By Ryan Velez
A recent Black Enterprise article shares the story of how one business managed to convert an area of weakness not only into strength but an entirely different business of its own that is performing well. Tara Reed seemed to be well on her way to a successful entrepreneurship when her project received funding from 500 Startups, one of the most prestigious accelerators in the world. At the time, she was working at Microsoft, and the project she launched was known as Kollecto, a platform helping young professionals find art for their homes.
However, unlike many in the tech space, Reed didn’t necessarily have the technical know-how on how to put this idea together. But through creativity and hard work, she was able to circumvent this issue and put together a platform that still looked and worked perfectly.
“I had this crazy set of tools that I was stringing together to create an experience that felt like cool technology to my users, but really, I was using surveys in a really fancy way. Every week, I would load up a ton of artwork that had been curated by my team, and all these pieces of artwork had tags on them based on their price and on the type of artwork they were. I would send people an email that would basically send them to a dynamic survey that was hiding and showing pieces of art based off of the preferences they chose when they [initially] signed up,” Reed told Black Enterprise. This would prove to be a success, generating $35,000 in revenue.
Despite not having a product that may have met the internal standards of Silicon Valley, Reed had managed to put together a functional service that people could use, and most of all, it was a proven moneymaker. However, a new venture sprouted out of her experience. There are many other would-be entrepreneurs out there that had ideas for products but lacked the technical skill to put them together. What Reed has that many of these people don’t is the creativity to still make things happen. In time, she decided to lend her services for a fee, and her new service, Apphacker, was born. Today, Apphacker helps non-tech savvy founders get their products started without incurring huge costs with a combination of advice and resources.