Nowadays, we do practically everything on our smartphones. We book tickets to the movies or to our next holiday destination or a table at our favourite restaurant. We shop; we get doctors’ consults; some of us even buy and sell houses on our smartphones! So why not make it our personal e-journal too? If only there was an app for that too…Well, now there is. All you need to do is download YourQuote.
YourQuote is a self-expression platform that enables its users to broadcast their original works as write-ups or short performance videos on the go and makes the content Google-searchable as the users’ quotes. The idea is to immortalize a common man’s creativity and give them both the audience and avenues for monetization. YourQuote is India’s fastest growing original user-generated content and digital community platform. The app helps people express themselves and firmly believes that we’re all stories, waiting to be shared.
Launched in late 2016 by IIT-Delhi alumni Harsh Snehanshu and Ashish Singh on the Google Play and App Store, YourQuote has established itself as the preferred medium of self-expression for India’s growing millennial population. The platform is currently used by thousands in over 90 cities across India through its rapidly-expanding digital community and has a diverse assortment of short-form and video content in 15 languages, including English, Hindi, Bangla, Tamil, Kannada, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Assamese, Oriya, Malayalam, Telugu, and Kashmiri.
Your Guide to YourQuote
YourQuote aims to build on the disruption that it has created in the larger entertainment ecosystem by scaling its community and enabling a larger section of the Indian masses to create original content through its easy-to-use, amateur-friendly, mobile-first platform. Its mission is to promote more self-expression amongst India’s growing millennial population, allowing anyone who wishes to express themselves creatively, to do so through writing or short videos, without any bar on age, language, or genre. Content can easily be created, accessed, and shared through nothing more than a smartphone, while users are treated to the widest diversity of content for consumption according to their preferences, across multiple genres such as philosophy, humour, love, self-help, and fiction. The YourQuote community has, to date, organised more than 300 events in 35+ cities across India, bringing together content creators in different regions for open mics, stand-up comedy, and slam poetry sessions.
Let’s Meet the Brains Behind the Logistics
Harsh Snehanshu was a writer and a freelance journalist for almost two years before the idea for YourQuote came about. As a full-time writer, he realized how difficult it was to earn a living as a writer besides how technology was disrupting a lot of industries (from media to entertainment to publishing). He decided to build a platform for writers where they could share their original content, feel heard, and ultimately monetize their creativity. Along with Ashish Singh, his friend and batchmate from IIT, the duo went to Himachal and stayed in a small village for 2 months to build the platform and scale the community.
Harsh was born into a household filled with books hence his love for the written and spoken word wasn’t far behind. Also, he was bitten by the tech besides the entrepreneurial bug early in his life. After finishing his B. Tech in Physics from IIT Delhi, he was chosen as a Young India Fellow for the Ashoka University. He was also an Urban Affairs exchange student at the Sciences Po, Paris in 2014-15. By his fourth year of college, he had already founded Witcraft Marketing Pvt. Ltd, popularly known as thewittyshit.com, a creative merchandise start-up. In 2015, he joined Frankly.me as the Vice President of its business vertical, before collaborating with his longtime friend Ashish to build 3 products – Flatabout, MyFootprint and Whereabout which would make YourQuote the fourth venture the duo has jointly undertaken.
I have always wanted to start YourQuote, so much so that I had booked the domain YourQuote.”
Harsh admits that he had already patented the name in 2012 and kept renewing it every year while trying to figure out the right way (in terms of design) to build it for mobiles. In July 2016, he came across an app called Prisma, which turned photos into artworks and that’s when it hit him. “Wow, I can do the same with words. Turn words into artworks using wallpapers.” That’s what triggered the idea of YourQuote, along with his co-founder, Ashish, who built it in just a month’s time. A walk in the “tech” park for an IIT grad!
The Inspiration Behind This Inspirational Entrepreneur
“My biggest inspiration is my mother.” Harsh’s mother was a devoted and loving housewife until Harsh passed out of 12th grade. As soon as he earned himself a coveted place in IIT, Harsh’s mother resumed her studies and chased her lifelong dream of becoming a professor. In the next ten years, she did a B.Ed., M.Ed., NET and a Ph.D. Right now, she is a tenured professor. “She made me realize that it’s never too late to chase one’s dreams. All one needs is the will.” Also, given the fact that both of Harsh’s parents were fond of reading and writing, they loved the idea and have been avid users of the platform, which also instilled belief in them. They supported him 100 percent and braved the society on their son’s behalf.
“I am in a constant thinking mode, and I brainstorm a lot with my team. The result is a mind bubbling with ideas.” Which is a good thing because YourQuote has some stiff competition to beat which include the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Harsh believes that these platforms are slowly becoming omnipresent and the default go-to place for self-expression.
A multidimensional individual, Harsh is a prolific writer and has already published four novels and two anthologies with iconic publishing houses such as Penguin Random House and Rumour Books, amongst others. He has also worked as a freelance journalist, with bylines attributed to him appearing in leading publications such as The Hindu, The Caravan, Tehelka, etc. Two of his write-ups have even been featured as cover stories for their incisive, sharp commentary on critical issues. In his free time, Harsh likes to play the sitar and read literary fiction.
What The Future Holds for YourQuote
Harsh aims to leverage his extensive experience in the publishing and media domain, as well as his broad network and keen know-how of the consumer psychology of content creators, to drive YourQuote’s continued growth and success. He envisions it as India’s most preferred platform of expression where users can freely publish content across multiple categories, from writings and musings to videos of performances. Harsh is dedicated towards making YourQuote the ultimate destination for every expression to find recognition.
“We want to become the definitive self-expression platform for India, targeting over 100 million users of both English and Indic languages by 2019.” Basically, if you have something to say then this is the platform to open up your mind and your heart.
Harsh boldly calls out to all the other young and budding electronically-inclined entrepreneurs out there…
Don’t delay. If you want to do something, jump ship and learn to swim on the way. Things come to you when you take a leap of faith rather than you chasing them.”