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Friday, March 24, 2006

Alpha Launch - Stage 1 Live!!

We have finally bitten the bullet and put Crowdstorm live in the status of "Alpha Trial", meaning that we want to get some initial feedback from a limited number of close friends and family to help the development process. That and we just wanted to type a shorter URL instead of the long complicated one we use for development!

Both Chris and I have sent off a few emails to see if people will start registering and interacting with the system. It is really quite exciting to see other people entering and recommending products right now. I must stop pressing the "refresh" button too as it is getting quite addictive.

So, we are now looking forward to all sorts of feedback (good and bad) as we continue to improve the site, add and enhance features, improve on the design, and a whole host of 200+ items to tackle.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Alpha Update

Well we are so close to launching Alpha now - I can almost smell it. We have had to push back even more of the feature set so we can get something out there for our friends to try out, but rather that than waiting for much longer. I've retired to Starbucks for the evening as I felt like paying their excessive wireless hotspot charges with a big expensive cup of tea! Chris has gone out for a well deserved meal and a break from coding as he said he was seeing the Crowdstorm logo in his sleep, in between bits of PHP code....

Honestly, we don't know how people will react to the product yet. Will they like it? Will they use it? Have we got enough features in for Alpha? Will they forgive us that the design is still a month away from being good? Will it catch on? Will it make any money?

The perils of a new business eh!

Friday should be the big day now, followed by many days of testing, feedback accumulation, and bug fixing. We might just go down the pub then for a well deserved drink or two!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Our new venture...

Wow, where to begin!

Both myself and Chris came up with the idea for this last Nov (2005) and been working on it ever since. It was one of those ideas that we knew we could be passionate about again, endulge our love of gadgets and shopping, while leveraging past experience with Kelkoo and Ciao.

We have also been following the web 2.0 natural evolution too and found some really great innovations that we want to bring into the shopping space.

At the moment we are both working from our highly exclusive North and South London"home offices" with unlimited food (as long as Ocado stays in business, skype conference calls, iTunes music, instant messenger, free heating (sort of), and great views of nearby houses.

So, what is it and who are you? One step at a time little one... I'll answer the latter for now.

Philip Wilkinson
Philip is one of the country’s young and upcoming entrepreneurs, and is best known as a founder first of Shopgenie and later of internet heavyweight Kelkoo UK (now part of Yahoo!). Philip has also worked as commercial manager at Telewest in the blueyonder broadband internet division. At 28 years of age, he is trying to avoid becoming 30 at all costs!

Christopher Scollo
Chris is a self-taught technologist with expertise in PHP web site development. Previously a co-author of several PHP programming books for Wrox Press and the VP of Technology at Ciao, he is now turning his talents to the Crowdstorm project. Originally from the US, Chris recently moved to London from Munich, Germany. His favourite hobby is eating, which he has been practising for some time.