, 2, 10134 Torino, Italy
Edspace // London, England // Block D, Hackney Community College, Falkirk St, London, UK
Bios // Athens, Greece // Pireos 84, Athina 104 35, Greece
CoWorx // Kristiansand, Norway // Markens Gate 8, 4611 Kristiansand, Norway
CRU – Loja / Cowork // Porto, Portugal // Rua do Rosário 211, 4050-524 Porto, Portugal
SPARK // Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina // Bleiburških žrtava, Mostar 88000, Bosnia & Herzegovina
StartUp Armenia Foundation // Yerevan, Armenia // 0019, 1 Marshal Baghramyan Ave, Yerevan 0019, Armenia
Tøyen Startup Village // Oslo, Norway // Hagegata 23, 0653 Oslo, Norway
Smart Coworking // Prague, Czech Republic // Václavské nám. 806/62, 110 00 Nové Město, Czechia
Lighthouse // Tel Aviv, Israel // HaHaroshet 14-16 Ra'anana, Tel Aviv, Isreal
Fueled // New York City, USA // 11, 568 Broadway, FL 11, New York, NY 10012, United States **Maximum 3 Days
Capital Factory // Austin, USA // 701 Brazos St, Austin, TX 78701, United States
Público // Mexico City, Mexico // Puebla 403, Roma Nte., 06700 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Area Tres // Buenos Aires, Argentina // El Salvador: El Salvador 5218, C1414BPV CABA, Buenos Aires, Argentina // Soho: Malabia 1720, C1414DMJ CABA, Buenos Aires, Argentina
HubBOG // Bogota, Colombia // Cl. 98 #18-71, Bogotá, Cundinamarca, Colombia
CIT // Taipei, Taiwan // 10452, Taiwan, Taipei City, Zhongshan District, 玉門街1號
Of10 // Mumbai, India // Prudential, Ground Floor, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400076, India
Kibar // Jakarta, Indonesia // Jl. Prof. Moh. Yamin No.1, RT.7/RW.5, Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10310, Indonesia
Midori.so // Tokyo, Japan // Midori.so Nakameguro: 3 Chome-3-11 Aobadai, Meguro-ku, Tōkyō-to 153-0042, Japan // Midori.so Nagatacho: 2 Chome-5 Hirakawachō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 102-0093 // Midori.so2: 3 Chome-13 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tōkyō-to 107-0062, Japan
Launchgarage Innovation Hub // Manila, Philippines // Level 2, Industria Mall, Circulo Verde, Calle Industria, Bagumbayan, Quezon City, 1110 Metro Manila, Philippines
Independent Studios // Melbourne, Australia // 39/40 Porter St, Prahran VIC 3181, Australia
Urban Station EGYPT // Cairo, Egypt // 2 Wadi El Nil Mohandeseen, Cairo, Egypt
Nairobi Garage // Nairobi, Kenya // Nairobi Garage, The Mirage, Chiromo Rd, Nairobi, Kenya
BONUS: Cowork & Relax at the Coliving Space, Coconat // Brandenburg, Germany // Klein Glien 25 14806 Bad Belzig, Germany // Get €10 off your stay
Toni: Currently, we’ve somehow ended up in this niche of building a lot of internal tools for startups and teams. But this is not the only thing we want to do. What I like about it is that we’re starting projects from scratch and we have full control over them.
Martin: The first project we worked on was a tool for a large scale real estate development company. What they needed was a tool for their Sales people - to be able to mark their different spots and locations at different stages of the sales funnel. So we created a tool that helps them in this process.
Toni: And this one actually served as a starting point for the tool we’ve developed for betahaus, which aims to allow the Sales and Management team to see which team rooms are occupied right now, which ones are free or will be occupied in a few weeks or months, so no double bookings appear.
Alex: These two projects were more focused on real estate, let’s say, but we’ve also done more design-heavy projects like the one we did for Artique which is an online artists agency. For them, we built a whole website and an online system to present their artists starting only from their logo. It had to be very flexible, because the artists needed to be able to edit their own profiles, putting their resume, changing colours.
Toni: Honestly, we have skillsets that you don’t usually find in developers. Because we've had lives that were not just about computer science. I think to some extent this is what makes us different.
Martin: I believe one of the reasons why people pick us over other studios is because it can be very hard working with developers. If you’re not understanding their work, if the communication is not flowing, you, as a client can feel lost. We're easy to communicate with and we’re always open to feedback and we're open to discuss anything. In the end, after all iterations, if you say we need to start the website from scratch and that you don’t like the idea, we won’t take it personally.
Alex: Also, I think, since we all work as coding teachers, we are officially qualified to explain what coding is to people who don't code, which is actually really rare because a lot of developers, as Martin says, don't want to, or literally just don't know how to articulate what they're doing. Whereas we are trained in articulating what it is that we're doing, why it's meaningful and why it takes a certain amount of time.
Alex: Zimt & Mehl - the Turkish bakery around the corner. It’s just soo good.
Martin: Oh, there is this Italian restaurant called Ristorante del Arte
Tony: Oh, my God, this place is so funny. It looks like a pretty average Italian restaurant, but the whole interior design inside is just decorated in such a weird way. The entire place is covered in frescoes. They have crystal chandeliers and Easter bunnies. Some Greek columns. It has a different name on the menu, on the side and on the Internet. And it was an ex-shoe-store.
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