Posts Tagged ‘Investment’

04Apr

Easy Auto Sales

By David in Startups with 7 Comments

Easyautosales.com is a new startup in the world of buying and selling cars.

Wei, one of the three current owner originally discovered the issues of online auto sales after one of his friends tried to buy a car through Craigslist and received over 30 scam responses. He figured there had to be a better way. On the web there are already a number of great destinations for finding autos but there hasn’t been one that combined the technology of large classified sites with the free to sell models. While Craigslist is free, the technology really isn’t all that great for car buyers.

EasyAutoSales.com is a free, ad-supported autos service that helps private sellers and dealers sell cars online. They want to change the way cars are offered on the web vs. current methods. On top of allowing both private sellers and dealers to list all of their cars completely free on Easy Auto Sales and post unlimited pictures, they also wanted to help advertisers segment and reach their target audience within the online automotive crowd.

For example, it’s easy to say Person X went to an autos site therefore he’s interested in buying cars – let’s throw a bunch of car related ads at him and hope it sticks. It’s much more effective to segment Person X and figure out if he’s trying to buy cars under $5,000 or a new car and present the appropriate ads.

Wei is currently living off of tax refunds and money he received from selling his last startup. His personal runway is about 5 months long (which means he has about two months left before he has to make some tough decisions). Wei and his team work from their various homes and they’re Mac based.

He had contracted the development of his UI, which took about a month to build. The actual development time for programming was about 2.5 months from mid January to March of 2008. The site just launched its beta on March 21st and they still have a lot of kinks to work out. However, it would appear the constant whipping of the team to do their very best has had some positive effect – they garnered 50,000 cars within just one week of launch.

Investments:

Each of the three co-founders have promised to put in $5,000 a piece to pool their seed money. Since they’re limited on funds, they’ve solved a number of problems using VERY creative solutions instead of just throwing money at it and hope it goes away.

They’ve spent about $5,500 on outsourced coding but their primary goal was to just get a product out – regardless of how buggy or incomplete it was.

I’ve yet to see a perfectly coded site launch that was guaranteed success. However, I have seen and worked on a number of failed startups because they never launched waiting for perfection.

About $1,000 was spent on logo design and website design. Contrary to their past startups, they found the best person for each job and only gave them that job.

It’s much better to pay a logo guru for a logo design and a guru at graphics/CSS/xhtml for UI design then to try and find someone who is mediocre at both and expect them to do a great job at everything. The same goes for programming – if you outsource, don’t limit yourself to one firm for database work, code, UI design, logo, etc. Find the best for each and give them all different tasks.

They haven’t spent a dime on promotion thus far. In total, they’ve spent less than $8,000 – a good chunk is actually for food at Panera, where they meet weekly thanks to their free Wifi.

Easy Auto Sales is currently making limited revenue, so that’s obviously something they’ll have to work out in the near future.

Feel free to check out their company blog, at ComefortheRide.com.

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28Mar

A more elaborative introduction…

By Julian in Elaborations, Website News with 7 Comments

So we’ve outlined our main goals and ideas we’d like to cover here on IndieStartups, but to be clear on what everything means, I’d like to take this post and be a little more specific. Let’s start with bootstrapping – we’ve used this word everywhere, but what does it really mean?

According to Wikipedia, “Financial bootstrapping is a term used to cover different methods for avoiding using the financial resources of external investors. Bootstrapping can be defined as “a collection of methods used to minimize the amount of outside debt and equity financing needed from banks and investors” (Ebben and Johnsen, 2006:853).”

We’ve mish-mashed this word with others like ‘independent’, and ‘self-funded’… And this is what we will be covering. Ambitious new start-ups that don’t have millions of dollars worth of venture capital and investments to blow off. We’re also here to enlighten the start-up society that raising this kind of capital is not always necessary, and more importantly we’ll do our best to share methods; stories, ideas, opportunities and much more to help our readers get their start-up off the ground successfully.

To be more effective, and credible, the team here will also be performing a few ‘Case Studies’ alongside IndieStartups. In layman’s terms, we’ll be launching some of our own start-ups with heavy documentation just to show our readers what can be done (hopefully). We have a few ideas to explore, but we’re very open to suggestions. If you’d like to suggest something you would like to see us do, a comment using the form below would be lovely. Money made from these case-studies will be invested back into IndieStartups and further case-studies.

If you have any ideas on what you’d like to see done, covered, or tested on IndieStartups, please do let us know. We do read each comment and, so far, each e-mail we receive. If you do not wish to leave a public comment, or would like to get in-touch with us for a different purpose, feel free to do so using our contact form (or if you prefer, shoot something to team@indiestartups.com).

I’ll finish this post saying we’re also on the lookout for new (and existing) start-ups to cover, so if you’ve got one or know someone who does feel free to e-mail us.

Enjoy! (P.S. – Don’t let an update go unread, subscribe to our feed)

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