July 25, 2014
During his time at Harvard Business School, after he was out of the US Army, Blake Hall embarked on an academic project that would one day become ID.me. It’s beginnings were based on one thought: members of the military and veteran community didn’t have a way to interact online.
Hall started the company under the banner of Troop Swap, a daily deals platform for members of the military. It didn’t catch on, like most of the daily deals market, but there was one aspect in particular that retailers liked.
Having the ability to verify somebody’s identity in real time was something Hall and his team developed while building their marketplace. Several retailers were now asking them to build an API or web service for their site and tailor it for first responders, students, and veterans.
Throughout it all, the ID.me team realized that if they had remained as Troop Swap they wouldn’t be alive today. The pivot was crucial, and they were spirited ahead with a sound piece of advice: the goal of an entrepreneur is to find a secret in the market.
Hall and his team found their secret, and they’re growing because of it.
Here’s the video:
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