Currently I'm building individual relationships with hundreds/thousands of top fashion brands - brands most startups would kill to work with.
I had "co-founders" when I started, but they weren't cut out for the brutality and nihilism of the fashion world, and quickly left. It really is a different world, of wealthy old-world people with no commonality with the middle-class. Some of the major luxe fashion brands still avoids the Internet. I don't know of any successful fashion-tech startup.
The whole thing is a fun experience doing it myself... some tasks take longer because of the work involved, but some are quicker because you directly make decisions yourself.
http://www.issuu.com/futureclawmag/docs/issue_6 (with Helena Christensen)
http://www.issuu.com/futureclawmag/docs/issue_5 (with Cindy Crawford)
I've built it by myself and I think it gives me a big advantage. I see a lot of people partnering with co-founders, and then they have to discuss every little new feature. And ego gets involved. And meetings.
I just have a meeting in my head before I sleep every night with what I'm going to make the next day. It means I ship faster.
What was your motiviation to give it a go? The lack of options from AirBnB in this segment?
I like the idea of your challenge: 12 Startups in 12 Months. (-: Would love to hear how it works out in the long run.
My motivation was that I wanted to find places that would be suitable for me to travel to and work, but I didn't want to browse countless of blogs to figure out.
I thought approachign it from a data perspective would be easier. The data will always be subjective and never completely accurate, but it can give people an idea.
It now seems like the sites inspires people too to start traveling, when they see all the options. That I never expected.
ps - saw your post in regards to data. Thanks!
I then spent my afternoons all summer with a live chat widget on the site that automatically prompted a conversation to anyone who kept the page open for 10 seconds, and talked quite a few people that came in from Google into signing up. It only took a few people at $25-99/month (I tried a bunch of different minimum prices in the beginning) to pay back the initial investment and keep the ball rolling.
Word of mouth referrals started really really quickly, as some of those first customers were both super excited about the product being way better than what they were doing, and very well connected socially. Now referrals are my biggest signup driver.
"I then spent my afternoons all summer with a live chat widget on the site that automatically prompted a conversation to anyone who kept the page open for 10 seconds"
Given that's the first time I've ever heard of that particular approach, I'm not exactly a novice to marketing either, and it's sufficiently smart that I'm going to test it out myself on a project in the near future... I think you may, in fact, have done something quite clever there. :)
Any recommendations for backend technology for that? I've found that live chat solutions tend to be... sub-optimal.
They combine to bring in a nice living, though they take up little enough of my time between them that I've actually taken a full-time consulting gig as well, doubling up on the college fund for the kids while the getting is good.
Hit me up with any questions you might have.
Also, this page: https://www.s3stat.com/web-stats/how-it-works
says $5/month, and others say $10/month.
That saves a bunch of hassle, since I really don't want to be sitting on a database of AWS keys.
(and fixed, thanks!)
In the beginning was very hard; it's your new baby and you need to put a lot of effort, passion and discipline to get things done.
Now I'm struggling because I don't have much time to work on this, but I hope in the next few weeks I'll be able to ship some features that are already built.
I have multiple companies that build products based on the software: From advertisement displays to complete purchasable hardware showing weather, RSS and images. On top of that I provide consulting for custom visualizations.
It's a really fun and challenging project since it consists of low level C/OpenGL/OMX programming, building a custom PI linux distribution and running a quite complex website.
I started BugMuncher as a side project about 4 years ago, but this month I quit freelancing and started on my quest to make it my full time job. Exciting times!
Just getting started. Tonight was the first game of the season.
The punchline: the whole site, boomtree, is a web-based way to create web apps, R2P is a demo. Still working on videos to show how it is programmed.
Next up: demo apps with Littlebits. Hopefully some customers in that world!
The method is called TimeBlock and beside teaching users the method after selling it to companies (paid onboarding) I am building an app to support teams better than the paper and pencil version ever can do.
But people keep paying to build there lame websites... I got to stop doing that.
I tried working on two other startups with two different co-founders, but they had other priorities and could not commit enough time to make it happen.