A couple months ago, a few extremely talented friends and I started work on a product that we hope millions of people will use and love. Simply put, Card.biz is your online business card: it helps you pull together all your info and social networks in one gorgeous site. That way people can find you and contact you, you can have your own beautiful site, and you can replace that long email signature with eleven different ways to contact you with one short link.In short, we set out to build a simple, elegant tool that makes your life easier.
As we launch our beta, which right now is invite-only, I look back on the things I learned getting this project off the ground:
- Define who you are. The problem with a product like Card.biz is that it can be many things at once. Is it a social network? Is it a homepage builder? Defining precisely what it is you do — an online business card, period — will help you prioritise what features to launch and what to scrap. And this will usually lead you to…
- KISS. The ol’ “Keep it simple, stupid” motto is always correct. In startup world, this translates to launching with a “minimum variable product” and that’s exactly what we did. You have no idea how many features we all wish were into this first version, but it was important for us to get it out the door soon with a minimal set of features.
- Get people smarter than you. Our designers Francois and Jeremy of Steaw to our coders Romain and JB of Studio Melipone are extremely talented and they, ultimately, built the site. We share a vision, but without great execution you’re nowhere.
- Get a great VC. Card.biz is backed by Kima Ventures, the international seed fund, and its amazing partner Jeremie Berrebi. Card.biz is my first venture-backed startup, but prior to that I had helped several companies raise funding and heard both the horror stories and the good stories we’ve all heard from VC. Jeremie has been all good so far — invaluable help, insight, and also motivation.
- It really is an emotional roller-coaster. We’ve had to postpone launch several times. One day you feel like you’re going to be on top of the world, one day there’s no end in sight. Literally. My wife was distraught because I’d come home some days happy as a bird, and the next brooding and kicking things.
- Everything takes longer than you imagine, even if you account for that. Nuff said.
I hope these lessons help other people who are getting started and in the meantime we hope people love Card.biz as much as we do.
If you want to get in, the first 50 people to sign up with the invite code BIRULES will get an invite.
Another way to get an invite is to come to our launch party tomorrow night in New York: bring your business card and we’ll send you an invite. It’s going to be awesome. Details on the party here.
And if you have any questions — well, you can get in touch through my Card.biz: http://card.biz/peg.