KickoffLabs Fundamentals <br />TaglineValidate, connect, and launch your idea with customersDescribe what your company doe...
KickoffLabs Fundamentals
KickoffLabs Fundamentals
KickoffLabs Fundamentals
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KickoffLabs Fundamentals


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KickoffLabs Fundamentals

  1. 1. KickoffLabs Fundamentals <br />TaglineValidate, connect, and launch your idea with customersDescribe what your company does in 140 characters or lessSimple sites and metrics for pre-launch businesses to validate ideas connect with customers and have fanatic early adopters ready for their launch.In more detail, what will your company do or make? We want to connect new businesses to potential customers in order to help those businesses build their audience as well as their product leading up to an official launch. By helping them create a simple landing page and sign up form they can build up customers and SEO organically so they don’t have to start at zero on the day of launch.  Then this set of early adopters can be leveraged to improve business on day one. A brief real world example of this problem today:   In my local city a new café was opening up. They were working on their building and hung a banner with a URL out front.  The URL said “Coming Soon” on the banner and led customers to a Godaddy parked domain site.  Ideally this URL would have taken me to a site where I could have learned a bit more and signed up to get notified when they were ready for my business.  When I talked to the owner his answer was “The full site is in the works, but not ready yet... it will be ready when the restaurant is”.  A second problem is the space of potential business launches wanting to validate two or three different ideas to see which one would get them the most solid customer base.  Our service allows them to quickly set up multiple landing pages that they can compare against one another.  A third problem is a company trying to figure out which of three messages, products, or ideas would gain the most traffic with customer attention. In version one of our service customers will be able to:<br />Create a simple landing page for their new or proposed business that includes a customer sign-up form and social sharing. <br />Associate this page with their custom domain, Facebook, Twitter, and blog accounts. <br />Receive daily reports about the customers that have signed up as interested in their service, business, or product. <br />View metrics about the people that have signed up including their social demographics. <br />Contact the customers that have signed up via bulk email. <br />Future versions could focus on: <br />Improving the connection between the businesses and the customers that signed up by enabling a series of beta communication services including polls, stack ranking, idea testing, etc. <br />Enabling A/B testing of the landing page copy so that businesses can compare the sign-up effectiveness of different messages. <br />Expanded simple site hosting... maybe for some small business we’d be all they need. <br />Comparative analytics against other business in the same verticle... so they know how well they are doing with sign ups. <br />What's new, interesting, or different about what your company will do?It’s the simple combination of our services that is unique in order to save potential new business owners time and money.  All of these things are possible for a few hundred dollars and a bunch of time today, but we’re going to let people focus on refining their message, signing up customers, & building their product instead of focusing on a temporary web site. Please provide information on current or likely competitors. Include key differentiators.The biggest competitor is indifference about building an audience before you launch a product. Some people take comfort in their lack of transparency and just believe they know best and launch a product before they've had any measure of customer validation and sign up. Other competitors fall into four categories: 1. Money Raising: and other services like focus on social funding. I view these services as complimentary rather than competitive. They are less about customer building and more about funding your project... which can happen in parallel. 2. Self Service: If you are more technical or have extra money to spend you can purchase a WordPress site and configure a series of plugins and themes that would enable similar functionality. You would miss out on comparative analytics in this case and it’s also more distracting and time consuming since the process is more manual.  If you respect your time at all when you are getting started you would avoid this process. 3. Direct: The lean development movement is pushing other people to think about this concept.  There are two fairly direct competitors.  and  Unbounce is focussed on building landing pages for existing products and a/b testing.  Although they offer WYSIWYG editing the process isn’t optimized for simplicity.  It’s designed to have you pour over every detail and capitalize on the A/B testing. Launchrock is fairly similar, but their platform offers limited opportunities for customization.  Our goal is to sit somewhere in the middle of these two services.  Unlike launchrock we also intend to charge people.  :-)Explain how the company will make money.We intend to charge businesses a monthly subscription fee for this service. While the exact price levels are two be determined we intend to make the free account level very limited and intentially branded with kickofflabs.  Any useful account would be a paid one.  The range of services would sit between $10 and $100 a month depending on the combination of scale and features you require. Tell us about each founderThe two founders include Josh Ledgard and Scott Watermasysk. Both of whom have a lot of expertise in the development of web, social software, and analytics. Josh Ledgard ( graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in computer engineering and worked at Microsoft for 8 years as a development lead, Program Manager, and Group Manager working on social solutions for developer tools and the Visual Studio IDE.  While there his team implemented the first integrated customer feedback solution that became the beta software used today by Microsoft called  Four years ago he left Microsoft to join Telligent so he could work more directly on social software including customer profiles, activity feeds, blogs, wikis, & forums. At Telligent he led the formation of the product PM and QA discipline and teams while shipping several iterations of the companies award winning white-label social Enterprise, Community, and Analytics web product suite. He left his role as the VP of Engineering at the start of 2011 to pursue ideas like this one in a founding role.  Scott Watermasysk ( graduated from Rutgers University. After having built the leading .NET based blogging platform (.TEXT) Scott joined Telligent to lead their product development.  Scott was the lead developer behind the companies 1.0 release of a combined blog, gallery, and forum social platform called Community Server. While at Telligent Scott was also responsible for the creation of the GraffitiCMS solution that was sold as a product and later distributed as open source software by Telligent.  He continued to lead the Community Server and Telligent Analytics development teams as the VP of Development & Architecture through regular release cycles leading up to his departure from Telligent at the start of 2011.  What are some things that the team (or its members) have built on the web?The most prolific example of our work on the web can be found in the Telligent social software platform that powers several prominent online community sites including: Additional projects include:<br />  - A simple content management platform for web sites that’s used by customers like <br /> - A mobile application designed to help individuals track daily health related goals quickly. <br />Why would someone invest in or believe a stock commitment for employment is a good bet with your company?We believe that there are two important mega-trends we are capitalizing on.  The first is that with techies agile development concepts are taking over more aspects of running a business.  Marketing teams, for example, are adopting daily stand-ups and tools  like  They are realizing that there is no better customer research than actually trying something.  This takes the start small agile concept to the extreme edge of validating the idea before you develop anything. The idea is that people want to dip their toe in before committing a ton of money to something that will fail.  The new economy is one where people test for ROI first and that’s where we can help them. The second is the trend of cutting out the middle-man between people with ideas  and customers.  It may have started publicly with the music and publishing industry it’s moving into additional verticals outside of the entertainment industry.  In software it used to be that if you wanted your software to be used by millions of people you had to work for a company like Microsoft, Apple, or Oracle.  But app stores and the web have democratized employment.  Now any individual developers can easily reach millions of customers and KickoffLabs wants to cheaply enable people to build those connections. <br />