Over in the Skribit app in my sidebar someone suggested that I provide an update on the company’s recent progress. Since it has been about three months since I last did so, that seemed like a good idea. For those of you not familiar with the company it is a product of Atlanta Startup Weekend and you can find the complete back story at that blog.
As I reported in March, the company entered open beta and that pretty much went off without a hitch.
In April Paul Stamatiou and Calvin Yu formally became members of the core team. They recruited Erik Peterson and he joined them in May. Paul is mostly handling front end design and product management type duties. Calvin is doing the heavy lifting of development with Erik throwing in significant help. They are in the process of bringing a fourth dev onto the team. Depending on what effort they have agreed to, these guys are all working at least five hours a week on the project and some many more than that. I see code commits virtually every night. We are meeting face to face at an increasing pace to address some of the things that follow.
The primary focus of this team is to improve the product so more people will use it. That seems to be working as the latest Compete graph shows (and BTW I can personally attest that Compete is not all that accurate, only directional and very low compared to the web analytics numbers that we are keeping semi-private at the moment):
That lift in May actually created some service delivery issues that brought the app down for a day. Though unrelated this happened around the time of Startup Riot, where Paul’s brief presentation was well received. Angel investors showed some interest in the concept.
The service outage led to the conclusion that we might need some cash to continue to make this go, and the expressed angel interest indicated that Skribit might be in a position to raise some if we cared to do so. So since Startup Riot the Skribit team has been meeting with a number of angels/advisors to determine a potential funding strategy and what key milestones we need to hit over the next six months. Generally speaking all the meetings have been very encouraging and energizing for the core team. Folks seem to be "fascinated" with Skribit.
The team intends to finalize the strategy and milestones in the next few weeks and then start the march to make them happen. Essentially we are focusing on how to turn this project into a business. Toward this end we have also engaged a financial analyst to build out a model so that we can better project our cost structure and revenues over the next 12 months or so. The revenue model is combo advertising/freemium based.
With all that said I want to go back and repeat what I wrote above. The primary focus of this team is to improve the product so more people will use it. They know that this is critical for building a large and vibriant user base. And in a sentence that is the goal.
PS> The pace has also picked up over on the Skribit blog. Many more details, including a host of product enhancements, can be found there.