When we first came across the website for Kickdrop, we were blown away. These guys have style.
We caught up with Bilal Mechairia to find out more about Kickdrop, the team and what it’s like behind the scenes!
Bilal is a Co-founder of Kickdrop, a platform helping programmers and designers to build great websites and apps.
Q. Tell us a bit more about yourself, what are your main areas of expertise?
I design and build digital products. I’m a jack of all trades kind of guy but specialize in user experience design, visual design and animation.
My career has consisted of hands-on creative and development work on games, software and advertising campaigns. Over the past decade, I’ve worked with clients including: Ebay, Audi, Samsung, Pfizer, Marriott, Epic Games, and others. Most recently, I worked as a freelance Sr. UX Designer at HUGE.
Q. Where did the idea for this marketplace really start?
A couple of friends and I kicked the idea around for a little over seven months. It all started in August of 2013. It was then, after a couple of meetings, we agreed to try our hand at publishing a website/application template.
In under two months of part-time work we built and published our new template on an established and popular marketplace. As soon as the first few sales came in we were hooked. Today, after nearly a year of being on the marketplace, that template has been purchased nearly 800 times and went on to make tens of thousands of dollars.
Our customers loved the quality of code and overall design of our product, but were frustrated by the time it took to integrate, and the lack of customization. From this experience, Kickdrop was born – a better system for creating, buying and selling digital resources.
Q. What makes Kickdrop different?
Pre-made digital resources are great tools to cut time and cost for building digital products. Design and code marketplaces traditionally have a bad rep for being out of touch, low quality and overall messy. Out of the box, open-source or free resources are a great alternative but can be difficult to integrate and are often incomplete.
We created a marketplace where designers and developers can buy and sell modular, bite-sized resources under a number of styled frameworks. This means that our customers get the best of both worlds; designers and coders benefit from the flexibility that comes from an open-source project with the quality of professional resources. And what’s truly unprecedented is the ability for all of these elements to work together seamlessly.
Q. What’s it been like living, breathing, working and building a tech-startup?
If I’ve learned anything from two failed startups, it’s that you have to be a little crazy with a runner’s endurance to successfully grow something like Kickdrop. For me, that meant quitting my stable design job and going full-time with Kickdrop.
To be honest, it’s the mental struggle that’s hardest to manage. I could not keep going without the help of partners, mentors, friends, and the relentless support of my family. Everyday I jump out bed, make decisions, make changes, and help to bring our vision to fruition. As a creative person, the freedom is rewarding in ways I cannot put into words.
Q. What is the team like to be apart of? Do you get up to anything besides work?
We operate as a remote team, so it’s not always possible to meet at the gym or go out to the pub. Though I think we would still be chatting about Kickdrop if we could. And despite the distance, we are a close team. We share similar morals, aspirations, and we all believe in Kickdrop. Most importantly, I think we help each other stay focused and keep things in perspective.
Q. As we get closer to launch of Kickdrop can you tell us about the highs and lows you have faced getting your product ready for the masses?
Because we have worked in other companies with similar methodologies and processes for creating digital products, we hit the ground running with daily operations. However, marketing a product that we can’t show yet with relatively no budget has been challenging. We have to get creative with spreading the word. We’ve made it work, but it takes patience.
Q. What’s Kickdrop’s vision and where do you see it going for the future?
Kickdrop is so early in it’s growth, it’s hard to pin down exactly what the business will look like in five years. But for now, we feel like it’s important to just keep our eyes and ears open. Test and fail often. At the end of the day we want to help enable people to build the best possible digital products in their budget and timeline.
Q. How are you kicking off the launch of the website Kickdrop.me?
To validate our idea, we launched a “Coming Soon” page on kickdrop.me. Since it’s debut a few weeks ago, we are happy to announce that we have over 600 sign-ups. We’ve answered dozens of inquiries from potential customers and already made a handful of changes to our product.
It’s been an amazing learning experience and it’s really validated the idea for us. Behind the scenes, we are hard at work making the marketplace and design frameworks come to life and as always, having lots of fun doing it.
We’re keeping the launch under wraps just now. It’s going to be big, plus and we’re offering exclusive freebies and updates to those who sign up now!