Salsa

Anonymous messages in your workplace

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Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
We've seen several variations of anonymous apps for coworkers and teams but I haven't seen any take off (correct me if I'm wrong). I just did a search for related products and previous hunts, Kangaroo and OffGarden, are no longer around. Of course that doesn't mean this can't work but I'm skeptical. Most of these tools are limited to larger companies that have enough people to make the responses truly anonymous and I believe those companies are harder to sell (if it's a top down strategy). Thoughts, @ychw?
Yuchen WangMaker@ychw · Founder Of TaggTo
Hi Ryan, Thanks for having Salsa here! And great insight in this area. What you described -- "most of these tools are limited to larger companies ..." -- is a real problem. I try to solve this issue by making the community more open -- any user can post messages about any company, not limited to their own employers. Messages can be anything -- thoughts, public news, rumor, or insider gossips. The intention here is to encourage sharing while protecting privacy. Another interesting feature of Salsa is "Spice Up", which is an enhanced version of "vote up" with geographical information. Now the original poster can see where people in the world cheered for her, and how far the message spread to the world. Salsa also provides a tool for anonymous salary survey. Besides providing a reference to anybody who are curious about how much her skill set values, I also hope this can capture the huge pay gaps between genders and different geographic areas. Salsa is still in its early stage. After all, it's my side project from last two months and I'm the only developer/designer. I am really looking forward where the community takes Salsa to.
Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
@ychw gotcha! Thanks for the additional context, Yuchen, and props for launching this solo.
@ychw, as someone who has tried other enterprise "yik yak" apps, I really like Salsa's approach of not making employees sign up with their work emails because that way the IT department can't track you down (which is what happened to me). My main critique here is if you have no way to authenticate where someone works, how can you guarantee that the comments are going to relevant to that company? Also, what made you decide to go with salsa for the name.
Yuchen WangMaker@ychw · Founder Of TaggTo
A few notes on the technical side -- the whole backend is built on top to Parse. Most of the functionality are already included in Parse. I only have to write about 500 lines of code at backend to handle special logics. Overall, I think Parse is a great platform to build prototypes and MVPs. However, if your product really takes off, it's better move the backend to your own infrastructure.
Yuchen WangMaker@ychw · Founder Of TaggTo
@javaughn12 Good questions! :-) For user authentication -- I don't want to do it with company email exactly for the reason you mentioned! But you are right, in this way, there is no way to guarantee a post is authentically from an employee. Since Salsa is in its early stage, I think that's OK. If Salsa starts growing its user base, I plan to add employer verification -- but totally optional. And verified users will have more voting power than non-verified users. So faked content will be voted down by verified users quickly. Also, to verify an user, we can simply detect the phone's network settings instead of sending out emails. But it's too complex to be included in the first version. That's another reason why I left the system without verification for v1. As to the name, it actually came from Mexican salsa. Yes, the food. :-D I went to a Mexican restaurant one day when I just started the project. When the food was ready, I suddenly realized that salsa's characters are exactly what I want for this project: spice => real opinion, colorful => various topics, tasty => respectful discussion. So I decided to call the project "Salsa". When it was released to BetaList in December, the original tagline was "Something spicy about your workplace". But my beta users said that's too vague to understand what the product is. So I eventually changed to the current one. Actually, the icon of the app comes from "salsa" as well -- the red color is from tomato/chili salsa, the yellow color is from corn chips. :-D