Last Tuesday after 7 of the most intense minutes of our company fairly exciting and short life (we officially bootstrapped last April) we won (along with Liip represented by Loïc Schulé) the IKS UX contest and we received € 40.000 funding to make our dreams come true (or at least everything we ever dreamed for the audience of a content-intensive website powered by WordPress).
There are a lot of aspects that make me excited about this result, let’s go through what I reckon to be the most noteworthy ones:
- The jurors did represent an interesting and highly qualified mix of what you can face when pitching for an idea that impacts on CMS, user-experience, open source and semantic web: Janus Boye is vendor-neutral CMS expert who had the courage a long time ago to create an event for the unheard (and most of the times unhappy) CMS users (believe me something very unique in this industry), Sandro Groganz is an open source marketing consultant and Wernher Behrendt is a senior researcher at Salzburg Research and he’s steering a €6.58m project on semantic web technologies. Their experience is complementary, huge but at the same time extremely different one of each other.
- The quality of the proposals I’ve seen before and after my 7 minutes pitch was really high; my preference above all goes for the proposal presented by the KMi The Knowledge Media Institute (and if you have been long enough in the Semantic Web industry you know they rock) for having the braveness of investigating into our web habits using semantic technologies.
- William Camden in 1605 wrote “the proof of the pudding is in the eating” – a lot of the ideas that can potentially change the web need to be thoughtfully tested; especially when you enter the realm of on-line user experience you need to build consistent use-cases before letting other invest their time (and money) on your solution. Eating the semantic web means producing something tasty that translated into our context means: simple, effective – for both the user and the editor of a website – and super cool (there’s no much room left for boring software on the web today). Winning this contest gives us the possibility to reach this stage and make our pudding.
- When I left my previous company I had nothing other then ideas, a great team to work with and dots I knew could connect to each other; winning the first international contest for a startup is a great way to quickly find new dots and start collaborating with amazing new people.
- Last and above all there are heaps of content-intensive websites running on WordPress today and a great amount of users daily accessing these sites and struggling with poor IA (Information Architecture) and limited navigation patterns. WordLift 2.0 will be designed for these users and with these websites’ editors in mind to help them take the best out of their contents (if you belong to either one of this two groups don’t hesitate to drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestion and existing experience).
Once again thanks to Janus Boye for the great #jboye11 event, to the IKS team for helping the CMS industry embracing the semantic web and to the InSideOut10 team (David, Maurizio, Kim, Francesco, Fady and the Egyptian crew) as a whole to make it happen.
Here follows our pitch.