DoubleRecall got funded

We had first implementations in the US and things are also running very good in Europe. There was some nice initial traction to show to our seed investors.

Today we went forward with the announcement of the funding and the YC affiliation. You can read more about it on TechCrunch.

We got funding from some prominent international venture capital firms, some of which will also be playing the role of strategic partners in the publishing and advertising industry.

Our investors/partners Digital Garage of Japan, released their statement today on the partnership.

New York, New York

We’ve settled in New York City. It feels great, this city really has something in it.

We’re now going full steam ahead, preparing a PR launch for next week’s O’Reilly Tools of Change conference.

Bye bye San Francisco, we’ll miss you!

We’re leaving San Francisco to pursue the ambitions of DoubleRecall in the Big Apple!

It was really fun here for the last month, we were staying at the Universal McCann offices, where we took part of their internal start-ups program. We learned a lot about the advertising space and how an agency works. Now it’s time to shift to high gear and rumble in NYC!

The hardest part will be leaving behind the cool people and friends that we met during our Y Combinator batch.

TimeKiwi left the building

TimeKiwi was our little side project that enabled anyone to create a beautiful timeline of his social networks in seconds.

After we launched it for the second time in a totally revamped version it got lots of attention and press and finally caught the eye of the people over at OverBlog.

We agreed that they acquire it as we continue to focus 100% on DoubleRecall which is making ripples throughout the publishing industry.

You can read more about the acquisition on TechCrunch.

TimeKiwi creates a buzz

We recently launched a much improved version of our weekend project TimeKiwi, which enables anyone to create a beautiful timeline of his social networks in seconds.

If you haven’t tried it yet, you should. It’s dead simple and the result will impress you.

There has been quite some buzz around it when we launched it the first and second time on Hacker News.

Tweets were also flying around and we gathered quite some coverage in the media and blogs:

There’s also a great post about the visual identity of TimeKiwi over at Miha’s blog.

Hosting a start-up event in college

Yesterday we were hosting a start-up event in Maribor, Slovenia at the Faculty of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering.

We were presenting our path so far, the achievements we had with DoubleRecall and where we’re heading. We also made a bold call out to anyone who’s interested in working in a fast-paced environment where things are never boring. Some people came over to talk and seemed aligned to breathe with us. We’re already working part-time with some of them.

If you’re interested in sharing our journey, check out the Breathe with us page and contact us.

DoubleRecall got accepted to Y Combinator S11 batch

It’s official!

CodeArtists team was part of the Y Combinator Summer 2011 batch of startups. We were working hard, learning fast and honing our pitch for 3 months to culminate everything at the glorious Demo Day.

Along the way we got some good press and coverage like this one in the New York Times.

DoubleRecall is in the finals of the Start:Up Slovenia competition

DoubleRecall, a project by CodeArtists, has been selected as one of the finalists in the Start:Up Slovenia competition.

We’re happy to be recognized as part of the Slovenian start-up community. We are falling and getting back on our feet every day while learning the twists and turns of being young enterpreneurs.

We’re tying to hack the market with some fresh approaches while getting stronger and smarter every day. If you feel the desire breathe with us, please let us know.

Be sure to check out Start:Up official page to learn more about this (in Slovene language).

CodeArtists invited to Y Combinator S11 interview!

CodeArtists team was invited today, to discuss DoubleRecall in an interview at Y Combinator.

This is a first for the Slovenian startup community and for us all. We’re extremely proud about this achievement. We know this is only a first of many steps for us. There are hundreds, if not thousands of applicants and our team was selected among few other most promising teams from all over the world.

Y Combinator is probably the most renowned seed-stage startup funding firm in the world. It’s based in Silicon Valley.

We worked really hard with DoubleRecall and we’re thrilled to bring it to the global market with the help of some of the best startup people out there. We know that it will be hard work, but we are looking forward to breathe in some fresh knowledge and guidance from Paul Graham and the rest of the Y Combinator team.

Today was a hard working day like every other, but we’re happy with that. We do all of these things, because we believe in them.

Rok G and Robert also did an amazing job for DoubleRecall today in Paris, presenting the solution to a gathering of Europe’s most premium financial publisers. In the meanwhile Rok K was working on PR and launch of popify.me in the Tehnopolis office, alongside Miha, who created another DoubleRecall transformer page for a Finnish magazine.

We’re a strong team and all good friends. We can’t wait to show our best in the US and make DoubleRecall a huge success.

