Y Combinator’s Crowdtilt and the Art of Simplicity
Apr 7, 2012
What’s the #1 feature your users want?
“The most helpful and most common feedback was the encouragement to launch as early as possible, instead of feeling like the service needed a million features before launching. Surprisingly, the simplicity and lack of a million features is probably our best asset,” explains cofounder and CEO James Beshara, who previously built dvelo.org.
But how do you make sure a product is simple?
“Simplicity in a product might be abstract, but like art and porn, you know it when you see it.”
For Crowdtilt, that means a straightforward platform for raising money, to fund everything from summer houses to birthday parties to school fundraisers to one user’s entire wedding. Just start a campaign (up to 1 week long) and receive pledges, Kickstarter style: if the goal is reached, funds can be received via check, direct deposit, or PayPal – whatever is simplest for the organizer.
Startups can use it, too:
“Startups have used it for swag and exposure. So instead of just handing out t-shirts or promotional items, they can reach out to their networks and get their family, friends, and potential clients to pre-order the items in a really cool, social, collective way (without any risk of ordering too much or not enough),” says Beshara.
The only restrictions? Contributors must be from the US, and Crowdtilt takes a 2.5% fee.
Six weeks since launch, this model has attracted 6,000 users. Let’s see if Crowdtilt can keep it simple while incorporating their feedback.