helping people shop smarter
Jason Kaminsky, husband, father, and Founder of Worth It sits down to discuss with us his online shopping platform that helps people shop smarter and save time by finding the item they want at the price they are ready to pay for it. Worth It automatically scans the web and matches the item with the customer's pre-defined price. Check out this great online shopping tool-it's Worth It!
You recently founded WorthIt.co, what's your background and have you always been involved in web development?
My background is in business development and finance. This is my first experience in software development. It’s been an amazing and humbling experience, but I learn a ton every single day. I’m not sure there’s anything that could have prepared me for the life of a startup, but I think having business development experience has helped tremendously.
Can you explain in a few words the idea behind this free online shopping platform and how it all started?
It all started when my wife and I were trying to buy a baby stroller. Those things are expensive! The one we wanted was available at over 30 different stores. My wife had been keeping an eye on the stroller that we wanted, just waiting for it to hit the price she wanted to pay. I started thinking, wouldn’t it be great if this happened automatically?
Can you convince anyone to sign up and start using WorthIt in less than 50 words?
We help you find the item you want – at the price you want to pay – for free. Bookmark your item one time, and we’ll scour the entire ‘world wide web’ to find it for you.
Has WorthIt got the feedback and growth you expected since its launch back in 2012?
Yes. Our launch in 2012 was a private beta under a different name. We invited our friends and family to kick the tires. Their feedback was sometimes painful, but also super useful. We went back to the drawing board and emerged as ‘Worth It’ in September 2013.
Since then, we’ve been exceeding our growth expectations. Even with a bunch of new users, we still focus on having meaningful conversations about the app, and getting insightful feedback. That approach has made our app a lot easier to use over the past few months.
What strategies do you use to market your bookmarklet and get people to download it?
We couldn’t do everything. A superbowl ad was just out of reach. So we focused on experimenting with marketing channels. When we re-launched, we tried out targeted Facebook advertising, PR, and blogger relations. Most of the stuff we handle in house, but we do rely on outside vendors to keep us on track.
What's the biggest issue you had to solve, the biggest fire you had to put out with WorthIt?
On the day we launched, we saw 50% of our traffic coming via mobile. Surprise! So we knew we had to build a mobile app. Three weeks later, the first iteration was ready for testing. I’m still amazed at how quickly it came together.
Do you have any expansion plans or is WorthIt only going to be available for the U.S. market?
Right now, we are only focused on the US market. Language translations and currency conversions can be really tricky. Eventually, we’d like to expand globally, but it would probably be country-by-country and follow a strategic plan.
If you were to start again, what might you do differently?
Our mistakes are badges of honor. I’d prefer not to make them, but in making them, I learned so much. Everything we did was trying to prove a hypothesis, and sometimes we get it wrong.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
Talk to as many people as you can about your company to get advise and feedback on your core concept/idea, especially during the discovery phase. Most people are too busy to try and ‘steal’ your idea and even if they could, you should be confident that you will out execute them.
Do you have any favorite business or related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
The Everything Store by Brad Stone
What are you most excited about at the moment?
I am also really excited about how ‘true’ marketplaces are going to change the way all commerce is conducted.
About Jason Kaminsky
CEO and Founder