By David Hennessy
A degree student at Coventry University with Irish roots is set to become the next social media millionaire. Gianni O’Connor was in the middle of a finance exam when he was hit by the inspiration for the innovative computer programming code for his interactive music website, Micsu.net. Although the 20 year old from Harrow had some slight trouble getting out of the exam hall with a copy of his code breakthrough, it has since served him very well. Backed by venture capitalists, the site was launched in May and already has over 50,000 users. Recent features in The Daily Mail, The Sun and The Daily Telegraph, among others, have seen a huge response for the website.
“Whenever you create a product, you’ve got to work out the best way to target the market and we looked at a load things like advertising but at the same time, the truth is always going to be the best form of advertising so we said: ‘Let me just tell my story, how I made it and what I went through and hopefully people can relate to that and they’ll like what we’re doing’. And it’s worked out for us. It hasn’t been a massive ad campaign or anything like that. It’s literally just been me telling my story to a few people who are happy to listen.
“The press has been really helpful in introducing Micsu to people who wouldn’t have seen it before. That’s just fantastic. When you build something, you’re happy if just one person uses it and one person enjoys it. I remember how happy I was to get the first ten people on board. It’s still great to see people discovering Micsu and in turn discovering new music on Micsu.”
Something of a performer himself, it was Gianni’s desire to make the music listening experience more enjoyable and interactive that inspired the site: “I had a big passion for music when I was younger. I wanted to be a musician for ages and I started doing music and but then I realised the kind of musician I am, I’m more into older music, and what I would like to have made wouldn’t be relevant in this time.
“Now an artist gets signed and it’s about making a number one as opposed to making a fantastic album. I sort of pulled away from the industry but at the same time, I wanted to do something about that and that sort of fed into Micsu.”
Allowing its growing number of users to log in with their Facebook accounts, Micsu has the same interactive and social qualities as the well known social network: “Micsu has no limits at all. It’s allowing everyone to have easy access. Nowadays people don’t want to have 100 different accounts, all your facebook friends in time will be connected. We believe in being social so why should you have to lose some of your friends to join someone else?
“We’ve got a few things in the pipeline, we’re moving fast. Having a social media site is the base and core of it but we will be moving out into everything.”
O’Connor has been called the next Zuckerberg. Like The Social Network where Jesse Eisenberg played the Facebook entrepreneur, can Gianni imagine a film being made about Micsu’s formation? “I hope if they do, they pick a much better looking guy for me. Just someone tall, who goes to the gym a little bit.”
Despite his business success, Gianni plans to return to university to complete his finance degree.
For more information, go to: micsu.net/.