I cant think of anything more valuable to wannabe entrepreneurs than seeing the inner thoughts of people in the middle of it all.
I am really impressed by your courage and your determination but you worked 3years on your product and never tought that a slight redesign/optimization by a professional can be beneficial to your business ?
Your website is dark and not very beautiful, it feels creepy. To access to StormPulse Pro from the landing page, I have to click on "More" and select "Stormpulse pro" on the menu. No direct access, no button.
Great story, nice ending hopefully but seriously! I know that on HN marketing/business/design guys have bad reputation but sometimes YOU HAVE TO ask some help...
Thank you for sharing this story. This is of course only my POV, I'm ready to be downvote if needed :)
I think we were still fumbling in the dark until now with regards to segmentation/pricing. In one sense I'm glad we didn't share our Pro offering with the entire market in the last 18 months. We've learned a lot. However, coincidentally we're about to partner with a real optimization firm, so you're spot-on in that sense.
Your website is dark and not very beautiful, it feels creepy.
Like when it's stormy outside?
Yes, but really, so what? That is a clever tie-in to the field you're in, but do you know for certain that it results in increased profit? Have you tested it?
I think the feeling you get from a design means a lot for the average consumer.
do you know for certain that it results in increased profit? Have you tested it?
No, we haven't A/B tested it. However, we know scientifically and from customer feedback that the dark background with light text works well in low-light environments, which is what most operation centers are like. If you don't know what an operation center is, here are some good example pics from Google Image search: http://www.google.com/images?q=operations+center&oe=utf-...
It's also encouraging because it's in a similar domain to my own side-business.
Contrary to a lot of the comments thus far, I felt less excited and more stressed throughout the journey. I dont think this is a bad thing because it is one of the best parts about being a startup founder (IMHO). The roller coaster ride that is bootstrapping is so addictive that I have heard myself on a number of occasions say that I could do this forever (hopefully with some luck).
My question to the community (or the author), is why not negotiate better terms with one of the offers for 51%? Surely, if an entity was interested enough to want 51% there might be terms where something more favorable to the founders could exist, no?
I know faced with the opportunity myself, I have no idea what I would do, but it seemed as though one of those deals or relationships could have spring-boarded the business.
We attempted to negotiate with all three, but all three were completely unwilling to budge on the need to control. The weather corporation was likely not thinking as an investor, but more as a talent acquisition/bolt-on to their operation. The other two were veteran CEO's who both said (as if they were reading out of the same playbook) "I don't do anything I can't control."
One thing that would be useful w.r.t storms is a storm warning if a storm is going to hit my area. Or an email containing wind info when a storm is about to hit.
Today is actually a good example. Huge winds and no percipitation - I should be out on the water but have a damn release tonite. Arrghhh!!
Surfers also would love a wave info due to incoming storms.
What about an API which collects all other data from weather resources and collates it nad makes it easy to use? I'd actually be interested in that for another project I have going.
I'm also working on a data driven application. So far I see 0 revenue potential in the current form but it is incredibly interesting problem to me. I guess I will run it by you when it is showable. I thought it is likely a 2 months project but this is its 6-th month already :( Making very nice progress and a lot of learning though.
So with that said can you list those VC's here? Would benefit anyone that comes across this post later.