What we learnt from starting up in six weeks

"Going from an unrefined website idea to a functioning business within six weeks may sound a little far fetched and irresponsible. That’s because it is. We are a Bristol based trio of students that, with a lot of late nights, determination and, of course, luck, have somehow managed this improbable feat with huskr.com.

The three of us (Henry, Pete and Sam) all met through a previous website idea we worked on together that allowed people to buy and sell ideas. We couldn’t find anywhere to market our new startup that would fairly support the early growth of the website and we had an interview in the pipeline for ‘Webstart Bristol’, an incubator based in the heart of the city.

We started noticing cracks in the idea and felt that the opportunity of joining Webstart was too dear to present an idea we weren't fully confident with.

We decided to make the rash decision to change the idea to what is now Huskr. Huskr is a brand discovery platform for people with an interest in the alternative and innovative to find online stores they wouldn’t so easily have found before and to gain great products at discounted prices. Imagine a high street where every shop along it is unique, independent and innovative and at the same time at a price disassociated with quality, Huskr is the online equivalent.

Our speedy development was down to three main elements.

The support

Being lucky enough to be accepted into Webstart Bristol led to funding, office space and, most importantly, mentoring from UK startup experts within a broad range of fields.

The patience of the developer

Henry is the front end developer and would be the first to acknowledge his love for haste. There is no faffing in the company of Henry, only construction.

MVP

We believe that MVP is the most valuable tool for growth. With an MVP you can stop hypothesising and start gaining real data that one can use to trial and error to perfect all aspects of the site. After we had our MVP up it all of a suddenly became a lot easier to sign up shops, gain social media followers and gain new users which leads to invaluable information and metrics.

This all sounds well and good, but rushing has its flaws. Haste has definitely cost money. With only a small social media following, our marketing budget has gone up, as a launch needs an audience. Haste also involves a lot of late nights, which can lead to slip-ups. 

Anyone in our team would give you the same answer for our biggest mistake so far. We once sent out a ton of expensive invite packs to potential sellers of which we skimped out on the stamps and so three days later got a lot of angry emails as they had to pay and take time out of their day to receive the packs. That was three days of work down the shoot.

It’s still very early days for us, and we’re not without our cracks, but we’re at the first chapter of something very exciting for consumers with a passion for individualism and there’s definitely a few lessons to be learnt from our successes and failures."

 

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