We Already Launched!

You may wonder why there have been few posts in the last few weeks. Part of it has to do with my amazement how other founders can spend so much time writing thoughtful blog posts while running a startup. When I’m working on something intensely, blogging, tweeting, facebook-status-updating, even the hourly check of the HN front page comes as a distraction. And if I do need a healthy dose of distraction, I’d rather not spend it in front my computer, too. So I’m going to reveal to you what Luis and I have ended up working on.

Since this past article, we’ve discussed quite a few more ideas. It seemed more and more clear that it was probably best for us to focus on something we already had experience with. We both have extensive experience in the airline industry, i.e. selling software products to airlines. But that was also the problem. Airlines are located all over the world, they take months, sometimes years to decide whether they want to buy your product or not. That is, you would need a lot of money just being on sales calls and processing requests for proposal with a highly uncertain outcome. Plus, we didn’t seem to have that revolutionary idea yet (which may still come, though). Of course, I know the music business quite well but I don’t feel good starting up in a declining industry. I’d rather keep my involvement to the creative side.

So this left us with Luis’s experience in microstock photography. We have developed an analytics product for microstockers called Stock Performer. It allows photographers (and other artists selling on microstock agencies such as iStockphoto, Shutterstock, Fotolia etc.) to track their sales cross-agency in a number of ways. At this point, the system tells you how much you’ve sold per month, per day, your downloads, your revenue per download, your sell-through rate etc. But ideally, in the future, we want to add tools that help figuring out trends, deciding what to shoot next, and ultimately how to make more money.

We launched last night and had a small party with a handful of beta testers who will now use the system and provide us with feedback. It wasn’t very hard to find them because, for one, Luis knows quite a few people in that industry, but more importantly, there are not many tools like this. There is a definite need. It was exciting to present the product to this initial group. A little daunting, too, though, because within the first minute of them using it, we noticed so many bugs and problems that we now have a long todo list to work on. And tons of ideas, of course. We have a lot of work to do. We’ll do our best to keep you posted here but you also know where our priorities are.