October | Openbook | A social network for a better tomorrow.
We are pleased to announce that the Company of the Month of October is Openbook! The startup aims to create a new social platform that will be beneficial for everyone. That’s why, if they succeed, they will put 30% of the profits straight into making the world a better place for everyone, forever, which is perfectly in line with the ImpactCity program of The Hague! We spoke with Joel Hernandez Fernandez, founder and Chief Disruptor at Openbook, about the recent establishment in The Hague.
For those that aren’t familiar with your company, please tell us a bit more about your startup.
“We’re a company consisting of ethical-hackers, designers, engineers, activists and volunteers building technology for a better future. One where technology serves people, not the other way around. We do this by designing our products and services with humanity’s best qualities such as kindness, compassion, tolerance, charity, empathy and cooperation at their core.”
What’s the main difference between Openbook and Facebook?
“There’s quite some differences that I can’t unfortunately spoil just yet. A new way to control who you share content with and how they interact with it, a new way to react to posts, a place to interact with people outside your circle without putting your identity on the line, a new revenue model that does not involve personal information, no tracking of your activity, customization of the look and feel and of course the confidence to know that everything we say we do can actually be proven being that all the code is open-source. We openly recognize that privacy will never be enough to get any significant user share from existing social networks,” he says. “That’s why we want to create a more customizable, fun and overall social experience. We won’t follow the footsteps of existing social networks.”
How have the first months of doing business in The Hague worked out for you?
“It’s been great. The coziness, the ambience of peace and tranquility, the beach, the forest, events happening all the time. It’s a very enjoyable city. The Hague also happens to be incredibly well connected with the rest of the world given its 30 minute ride to the international airport Schiphol. I’ve felt very welcome not only on the growing community of entrepreneurs, but also by the residents of the city. Out of the many encouraging messages we’ve received from them, I received one from my neighbor who had found out about us on the local radio and was very excited to have me around.”
Are there any upcoming developments or events that you want to share with our audience?
“We’ll be showing a bit more of what we’re building in the upcoming month in our online channels, but more importantly I would like to share a message. For the people struggling to keep up with social media, be it the fear of missing out, social pressure, digital mobbing, the lack of privacy or in general the overall negativity it brings into our lives, I say, hang in there. We’re building an alternative. And once it’s out there, with your feedback and ideas, we will solve these problems, together.”
Recently, Openbook made it past their initial Kickstarter goal. They are now looking forward to “building even more awesome things”. Interested in trying out Openbook? You can now register on www.open-book.org to become a beta user!