Oh what an awesome Friday it is! Here are some final details on the new Fundle.
When do we get to play with it? So very soon! I’ve been perfecting each page to ensure a good Fundling experience for you. Expect more information this fall!
How much will it cost? Free to sign up, free to add wishlists, and free to organize a Fundle with less than 5 people total. Each participant after the 4th will cost a little money if the Fundle goes through, just to make sure you’re committed! Fundlets are free to create and free to list, but we’ll take a small cut of the total amount; nothing too crazy!
Will it be as awesome as you say it will? I’ve listened to every suggestion and complaint that’s been tossed our way, and I can assure you that the new Fundle will really be the easiest way to purchase things with a group. (With a computer, that is ;-)).
Finally, and more personally, I’d like to say that keeping Fundle going for this long has been a really amazing experience for me. I’ve worn many different hats, learned quite a bit about my own trade, and come into contact with some pretty awesome people. I don’t know what the future holds for Fundle, but at the moment, it’s very bright!
Keep it real, everyone! This mission will be nearing reentry very soon!
—Mike Naughton, Developer, Fundle LLC
If you have products to sell, this is for you! The New Fundle will allow you to create a merchant account. What exactly will you be able to do with a merchant account? Well…
First, you’ll be able to add a list of items to what we’ve decided to call a “Fundlet”. It’s just like a Fundle, but you can’t add people to it. You can add a combination of any items you’d like (as long as it’s legal!) and set the quantities and prices.
Second, you’ll be able to add a description and specify the number of participants you’re hoping for. Want between 5 and 8 people in each Fundle? No problem! Want to make sure that there are at least 4 people? You betcha! Want to limit it to 10 people? Feel free!
Third, after you “list” your Fundlet, individual users will be able to look at it and, if they like what they see, Fundle the “package deal” with their friends. From hotel packages to living room sets, the possibilities are endless!
Giddy with excitement? Fundle sure is! Check back tomorrow for some final tidbits on the new Fundle.
Your Wishes are Our Command
Been looking for a place to collect all of your wishlists? You’ve come to the right place! From dresses and purses to power tools and even automobiles, you can add anything to a wishlist! The process is simple:
First, start making wishlists. If you’re like me and really hard to shop for, I guarantee your coworkers, friends, and family will appreciate this. You can create a wishlist for a certain website, for a certain celebration, or anything you want!
Second, make sure your friends know about your wishlists. That way, if they feel like buying you a gift to celebrate your 25th birthday, your first skydiving expedition, or your engagement to that special someone, all they have to do is look at your wishlist!
Third, once your friends have figured out which gift(s) they’d like to get you, they can “Fundle” the gift(s) with other friends. Suddenly, you might just get that DSLR you’ve been eyeing every time you go to the store…
I’m really pleased to be able to provide a wishlist management service for everyone, even myself! Stay tuned the rest of the week for a few other fun future features! ;-)
The flagship service of Fundle, aptly named the “Fundle”, has undergone a few changes which I think you’ll appreciate, whether or not you’re new to Fundle.
First, you’ll be able to add multiple “items” to a Fundle. No more getting confused about where a list of items should go or how much the total might be.
Second, there’ll be flexible “divvying” ability. Want to split the Fundle cost by percentage? It’s easy! Want to request a certain amount from everyone? Simple! Participants can even agree to a range of amounts or percentages!
Third, if you want to create a Fundle that anyone can join, either of your friends or of any Fundle user, you’ll be able to do just that! The option is still there to invite specific people, and you’ll even be able to invite some specifically and open up the remaining “slots” to anyone. Nifty, right?
All of this is coming very soon. Stay tuned this week for more exciting news!
Breaking Radio Silence
I really liked the Apollo 13 metaphor, so I’m sticking with it. At this point, Fundle is now past the far side of the Moon, and on a pretty darn good course, if I do say so myself! I’d like to tell you about what I’ve been working on while Fundle was out of radio range…
Same Idea. Better Look.
You all know what the old Fundle site looks like, mostly because it’s been sitting around gathering dust for several months. Overall, it has a very “old” look that basically says, “Hey, all of this came from a template!”
That will be changing very soon. I was so annoyed with the look and feel and everything of the old site that I basically deleted my code to start over. I took out everything that wasn’t necessary for a Fundle, and simplified a few other things. I even took out the footer!
The new Fundle will be simple, yet usable and flexible. I think you’ll love it. Stay tuned this week for more news!
