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Diary of a Tech Start-Up: Idea to Soft Launch

October 29th, 2009 | KikScore & KikReport,Online & Small Business Resources,Small Business | No Comments »

One of our ideas that we have here at KikScore is to provide a running blog on how we started business, what challenges we face, and what we’re doing to make our concept a viable (and hopefully profitable) concern.  There won’t be one voice in this diary, as each of us have a different view of events.  Hopefully this spectrum of views and running history will help our readers with similar challenges (and if you have some advice on approaching a similar problem, we’d love to hear it as well).  We’ll try to be useful and interesting, but most of all, honest (and hopefully humorous).  Ok, let’s get to it.

About 3 years ago, a thought comes across my mind.  I recall this moment well, as I usually don’t have a lot of thoughts.  The concept was to come up with a way to provide some transparency to shoppers — allow an ecommerce site to provide verifiable information on who they are and why they should be trusted (so they can compete with established brands and brick-and-mortar stores).  And if we can supplement this transparency with third party data on these businesses and score the likely shopping experience — well, that’s a home run.  Shoppers benefit from more competition and an excellent shopping experience, Sellers use their good name to sell more online, and we have a nice business.

In an effort to save readers from lighting themselves on fire out of boredom, ala Airplane: The Movie, I can summarize what we did between coming up with this idea and now having our soft launch of KikScore.  We hired a patent lawyer; filed a patent; hired outside developers to supplement our efforts; we futzed around with these developers far too long; 12 months later we fired those developers; we spend 6-8 months working and re-working on our scoring model and securing third-party data sources; we developed a look-and-feel of the site (twice); and came up with a name and trademark (twice).  We all did this while each of us were working full time (and often overtime) with day jobs!  Alot of late, late nights and plenty of weekend work got us to where we are at. 

We’re now live and have several beta customers out there.  While the past couple of years have been busy, we know that the next two will be even busier.  Though it will be a lot more exciting actually being in business, instead of talking about it.

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