Begins with Presentation

Happy Map

- Some findings:
- West coast tends to be more happy than the East coast
- Lunch time is when people seem to be most happy
- As number of tweets goes up, amount of happiness decreases
- Uses sentiment analysis to determine "happiness"

Auren Hoffman // CEO Rapleaf

- Yelp Discussion
  • What are people's impressions of Yelp?
    • Want to create a community of people
    • Want people to review
  • Explicit vs. Implicit Places
    • Explicit - a site where people explicitly write data (i.e. reviews, wall posts, etc)
    • Implicit - a site where people go to to look at data or query for data etc (i.e. Google)
    • Some companies can be both (i.e. think Amazon)
  • Yelp is an explicit site
    • One of the reasons we trust Yelp is because we trust the community
    • Yelp also uses a variety of techniques to encourage users to continue to submit reviews
      • This is important as Yelp relies on a wealth of this kind of explicit data
    • But can we find some implicit value that can be derived from Yelp?
  • To be good at getting Explicit data is a marketing challenge
  • To be good at getting Implicit data is an engineering challenge

- How would we build an implicit version of Yelp?
  • To get some data - think crawling
    • Crawl the web for reviews / ratings
    • Crawl facebook twitter data for venue names / sentiment
    • Partnerships feeding in data
    • Government data
      • get business license data (eg. Health violations, lawsuits etc.)

  • Once we have the data, how do we know when people are talking about the same thing?
    • Find a common key
    • Perhaps a phone number? Or the address?
    • We can use some engineering to normalize all of this data

The power of explicit vs implicit

  • Engineering culture --> implicit
  • Business / Marketing culture --> explicit
  • Both are just as hard in terms of quality of information
  • Things to think about when starting a company
  • Sentiment analysis is often best down implicitly

- Conclusion
  • When thinking about a product - try to frame it as an explicit site or an implicit site
  • Perhaps there exists an explicit search engine (i.e. Facebook maybe?) that might be a Google killer
  • Perhaps there exists an implicit restaurant review site that might be a Yelp killer
    • These things might exist - but no one has been able to do them well yet
Rapleaf History
  • Originally were an explicit site for people to rate other people
  • Original goal: "By showing people how good they are and incentivizing people to be good, make everyone in the world good"
  • Turns out, "Good" is hard to evaluate in different contexts
  • Eventually, became a data company that focuses on helping companies market their products to the right segment of consumers

Philosophy on Teams
  • Surround yourself with people who are really really smart
    • Education may not be the greatest indicator
  • Surround yourself with people who get things done
  • Do you really like this person you work with?

Created by Jason Wei (, George Tang (