It's been just over a month since Jay and I officially closed Barkles. Throughout that experience I learned some valuable lessons about startups, business and myself. Since then (and even a few months before) I have been involved within the startup scene in and amongst the various entrepreneur hubs around Melbourne.
Just over 3 months ago I started mentoring the teams in the AngelCube program, mainly on Design, UI & UX (more on that here). Ed and Chris (Kickfolio founders) were one of the teams that I helped in the early days of the program. It's interesting to note that they were actually accepted into AngelCube on the strength of their skills and passion - as their original idea was thrown out (they've written about that here).
When they started throwing around random ideas about what they could sink their teeth into I helped them out as best as I could. It wasn't really my place to offer direct feedback on their new ideas but they strongly encouraged the discussion. This way of thinking and being open to raw feedback so early on in the piece (admittedly from someone who had limited experience) instantly got my attention. It wasn't their intention to impress me but their passion and confidence was hard to ignore.
After days of brainstorming new ideas (including the concept of building a hardware product within the 3 months) they locked on to Kickfolio - Kickass Portfolios For Your Apps.
After hearing about the idea (and the great name) I was impressed again. I knew that it was a great solution to the ever growing problem of standing out amongst the other apps in the marketplace. Not to mention the effort and time saved for app developers who don't want to build their own websites from the ground up.
When Ed and Chris asked me to design the first iteration I was excited. We worked together on brainstorming a few concepts yet the majority of the discussion they encouraged me to run with the ideas I already had. They were really open to my concepts and encouraged my creativity by their own passion for the project.
What impressed me the most however, was their speed from concept to development to launch. Within a few weeks Kickfolio's main design was complete and already implemented. As time went on it was clear that Ed and Chris knew exactly what they were doing and were more than capable of rapidly brainstorming a feature, ironing out the kinks and pushing it live within a few days.
This combination of speed and skill is rare - especially with both founders. As such, I made it clear early on that I love the team, product and would love to join Kickfolio if there was a way I could add value.
As it so happens, that day has come. Ed and Chris officially offered me the position of Designer/Co-Founder after many weeks of discussing a potential role. I couldn't be more excited to be part of an already strong team with a brilliant base product. Thanks Ed and Chris!