The story below explains why Scott and I avoid gimmicks and put so much effort on support with KickoffLabs. We aren’t after a million dollars of VC… we want to build something people love and use to help change the world. Gabriel is a KickoffLabs customer that’s building an app to increase carpooling in Agentina. That’s where his story begins…
While working on my Facebook-App Carpooling system for Argentina, I ran into two problems: first, I wanted to present it at a local TEDx conference, and the system wasn’t ready yet. And second, I didn’t want to launch it without having a large base of users. Imagine that you’re one of the first users, a potential evangelist of the system: if you have zero (or few) friends using the system, how could you find a match for your next trip?
I searched the web for a solution and I found it: it was called LaunchRock, and it promised me I could “setup a viral Launching-Soon page in minutes”. And for free! I signed up, and it stated that I needed to recommend it to three friends. My whole crew signed up and I tweeted about it, because I thought it was a great product.
But…. I couldn’t use it: it said that it will be available “soon”.
“Soon” didn’t work for me (I had a deadline) so I wrote them an e-mail asking if “soon” meant “less than two weeks”. No answer.
Josh from KickOffLabs replied my LaunchRock tweet with a “Get your site today with@kickofflabs. The site is 100% localizable” message. Talk about aggressive marketing!
I signed up for KickOffLabs. Their free option wasn’t quite good for me (‘50 signers top’ is a very low bar) but their Plus account was quite cheap. I wrote them to see if they would accept PayPal and… Josh answered! In less than a day! Wow. Then I asked them more questions. And he answered. Fast!
As I write this, I’ve already launched the “launching site”. It’s quite successful: +100 signers during the TEDx conference. Now we’ve got a lot of pressure to complete the system! But I’m really grateful to Josh and KickOffLabs and so I’m taking a few minutes off to write this.
And LaunchRock? I’m still waiting to hear from them. I’m an engineer, not a web expert, but I know that there are two important rules while starting a successful web-based startup: (I) don’t promise what you can’t give; and (II) talk to your customers. LaunchRock did neither, KickOffLabs did both.
I do hope LaunchRock catches up, but for now I’m recommending KickOffLabs and hopefully using them for my next ventures.
Gabriel Weitz - Carpoolear