Archive for March, 2008
I’m really happy to announce that CreateDebate has scored again! On Friday, we won the March 2008 round of Pitch Dingman. It was a well-run business competition and a worthwhile experience. Five other companies did their best to compete but I’m happy to say that we took home the grand prize. It was really interesting to sit through all of the presentations. There was a biotech company, two other web 2.0 startups, a niche advertising firm and an outsourcing consultancy. It was really energizing to be surrounded by so much entrepreneurial energy.
It was important for us to take part in this competition for a couple of reasons. First of all, we won some more prize money, which is going to help when we begin executing our marketing plan later this month. Most importantly, however, it forced us to spend a lot of time thinking about and translating the value of CreateDebate into a well-rehearsed presentation. We came out of the experience with much better competitive research, predictions for growth and revenue expectations than we went in with. We also made a few great personal connections with some folks that are really involved in the local investment scene.
We are doing our best right now to launch CreateDebate publicly by the middle of April. Once we do, our traffic is going to start booming (especially when you guys get to see some of the new features we’re baking up). At that point, the site is going to require a lot more time and energy, which is kind of hard to believe because we already live and breathe it. At some point in the not-so-distant future I think we’re going to have to take on some capital. Now that I’m confident we have a winning pitch, I feel a lot more confident about going down that road.
Today we entered in our first business plan competition and we won! The competition was hosted by the Dingman Center for Entreprenuership at the University of Maryland.
This was a great start for CreateDebate and we gained valuable experience that we will use in further competitions. Speaking of which, we’ve got another one coming up next week that we need to start preparing for ASAP. Also, it really validated all of the hard work that we’ve been putting in to CreateDebate for the past year. We won a bit of prize money that will definitely help out when we launch in to a Public Beta.
On that note, each day we keep getting closer and closer to launching the site out in to the wild. We are all getting pumped to see what happens to CreateDebate when we launch. Please continue giving us feedback. We love hearing from our users what you like, what you don’t like, and what new features you’d like to see. Use the “Contact Us” form under the About tab to let us know what’s on your mind.
Read more about our victory here.
We just finished rolling out 2 sweet new features that we think you’ll like.
The first is the ability to see which other people are currently online. Throughout the site, wherever you see the polaroid thumbnail, the word online will appear if that person is logged in and currently using the site. We are striving to make the site as “real-time” as possible and this feature is another big step in that direction.
The second is the ability to carry on conversations with other people. You can write messages to other people and they can write back to you. All of your messages are stored and displayed on your profile (people can also leave new messages there). If you click Follow this conversation, the back-and-forth messages shared between any 2 people will be displayed. If you leave a message for yourself then it will be added to your Inner Monologue. A little tricky to explain but if you just click around a bit, I think you’ll get the gist.
If you already have an account, click here to see your messages. Let us know what you think!
First of all, I am getting really psyched about launching CreateDebate. From conception to coding, it has taken about a year to get where we are now. We have been in a private beta period now for about 2 weeks and, by all indications, things are looking pretty good. Before we can open up, there is still a number of new features that we are going to implement, including:
- The ability to create 1 vs 1 and private debates
- More advanced debate search with result sorting
- Improve the “Most Heated” algorithm
- Public messaging system with alert notifications
- More robust email notifications
Once those features are in place and we are completely comfortable with our website security situation, it will be go time. I can’t wait until we can open the site up to the world. I know that its going to take some time to build up a community of engaged, passionate people but I’m looking forward to the ride. I’ll know that CreateDebate has made it when McLovins sets up an account. Hopefully that superbad day isn’t too far away.
Until then, thanks for checking out this blog and thanks for checking out the site. I’m looking forward to getting to know many of you and I hope that you’ll enjoy getting to know us.
The CreateDebate Blog is finally up and running.
We’ll use this blog to let you know what’s going on behind-the-scenes at CreateDebate. Expect to see a lot of posts about new site features and development updates. We love to hear your feedback, so please don’t hesitate to sound off on where CD rocks and where it sucks.
The CD Team