Tales of Startup Inspiration: Keeping It Real, Keeping It Free

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After explaining the idea behind swapit and why we launched it as an invite-only beta, I’d like to talk a bit about why we are keeping it free.

Back in March I was pitching swapit to the vetting committee of the British Chamber of Commerce’s Business Angel Programme. It was a great experience. While being only 2 months into our invite-only beta at that time, I didn’t have all the right answers to their Q&A and therefore, we didn’t make it past that vetting process. We will be back there though, definitely! Anyhow, their feedback was absolutely great and one in particular was very interesting.

“How do we make sure people use swapit instead of Facebook Groups, AsiaXpat or other forums online that are free?”

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Tales of Startup Inspiration: The Invite-Only Beta

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In my previous post I explained why we created swapit and what is the idea behind swapit. At the moment, swapit is an invite only beta (request your invite here: http://swapit.la) and sometimes I am asked why we are running a beta. So I’d like to talk a little about the rationale behind that.

For many years, I am in the app business and except for some very few local apps; we launched hundreds of apps for the global market. These ranged from productivity, photography, multimedia, educational over to mostly productivity apps as well as some games. They had one thing in common: all of such apps were not targeted to a specific location. Therefore, we did not have a targeted Hong Kong-audience we could address at the point of launching swapit. [Read more…]

Tales of Startup Inspiration: How Having a Baby Inspired My New Startup

Photo by Gyeongroe Kim

I just recently became a dad to an incredibly adorable baby girl.

Several months before our new sunshine was born, my wife assigned the tasks of getting large baby items to me. At the same time, my long-time colleague William told me about those buy and sell groups on Facebook where he bought several such baby items for his little one. So I went on Facebook, joined many such groups and after a not so long time, I found right carseat I wanted and an almost new baby cot for pretty much half the normal retail price. Yet, at the same time the process of buying such items on Facebook felt rather cumbersome. Having been in the mobile app industry for over a decade (way before the word “app” was invented), I immediately knew that this could be done better.

A split-second later, the idea of swapit was born.

When you analyze the way people trade on such Facebook groups, you can easily see that there are several points that feel very 麻煩 (sort of cumbersome) for you actually want to do: buying or selling items to locals; quickly and easily.
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