Thursday, May 10, 2012

Commerce and Business student launches Floggia photo sharing site

By Tamara Letkeman, doug Editor

Winston Churchill once said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Miguel Kudry lives that edict.

The Douglas College Commerce and Business Administration Diploma student and web entrepreneur recently launched a photo-sharing site called Floggia, which is starting to make waves. Floggia went live in January, and already boasts more than 1,600 users and upwards of 7,500 photos.

In March, the Globe and Mail published an interview with Miguel, which was subsequently picked up by Profiles of him have also appeared on various technology websites.

“This is what you dream of when you launch a startup,” says Miguel, who is originally from Venezuela. “It's been only four months and I've gotten great feedback so far, and I’m getting coverage from the media. It feels good.”

Miguel, 19, is not an overnight success. He’s been developing for the web since he was 13 and has seen his share of disappointment. One of his ventures was Shopgram, a buy-and-sell site similar to Craigslist. It didn’t take off, but Miguel says he’s learned a lot from the experience.

“When you do a startup project, you need to do research to see if there’s a need for it. You want your startup to solve people’s problems, and part of that is actually testing it. So I learned how to test the concept first, before launching it. I think that has made a difference.”

Enter Floggia, a photo-sharing and social media site focused on simplicity and ease of use. What makes Floggia different from other photo-sharing sites is it uses “topics” as an alternative to tags. Topics are added to your photos to make it easy for other users to find them. You can choose to follow certain users or, if you’re interested in specific content, certain topics.

“It's a way to target people who are interested in your content, and it gives you the power of reaching way more people,” Miguel explains. “We are 100 per cent focused on letting other people find you and your photos.”

Miguel would be the first to admit that success is sweet, but credits failure with teaching him the most valuable lessons.

“With every failure you learn something different. You really do have to fail a lot to learn, and that’s what I’ve done. I have much more to fail and much more to learn.”