IrieSocial, Jamaica’s First Daily Deals Site Launches! Big Win or Epic Fail?

Initial reactions to the launch of Jamaica’s First  Daily Deals Site

I was scrolling through my tweets on Wednesday night when I saw somebody mentioning a new daily deals site. Immediately, I picked up that something must be happening. Scrolling some more I realized that indeed something was up; there was a new site on the scene, and this one was a little different from the others. This one, IrieSocial, was not an American based site, you know those that pop up everyday, no this was Jamaican, and even more surprising… co-founded by a celebrity backer, Asafa Powell.

Irie Social Daily Deals Site

Irie Social Daily Deals Site

Another Crappy Jamaican App?

Not so long after discovering the site (like a couple minutes), I got a mail from a friend with his feedback on the site. He said;

[redacted] sent me the above link to this website that was co-founded by Asafa Powell.  This is just another example of a lazy entrepreneur re-creating a groupon clone. There are a lot of opportunities out there, but you have to work your ass off to take advantage of them when they do appear. There are no shortcuts or templates, just plain old hard work.

Wow! A little too harsh? Maybe, Maybe not.
The truth is, launching a new business, especially with huge press, celebrity backing and financial support immediately creates high expectations; so we would not expect to see one of those simple mock-up, built overnight sites.

Heavyweight Team

What we find impressive though, is the strong team and leadership that is behind this venture. Reading about the company they have some heavy hitters, who can either draw publicity, support financially and or deliver intellectually. No doubt, it is expected that Asafa is a big financial heavy hitter, while the other guys based on the company’s about page seem to be quite knowledgeable in their fields. Milton Samuda for instance, as General Counsel for this venture carries real weight as the Chairman for Television Jamaica, a Director of the RJR Communications Group, and practicing law from 1982 (which are just a few of his listed associations).
The rest of the team has years of experience (including international), along with involvement in different ventures; key attributes in ensuring they can run a successful venture. For a full fledged online business however, I see little mention of the IT talent on the team.

A Couple Suggestions

Bearing all of that in mind, we are expecting a lot! We want to see this revolutionize business in Jamaica and create demand for Jamaican businesses internationally. While expectations are high, we are not fully impressed with what we are seeing so far though, and there are a couple of simple changes that can easily make the site much more useful. For example;

  1. Make the site easy to use – explain it simply for those who may not know what to expect, or have any idea what a daily deals site is.
  2. Make the deals clear – e.g. for this first deal, 1 Day Photo Field Trip ($200 Value), What exactly is this deal about? What is a Photo Field Trip? (ok, we realized after, but obviously it wasnt clear to us at first)
  3. Doublecheck grammar and basic stuff
    1. Correct me if I’m wrong but shouldn ‘t the tab to the side be ‘More Deals’?
    2. The website title… simple thing like that, is just saying ‘Daily Deals’, what is that?
Irie Social Daily Deals Site

Irie Social Daily Deals Site

The daily deals business is new to Jamaica and the Caribbean. Online businesses in Jamaica have not seen a good history of e-commerce with a large following and high percentage of paying customers, therefore there are also concerns as to the expected target of this venture, who are they expecting to support and buy these deals. What we can be sure of though, is that expectations are high for the next daily deal, and we can’t wait for the next 1Day 8Hrs 11Mins 51Secs  to pass to see the next deal!

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