By Sharron Battle (Founder & CEO, Derbywire)
I had been speaking on a panel about the economy and at that time, I was working on creating an Internet concept that I hoped could spur job growth through the Internet by connecting people or by transactions. Being a part of the panel stirred my passion; afterwards, several students struggling to find jobs and professors were interested in tapping into learning more about technology.
After several iterations of building the product and getting customer feedback, we created what is now Derbywire – a mobile marketplace for creatives. This is a creative way to allow people to monetize content.
When people think of Derbywire, we want people to think of something coming quickly over the wire that is new, fresh and creative. There is always something unexpected being uploaded for users to indulge in. We’re getting close to releasing our product. Our first priority is mobile and then the web. We’re looking to provide a very different experience for users that buy and sell their digital content. We believe that allowing people to control their content and brand presence will open up new doors for users.
We’re building a sound business model and creating an experience very different from our competition: Behance, gumroad, See.me, Artflakes, Deviate Art and others. I knew this was the idea to pursue after researching the industry and discovering a need for people to be able to control and allocate there content to others in a value added way.
We first validated the concept by using a web template just as most companies do, but we found that the template really restricted the usability that users were looking for during testing the concept. So we started building the infrastructure rather than using a template because it would lend better for future expansion.
We also began focusing on the design as well because we got feedback from potential users during testing that the design has to really appeal to creatives. Initially the design was too simplistic. They want to see something that is different and unique, so we have invested the time in creating that for our users.
The new website and application is contemporary, clean, impactful and allow users to promote their brand.
We’re made up of professional designers, illustrators, photographers, film makers, and developers. We believe we have the right team to make this idea happen.
We were lucky to be able to assemble eight creatives. We have two developers on the team, four creatives professional not including myself, and an advisor that has experience with analyzing and managing digital goods and a Chief Technology Officer who we will announce closer to our release.
My vision for the platform is to create a mobile social experience for users allowing them to connect 24/7 to content they want via mobile. We’re also looking to engage audiences that would not readily use creative spaces. This is what will differentiate us from the rest. We have some interesting users that will be apart of this new community that we will unveil later, so stay tuned.
We are excited about the fact that we have designed a very beautiful platform with the functional requirements that our potential customers want to see. We’re not looking to celebrate just yet.
Building a business is hard work and we will celebrate once we get our two hundred thousand plus users. We’re looking to reach a very large audience and change the mind-set of how people handle digital content. Until we reach that goal, we don’t want to do any premature celebrating.
We have had some challenges with building the new experience, but we will be releasing the product by the end of this year or early next year. We’re expecting users to really engage with the software and do the unimaginable with it. We have unveiled the new design to some of our potential users and they are really excited about the platform and can’t wait to get their hands on it.
Women 2.0 readers: How is your pre-launch startup doing? Let us know in the comments.
About the guest blogger: Sharron Battle is Founder and CEO of Derbywire, where buyers and sellers can distribute and sell digital goods from their mobile phone. Her goal is to create the ultimate mobile experience for creatives. She holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tuskegee University, a M.S. in Engineering and an MBA with a focus in Strategy and Finance. She is a Master Black Belt Certication in Lean Six Sigma as a Practitioner/Statistician. Follow her on Twitter at @derbywireinc.