In the last year of pandemic and economic shock, many startups have released something new. For some, changes in society have brought about entirely new problems to be solved and business models. For other companies, it was a time to move forward with plans that were previously seen as something they would tackle in the future.
For knctrr founder Art binding and his team building systems for marketing companies around recommendations, it was the latter. They recently debuted WeBirdie, which is designed for companies to empower employees to help make recommendations.
The team initially launched knctrr in 2019 with a model that sought to help freelancers connect to concerts. Binder said the team had always considered an enterprise version and decided to completely change their name and move forward with that version over the past year. Despite a decent clip of user activity, Binder said the company faces a reality that it will have to continually fundraise in order to develop the product that may evolve.
The knctrr model was based on three parts: a person who provides a service, a person who recommends them and a customer. With WeBirdie, the model is a direct interaction between a company and its employee, so that the company can offer its software directly to the company.
Still, he retains Binder’s original belief: Warm leads are the ultimate motto in business, and technology tools can help develop them.
âPeople talk about their jobs all the time outside of work,â Binder said. âThis is what we do as humans. It’s a big part of our lives.
With WeBirdie, the idea is that an employee can follow this with a link to create a WeBirdie profile. The act of creating a profile shows “intent,” Binder said, and makes him a “warm and qualified prospect.”
âThey have a human connection to your business which is huge,â he said. âIt reinforces that element of reliability and comfort. It is powerful. Warm recommendations are extremely effective so when you leverage them for your business I think it’s invaluable.
The tools offered by WeBirdie allow the company to track when an employee posts a recommendation about the company on a platform such as email, text and social media. Then, it offers a way to gamify and entice employees to do so by offering a point system for how many recommendations and how many turned into real leads.
âAs a business owner, you can assign rewards to these points,â Binder said.
WeBirdie initially offers the service for free, then offers a paid subscription service for reporting and analysis.
The service is now in beta and is looking to continue testing.
At the end of our conversation, we asked Binder a bit about what he learned about construction companies as a co-founder. After all, the pivot is something that many startups go through. There would be no Twitter, YouTube Where Instagram (the list goes on) without the co-founders being ready to change the plan. But change is also a time to reflect on the start-up process.
In paraphrased form, here are some quick tips Binder learned along the way:
- Being a co-founder is not glamorous. Leading a startup means wearing several hats at the same time, and quickly changing your mindset. Be prepared to do the tasks that no one else wants to do.
- Listen to users. Many companies that bring a product to market think they know how the end users will receive it. Don’t assume. Test. Collect data. And adjust accordingly.
- Be authentic. âYou can’t be everything to everyone. But you can be something for a lot of people. Focus on being that something for a lot of people, and I think you’ll be a lot more successful, âBinder said.
- Pick the right team. Surround yourself with people who want it as much as a co-founder. It is not something to be rushed.
- Keep learning. Mistakes and failures happen along the way. Take the chance to learn and grow.