Startups I’ve founded or co-founded with others.
Digifeye / Style-Eyes (2012-2016)
Problem: Finding the right clothes can be hard.
Answer: An app that lets the user take photos of an item of clothing (whether from a magazine, online or in the real world) and used computer vision to find visually similar products.
Business model: Initially, affiliate commission from product sales. Later, we had talks about a B2B offering, embedding the technology on retailers' websites, but it didn’t pan out.
We shut it down after realising there wasn’t sufficient customer demand to buy products through the app.
Figure out earlier what implicit customer assumptions needed to be tested:
Can we find product matches good enough for our users?
Even if the product matches are good enough, will users actually buy them?
Explore alternative business models sooner rather than waiting until you’ve released your product already and the market isn’t interested.
Don’t automatically do things just because a business advisor says you should — even if they’re wearing a suit.
Be straight up and open about the limitations of your product. Don’t hype it up to be something it isn’t — that leads to frustrated customers.
Problem: Finding the right balance of macronutrients to suit one’s personal dietary goals can be hard.
Answer: An app that lets you specify what foods you have and a desired range of how much you want to eat, then tries to determine an optimal plan that satisfies your desired dietary parameters (calorie intake and ratios of carbs/fats/protein).
Business model: SaaS monthly subscription.
Status: Just a landing page for now, but I actually implemented this with some R scripts and spreadsheets back in 2017. I’m working on a prototype using Phoenix LiveView now, but it’s really early stage.