By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Sept. 29, 2013
Jason Cyr has a scar tissue, and he is happy to show it to you.
It’s the scar of a business idea that didn’t take off as planned, but Jason Cyr has already out it behind himself.
You might know Jason Cyr as the founder of Tiipz, the internet start-up that created quite a stir in 2011 with awards and recognition in conferences and local media.
Tiipz was meant as a platform for companies to do market research from clients who would answer fun, informal questions about the company and in doing so, redeem points to buy the products later.
“We were trying to solve the problem that didn’t exist in the market.” Jason Cyr
Cyr was convinced that traditional surveys were time consuming and didn’t provide real time information on customer feedback.
The idea was to bring companies and consumers together on a social media platform, where the companies could pose questions in real time.
Cyr, along with his business partners, Mark Nixon and Gasvyn Chandra, raised $600,000 from investors to fund the idea.
By the end of last year, however, they knew their idea had fallen flat.
Getting companies and consumers to sign on to their market research platform was one issue.
But Tiipz was also trying to create a market for something that either didn’t exist or was being already served by Facebook.
“We were trying to solve the problem that didn’t exist in the market,” Cyr says.
“We thought the brands were struggling to understand their customers, but they had lots of opportunities to do that.”
By the end of last year, they also realised a bitter irony.
They were not quite doing what they expected other companies to do: Market research for Tiipz.
“We didn’t take our own medicine,” Cyr said.
“We had blinders on and we were going strictly on gut instincts.”
Tiipz also faced competition from the biggest social networks of all times: Facebook.
And just as Tiipz was convincing companies to join their digital platform, the companies were using Facebook to pose questions and test their own products.
But merely a month after Tiipz faded away, Cyr was ready to test another idea.
Along with Darrel Houle, Jesse Korzan, David Olsson, and James Morris, Jason Cyr has now launched EthicalUX.
EthicalUX aims to provide a digital platform for socially progressive companies.
“We want to work with people making a difference in the world, and help them with digital products and services,” Cyr said.
Cyr says he sees the failure of Tiipz as a stepping stone to the success of EthicalUX.
At a recent Metabrite conference of entrepreneurs in Kelowna, Cyr admitted that he was nervous to speak about Tiipz.
After all, it was a place where Tiipz was chosen was the top 20 Canadian startups to watch out for.
But he quickly realized that everyone there saw failure almost as a badge of honour.
They told him he’s a real entrepreneur now.