Top Ten Questions and Answers from the Founder / CEO of KillerStartups for the just launched entrepreneurial community site on AdvisorGarage.com. KillerStartups is one of the latest and one of the fastest growing startups sites. Challenges, tips, tricks, motivations and more covered by this fast moving web 2.0 company founder.
1. Tell us about ‘KillerStartups’.
KillerStartups.com is a user driven internet startups community. Entrepreneurs, investors and bloggers are staying updated on up-and-coming internet startups using our blog platform, where internet entrepreneurs submit their startup to see what others think about it.
Our vision: “Tapping the wisdom of crowds to find the next internet big thing.”
We deeply believe in the power of crowds and we want to put it to good use, detecting in an early stage what’s going to be big.
2. What was your motivation for starting ‘KillerStartups’?
Basically I read a lot Fred Wilson’s A VC blog and Techcrunch. I also personally love startups, so basically what I did was to create a mashup of Digg + TechCrunch and that’s how KillerStartups.com came to be.
The motivation is to provide a site where the million of people involved in the internet business can participate in a community to try to pick the next internet big thing.
3. What were some of the early challenges?
Well, when it comes to internet startups, technology is always a challenge. We started out using pligg.com, a digg.com/meneame.net script but really couldn’t catch up with the growing traffic and customizations we wanted it to do for us. We needed to develop everything from scratch, and that always delays your execution plan. In our case, it delayed us 1 month.
4. How did you overcome them?
Asking lots of questions to my friends, having lots of meetings with smart people, and putting long long hours.
5. What did you learn from these challenges?
Normally when you create a startup things are, or at least seem to be, harder because you lack financial resources. If I had money to launch KillerStartups.com, something I believe is that I’d have lost tons of money that could’ve done on a shoestring (as I did).
6. How did you get early traction for your site?
MyBlogLog.com helped a lot at that time, and still does. I remember I launched on January 20th and at the same time registered as a member on MyBlogLog. I placed the widget on killerstartups and visitors started coming in to check it out. Right now we’re very close to become one of the top 50 communities there.
Then, because we created unique content in an everyday basis, people at Netvibes added us to their list of blogs, which helped also quite a bit.
And the rest was word of mouth that did the job of promoting KillerStartups. Users that liked our site told their friends and kept growing that way. A few days ago we were 6,800 in Alexa, which encourages to keep going to reach our goal: 50,000 unique visitors per day.
7. What mistakes did you make, if any? And what were the consequences?
Lots. Too many to mention here, but the funniest one was the day we migrated from a shared hosting to a dedicated hosting with another company. My background is business, not technology, so I was asking for help to different people to set things up. When I did the migration, the DNS took 2 days to propagate so basically we were down for 2 days. Can you imagine the pain? Now I sort of laugh about it, but back then it was pain, pure pain. What I learned from that is to let the techies do their work.
8. What’s next for Killerstartups?
We’re heavily working in our redesign, we’re changing the look and feel of KillerStartups to a more visually appealing image. We’re following our users advice. Also we keep working on new Content partnerships. Already have content deals with profy.com, centernetworks.com, everybodygoto.com and several more high-quality blogs. They’re interested in displaying KillerStartups content in their blog, and so we have a win-win situation.
9. What do you hope to achieve with your business as it grows?
We hope to create a vibrant community interested in the internet startup scene, in creating new opportunities. In terms of traffic, we’re aiming at 50,000 unique visitors per day, as I mentioned earlier.
10. What would be a few suggestions, tips and tricks you would give to other entrepreneurs?
Nothing new really:
Follow your dream, Visualize your success, Focus on the goal, and work as if your project were already successful. Work hard and enjoy the ride, being an entrepreneur is a way of life.
Andrew – Founder