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Ann Arbor, MI 48104

David Baird

David Baird had an idea. An idea he believes can make money. Lots of people have these sorts of ideas every day, but the difference between Baird’s idea and a vast majority of the other ones like it is he turned his into a new business.

"It started as an idea," Baird says. "It started as scratches on paper. I thought. 'How can I make this a web app? Should I make this into a web app? What should I get out of it?'"

The idea is Selocial, a social media website that combings pictures and music. Users can link their own photos to a favorite song that will play whenever anyone clicks on that photo. Baird is a musician whose work has appeared in the TV show House of Lies and other programs. He originally wanted the software platform to serve as an avenue to help other artists like himself get their work in front of more people.

The Ann Arbor-based startup launched the public Beta of its platform in May. Getting it to that point took a lot more than most people would think.

"It's been a huge learning curve for me but it’s been a great journey," Baird says.

First Baird had to build a team. More importantly he had to find the right people. That meant he had to start networking in the local tech community, speaking to people with expertise in software and patent filing. Eventually a friend from high school introduced him to Selocial's current lead software developer, a programmer at IBM. That addition took several months.

Then Baird had to find a UIX developer, which took another three months. After that Baird made a connection with a tech veteran from Silicon Valley that stepped in as part of the management team. The whole process of team building took more than a year, and that was just to find six people who are based across the U.S.

"It has been a journey of development and recruiting," Baird says. "But we have a strong management team now."

That team meets on a weekly basis every Sunday where they bounce ideas off each other and refine the website. They are currently working to better link user accounts and introduce real-time chat

To get this far, Baird advises people to be picky with who they bring on their team and always be evolving the product.

"Figure out what you want to do first," Baird says. "Sketch it out. Find out what the phone is going to look like if it’s going to be an iPhone app. Find people passionate about it, too, not just people looking for a paycheck."

- Written by Jon Zemke

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