Interpreting the results of Popify.me HN launch

My name is R. Yesterday we let popify.me loose into the wild and here is a follow-up on how it survived through its first night.

The Story

This gets pretty Flintstonish sometimes, so beware:

Yesterday, we finished the most basic version of popify.me. We thought that HN would be a nice place to tell people about the service, so we did.

Show HN: measure curiosity of your website users

First, we tried to find a headline that would stick at least an hour on new section, for some high karma people to see it and upvote it a bit.

But here comes the first Flintstone, me, trying to post news with a dead HN account! I didn’t even know it’s dead and I’m a daily HN reader for about 170 days now. I was just ok with my karma of 1 and didn’t read the rules of the game, because I see myself as a pretty polite person everywhere I move. I could blame it on pg, because I remember posting a comment twice in a row one day, as HN get pretty unresponsive sometimes, but I won’t, because he’s a superhuman anyways and I should know the rules if I’m playing the game.

So I asked Miha to clone the dead post and we were back in the game. We also asked a favor from Sahil of GumRoad, Franz of Facesearch & Swizec of HipsterVision to upvote our post. A nice debate also fired in the discuss section. Some questions started to appear and, guess what: Miha set his noprocrast to like 4 hours, so he was locked out of HN and couldn’t respond to questions.

Matevz came to rescue and Rok and Robi also poked around a bit with a large trout.

So, with a nice discussion going on, we even managed to land on the first page of HN and stayed there for like 6 hours. It was a nice adrenaline rush for the whole team and we learned a lot.

There were around 2000 unique visitors from HN and we got some positive Twitter coverage.

Feedback

We had these feedback tools at our hand:

  • GetClicky for realtime tracking of the visitors (we liked the Spy World view and dots popping up in Tasmania)
  • Olark for live chat support on edit page
  • A simple feedback box in Edit Coupon page and
  • The invaluable HN discuss section

Lessons

  • We definitely need a native English speaker for explainer video.
  • We won’t use Vimeo for explainers anymore because it’s blank on iOS devices.
  • English proofreading is necessary “less then 1M” should be “less than 1M” & such
  • Nudity on a sample coupon is not accepted, cows are.

And, the most important was that we soon realized, that visitors didn’t understand why would they use popify.me, which analytics clearly showed.

The analytics and A/B Testing Results

Our goal was to try to get as many people as possible to try out our coupons and spread them on Twitter/FB and, of course, put them on their web sites. Or at least try to create some. But we also wanted to learn if people were prepared to pay for such a service.

We used

Results

This was the first page:

Variation 1

We had a variation that tried to communicate extraordinary results we were getting in our test runs on some news publishing websites. If you are a geek of any sort, if I say you’ll get 3.5% of CTR or a 8% e-mail newsletter subscription rate, you should be standing and screaming already. We didn’t lie about the results, but it didn’t make such a big effect as we would think. Less than 2% of visitors engaged. But there was a price tag, which could you basically reduce or remove by just retweeting coupons. It didn’t matter. A price tag is a price tag.

Variation 2

This variation explained for every target group:

  • business,
  • webmaster,
  • party animal,

for what they should use popify.me. But it was 1 click away and only 1% of visitors clicked on it.

Variation 3

We dumped the big sign about juicy coupons and told the story behind popify.me. Out of the variations with a with a price tag, this one was the most successful.

Variation 4

This one was basically the same as Variation 1, but with no price tag. It had a 6% engagement rate. The highest of all.

Conclusion & Your suggestions

We expected a lot more engagement from 2000 users. There were around 50 coupons created and 5 embedded on the web sites. We got a lot of LIVE support and HN discuss questions about possible use cases for popify.me, so obviously we didn’t communicate this good enough.

The price tag was also a big limitation. We’ll drop that, because we don’t have any expense with the site as we are using HipHop standalone server and Redis and can serve a gazillions of coupons with a load of 0.1.

The story reflected good and it seemed that if the visitors get the point they are more likely to engage more. We’ll of course have to work more on our story-telling abilities, but that’s fun stuff anyway.

What would be your thoughts on how to introduce and explain popify.me for people to pick it up faster? Please leave a comment.

Plan

Since we think that telling the story is the best way to go, we’ll loose the big juicy sign and make 4-5 stories for different verticals to see which ones users like the most. We still have a constant influx of visitors from other sources than HN and I hope that this follow-up generates some more buzz. I’ll follow-up :)