Tim talks to us about Startup Weekend, Getting Acquired, How he built his MVP and on Landing a Seed Investment. Wow.
You’d be right in saying Tim isn’t your average Joe.
He’s recently had a lot of success building startup ventures so we jumped at the chance to pick his brains.
What made you want to become an Entrepreneur and how did you get started?
Well, from an early age I think I’ve had entrepreneurial traits without even thinking about it. But, it wasn’t really till my Junior and Senior years of High School that I went head first into learning about building a business and really, I just kind of fell into it.
If I had to describe it simply, I’d say it was just personal interest.
“Some people play sports, some people like video games, I like starting businesses.”
First and foremost, if you’re on the fence about going, it is a MUST.
Good bits would be the relationships you develop, the learning that goes on, the energy, the free stuff, and the fun of meeting with people to build something awesome.
“I think the only bad bits are the lack of sleep because you’re so excited to get working again. And I guess Sunday when it’s all over.”
Here we developed the idea for an app called Dresser which could provide attire suggestions based on which clothes you’ve not worn in a while and on the weather.
We came 1st in the pitch round and after the Startup Weekend we actually got acquired in the next week for $43,000! Not too bad for a Senior in High School (at the time).
You can read more about it here.
Your next breakthrough happened creating a MVP, can you explain what you wanted it to achieve and the steps you had to go through to get the answers?
Ok, so here’s a quick run through of how Resume Redesign happened. First I went on fiverr.com and made a gig where I would redesign a customer’s resume for $5.
The goal here was to just see if this is something people were interested in and willing to put any money into solving. Turns out they were, by the 3 month mark I got so many orders that I couldn’t physically finish them all.
The next step was to test two things:
1. Would people pay $50 for the service instead of just $5?
2. Could I get the same number of orders (or traffic) as I got on fiverr?
I then researched a number of ways to create a landing page. This is where QuickMVP came in. I made a really simple landing page with a few lines of text and a “buy now for $49” button. Then I bought $150 worth of adwords which drove around 130 clicks on Google and 7 clicks on the buy button. Unfortunately QuickMVP couldn’t take payment (at the time), but I would’ve made a profit of $200. Not too bad!
Check out my interview with Trevor Owens below for more details.
Next, it was time to move to a full site, ready to take payment. That’s where I am today (building the site). My goal for this site is to bring in enough traction (in the form of sales) to fund a fully automated site down the road. But, who knows what’ll happen.
What worked well, what feedback did you get and how has your MVP developed since then?
So far, Adwords have been decent. It’s hard to tell because I was testing on such a small scale. I’m going to be trying out a whole bunch of different traction methods here soon. The best feedback we’ve been getting is the data from sales, the demographics of our buyers. That’s important because it helps me when I’m writing blog posts for the website to know who I’m writing to.
You then went on to get an early (seed) investment. How did you finally landed the deal?
I have one investor, and angel basically. He wasn’t just someone I found on AngelList, we had actually known each other for a while. We met for coffee every once in a while and talked about things we were doing.
So I would say I’m starting this project and he would guide me as to what to do. More of a mentor. It was an easy transition because when the time came at Resume Redesign when we needed some external cash to kick-start the initial traffic, he was ready to help.
I don’t think this story is normal, but what I would say to those looking ahead and maybe thinking they’ll need some money, start now.
Reach out to local people. Meet them in person and just get to know people in the community. Startup Weekend can help with this big time or try using LinkedIn or even Teachers.
Awesome Tim, thanks for your time! What’s the best way to keep in contact with you and your work?