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CircleMe Lets You Connect and Engage With Your Interests

I interviewed, Erik Lumer, founded and Executive Chairman at CircleMe. Eric talks about how his site is unique, how people can benefits from using CircleMe and what users can expect from this company in the future.

Me:  What is CircleMe all about? Who is your target audience? How can they benefit from using your platform?

Erik: CircleMe is all about connecting with the things you like and sharing culture in an urban context. It’s a different kind of social network, based on your interests rather than simply the people you know

 It proposes to re-connect you first of all with … yourself, i.e. with all the cultural items that contribute to shape a person’s individual identity.

In conceiving of CircleMe, we felt that there was a real need for a better way to collect and engage with the things that interest a person in a lasting way. At the same time, CircleMe doesn’t create a personalized filter bubble. It provides clever ways to link with people that have some common cultural affinity and through them to be exposed to meaningful novelty and expand one’s horizons. So it gives us a great way to trigger serendipity and to disseminate culture, both high and low.

CircleMe is not meant to be for niche domain experts or early tech adopters. As a matter of fact, we are seeing in the early user adoption a balanced proportion of men and women, which is not typical of new consumer internet services. Hence, we anticipate that mainstream adults will end up using it as a source of cultural information and inspiration, and as a way to voice their own tastes.

Me: You’ve been featured in Mashable and TNW. How have you been so successful?

Erik: Simply by pitching directly to these blogs a great story, something completely different from the social media status-quo, with a unique vision and innovative functionality. Also, the journalists involved all registered on CircleMe and tried the product before deciding to write about it, so apparently they came away with a positive impression.

Me: What new features do you have in-store for users in the future?

Erik: We have a road map that can easily keep us busy for the next few years. Among our top priorities, we’d like to work on custom lists that users can create to organize their likes in more flexible and personal collections. Also, getting our mobile app onto Android. We also plan to roll out incrementally this year a broader range of recommendation features.

Me: What’s your role at CircleMe? What do you love most about working for CircleMe?

Erik: My main role is driving the product vision and overlooking all aspects of the product realization. Of course I am also involved in evangelizing what we do and other aspects of the company.

In general, I love start-ups and the possibility of drawing new tracks in the sand that can have a positive social impact. Specifically with CircleMe, I love the great team that I am fortunate to work with and I am passionate about the opportunity we have to change for the better how people can connect to their passions and expand their cultural horizons both online and off.

Erik is the founder and Executive Chairman of CircleMe, an innovative web and mobile social discovery platform based on what people like.

Erik also co-founded and was CEO of Internet TV pioneer Babelgum. Before catching the entrepreneurial bug, he spent nearly a decade doing pioneering research in Internet mathematics and Computational Neuroscience at leading institutions including as a research faculty at University College London, at the Neurosciences Institute (working with Nobel laureate Gerald Edelman), at Xerox Parc and at Stanford University, where he received a PhD.

Erik has served as a board director and advisor to a number of early stage tech companies in the UK, Italy and Israel.

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