It turned out to be pretty simple:
Zapnito wants to transform how you harness expertise.
By this we mean the intelligence that you already have within your team and your people. The expertise that you know exists, but it’s hidden, untapped, under-utilized. This could be intelligence that underpins your product, services, your experts, your mission, or all of the above. Whatever it is that makes your organization and your projects special.
Zapnito’s end-goal is to get you to use that expertise to the fullest, and unleash its power to elevate your organization’s value and to connect meaningfully with the people that matter.
To understand this fully, let me take you back.
From 1996 to 2013 the Internet exploded. Everything went from static to connected. Just listen to David Bowie predict its power in 1999
It is 2013 and ‘the internet’ is no longer a technological tool, it’s a part of life. ‘Google’ is a well-established verb. There are 200 million online blogs. YouTube is now a legitimate career path. Even your grandparents have Facebook profiles (probably).
We had endless amounts of information at our fingertips. What a time to be alive!
However, it quickly became apparent that there was a downside to this. We know that not all information is created equal, but internet behaves as if it is. Yes, we got an instant exchange and infinite distribution of information, but in exchange we compromised on the standard of information. There’s no ‘body’ or regulator that says what can and cannot be published as fact. It was (and is) a jungle out there.
Zapnito Founders Charles and Jon were running product and technology for business information organizations and building their consulting practice. They saw the effect of the daily onslaught of information from the social internet. Real expertise from authoritative organizations was becoming lost in a sea of opinion and unverified information. They also saw the beginnings of the convergence of business information and consulting.
This inspired them to create something that brought trusted brands and real experts back into focus.
A tool that elevated real knowledge, and the experts that produce that knowledge.
The aim was not to replicate Facebook, like many community SaaS platforms out there. They instead looked to Netflix and Linkedin for inspiration as to how they would build the model; Netflix for curation, and LinkedIn for professional networking. They identified an opportunity to bring these ideas together for trusted brands.
And so Zapnito was born.
One of our first enterprise customers was a leading academic and educational publisher, Springer Nature. The mission was clear: to help their community discover, learn and achieve more.
This may sound like a lofty goal, but in practice it was simple.
We provided Spinger Nature with the tools to create expert-led communities that provide valuable knowledge with nice focus, to meet the needs of specific research disciplines. In doing so, we created a safe space away from social ‘noise’, which enhanced scientific conversation and created opportunities for development and collaboration. The communities enhanced brand value, improved customer relationships and generated new leads. (But don’t take our word for it, read the Springer Nature Case Study or learn about the specific challenges their community helps to overcome.)
Over the last 6 years, our customers have come to us to solve a variety of problems: from driving member engagement and elevating brand value, to extending event engagement, and galvanizing a community of practice around a social mission.
Whilst the specific missions vary, they are all underpinned by 3 factors:
1. Expertise is at the core of the organization
Whether directly or indirectly related to the business model, organizations that come to us understand the importance of real expertise and experts, and bringing together or showcasing great minds to the stakeholders in their universe.
2. The intersection of community and content
Our customers don’t want to simply create a blog. Nor do they want to just convene a group of people. They understand that the real magic happens when the two come together.
3. Taking back ownership
There is a growing understanding that building a community on a social platform means forsaking ownership of the content, data and relationships that are created there. Rather than borrowing space from social media platforms where the expense is in losing data and ownership, there is now a massive shift to to owned communities.
So the reason why Zapnito get out of bed every morning? Because when organizations harness expertise effectively, it builds trust (with your brand/product/services/people), promotes innovation, collaboration, and creates value. And we think that’s worth getting excited about.