Fundle made an appearance at the Iowa Startup Fair yesterday afternoon! As you can see from the picture, there was a nice little PowerPoint on display as well as access to the beta signup site.
Several people signed up for the beta, although some needed a tad bit of persuasion :-). Appearance at the Startup Fair is just one part of several exciting developments for us in the coming months.
For those of you who are wondering what on Earth this “Iowa Startup Fair” is, you should check here and here. Basically, it was an amazing event and we can’t wait to make an appearance again at the next one!
Now, if you haven’t signed up for the beta, do so now, and start thinking orange…
An Apollo 13 Moment
We are all familiar with with what happened during Apollo 13. A “standard” launch of a space capsule en route to the Moon went horribly wrong when several explosions occurred on the exterior of the vessel. This changed the situation on board from one of excitement and by-the-book success to one of terror and need-a-book failure. No one knew whether the astronauts were going to make it back to Earth in one piece.
But the ground crew worked tirelessly and the flight crew executed flawlessly to get everyone home safely. The incredible feat was not landing on the Moon, but piloting a severely injured spacecraft back to Earth successfully.
Fundle recently experienced its own sort of Apollo 13 moment. Shannon and Rob have decided to leave Fundle, for very respectable reasons. But that means that I, Mike, have been left in this space capsule all alone trying to figure out how on Earth to get it back to Earth.
The feedback we’ve received from the first beta round has inspired the creation of a much more intuitive design. It’s in the conceptual stage now, but this new design will make it very easy to split the cost of multiple items between multiple people during multiple time frames and in multiple configurations. What that mouthful of a sentence means is that Fundle will be the easiest way to buy anything with anyone; even easier than tracking things on a spreadsheet!
Stay tuned; Fundle is just now on its way around the Moon!
Heads down at Startup Weekend Iowa City. Such a good reminder of how important and truly valuable those times are when we can have a laser-like focus. Rob and Mike are coming tomorrow and I. AM. PUMPED.
We’ve got our agenda set and have finally learned to include end times for all of our agenda items. So here’s to checking things off!
This or That?
The thing I love about startups is that when you’re faced with a fork-in-the-road scenario, YOU get to choose which route to pursue. It’s not decided by anyone else.
The thing I hate about startups is that when you’re face with a fork-in-the-road scenario, YOU HAVE to choose which route to pursue. There’s no burying your head in the sand.
So how do you decide? A few things I’m working on right now:
- Narrow your priorities. 6 or 7 items are not priorities. That’s a list. Cut it down to the very most important things to help you decide.
- Go with your gut. There’s something to be said for it. This article (by Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide) gives some of the reasons for why it seems that at times we can comprehend things at a subconscious level better than at a conscious level.
- Don’t just pursue the sexy. Sure, the sexy factor is great. Who DOESN’T love the new two-seater convertible? But when you need to go to the grocery store and your trunk is the size of a bread box, you wish you still had that trusty Toyota Camry. All that to say, making decisions based in practicality can be (and is usually) quite good.
- Decide with confidence. Go big or go home.
Recruit Your Mom
Recruit your mom to test your product. Seriously. I did it for Fundle and it was the single most-informative conversation I have had during this beta process because it challenged all of my assumptions and helped in four big ways.
- My Ma’s a rad lady - She’s not the most tech savvy but willing to try and opine in the meantime. She represents someone for whom we want this system to be simple and easy. And for the record she doesn’t always look this confused - it’s just how I imagine her while she was going through the Fundle process.
- My Ma helped me step away - I was too caught up in Fundle to remember what it felt like to look at Fundle for the first time. When the word “pending” shows up on the Fundle dashboard, why the heck would she know what that means?
- My Ma doesn’t know how PayPal works - PayPal’s a pretty clutch part of the Fundle system. And by clutch I mean absolutely imperative. Part of my learning process was figuring out how to usher her along in a clear way as a lead fundler. We found that one of our biggest gaps in beta version 1 was in the lack of communication as to how the payment process actually works.
- My Ma organized the first legit fundle! She stuck with it after many conversations with me and emails with Mike. I’m not sure anyone else would have. Maybe she felt obligated because I’m her offspring but still … she did it and now my sister, my sister-in-law, my mom, and I all successfully purchased a baby shower present.
So if you have a good idea, see if your mom gets it. If it’s really good, then she should. And then listen to what she has to say.