In this interview with Jeremy Stoppelman, Co-Founder of Yelp, we learn the state of one of the most popular local review sites on the net. From filtering spam to building an augmented reality app for the mobile space, there are many trials and tribulations to overcome in growing a company from a small local base in San Fransisco to one which serves hundreds of cities. A mobile Yelp app bodes well for future growth.
Building a quality local review site isn't easy when there are malicious 'black hat' SEO developers who use botnets to promote their products. For Yelp, this means an ongoing strategy that utilizes mechanical turks and crafty counter-programming to ensure that the good reviews remain in the majority. With dramatic growth moving into the mobile sphere, there is potential for Yelp to penetrate people's lives in novel ways with augmented reality applications that allow individuals to see business reviews while they walk down the street.
Jeremy Stoppelman co-founded Yelp Inc. in July 2004 with former colleague and friend Russel Simmons. Prior to Yelp, Jeremy was the VP of engineering at PayPal. He left PayPal in the summer of 2003 to attend the Harvard Business School. Upon completing his first year at HBS, Jeremy joined an incubator started by Max Levchin (co-founder of PayPal) for a summer internship. It was there that he was reunited with his old colleague Russel Simmons and the two teamed up to create a vibrant community around local information.
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