Jojo Hedaya: The Man With the Plan
It’s not often that one finds the gift of entrepreneurship in a twenty-four-year-old, however, Jojo Hedaya has been found to be just that. In just a few years he has taken the concept of unsubscribing from multiple email lists in bulk to a multimillion-dollar business. It is this keen eye for seizing an opportunity that has made Jojo a success.
Leaving Boston College at an early age and realizing that “Experience is better than a degree”, Jojo and his partner Josh, whom he met in Israel, embark on the adventure of building a business from nothing more than their drive and friendship. The two together, march hand in hand, into the world of tycoons where many other greats have gone before. Those such as Facebooks Mark Zuckerberg whose philosophy on data safety and privacy is right in line with Jojo Hedaya. Truly, a match of unprecedented synergy.
Unroll.me is the nom de guerre of the free service that allows their user base, which is now in the millions, to unsubscribe to email lists in a few simple clicks. Jojo was adamant about the fact this app had to have simplicity in interface as well as functionality. The CEO Josh Rosenwald quips that “Our product was definitely born out of personal frustration”, as their own experiences with emails being lost in the myriad of unsolicited subscriptions caused a certain degree of angst between the two.
It is the technical aspect of this marvel of the internet that has all of its user base talking about Unroll.me. In essence, the application scans through each and every one of your private emails making a determination as to what is a subscription list, what is a normal email, what is a Lyft receipt, what can be monetized, and what can be sold to Uber. It is truly a miracle of sleight of hand that rivals Shin Lin himself, the most recent winner of Americas Got Talent, that puts new meaning into the phrase “Now you see it, now you don’t!”
In true Wizard of Ozwellian fashion the man behind the curtain is JoJo himself along with parent company Slice Intelligence. In a business move that can only be seen as Zuckbergian inspired, the user base anonymized Lyft receipt data is sold to Uber. Brilliant! A pure stroke of genius by the parent company to take private data, run it through a filter, massage it, pat it, and mark it with a ‘B’ for Jojo and me!
Jojo explained he was somewhat “Heartbroken”, that some of his users were upset that their private emails were inspected, updated, and sold to the highest bidder. This commentator went to the blog of the original tear-jerking post only to find it gone. Poof, just like his user’s data! Brilliant!
I think all in all it can be said that the Rabbi for Josh and Jojo had it pegged when he said, “Okay guys, you need to be friends.”. I could not agree more, Josh and Jojo deserve each other.
In the final analysis it is the end user who all budding entrepreneurs are trying to make happy. As one user put it,
“You have to be kidding right? You took my data and sold it to Uber and God knows who else… you can take your “apology” and shove it. It’s people like you Jojo who make humanity look worse and worse every day.”
A more fitting epitaph could not have been more aptly scribed.