In the 9 months since founding Hayseed Ventures, I met with over 100 startups.
It didn’t take long to recognize a pattern — every company we met had deficiencies in three main areas: their website or technology, a lack of scalable customer acquisition strategies, and need for growth capital.
Without tackling these three issues, I firmly believe the Arkansas startup ecosystem will continue to grow slower than it should.
Over the next three months, I’ll be announcing our plans to begin tackling each of these problems one-by-one.
Tonight, is the first of three announcements — the formation of Gemini Development.
My co-founder, Jim Kane, is one of my best friends. He’s also one of the three most intelligent people I’ve ever met. And while some have debated the possibility that a single developer can be 10x more productive than an average programmer, I’d argue to my death that Jim is in fact at least 20x more productive than most.
As the founding CTO at Acumen Brands, Jim’s legacy is astounding:
- He launched Acumen’s proprietary ecommerce software in under 90 days.
- He oversaw the installation of a Kiva robotic fulfilment system in record time — 14 weeks as compared to the previous record of 15 months.
- Under his oversight, Country Outfitter could support over 35,000 simultaneous shoppers (Holy crap…)
Despite the fact that we are both 41 years old, I’ve worked with Jim for 26 years. Around 1990, we built a multi-node bulletin board system called The Laughing Pancreas… this isn’t our first rodeo together!
Joining as a co-founder is Blake Puryear. Blake was lead project manager at Acumen Brands, and led the team that built the Country Outfitter marketplace.
Why start a development shop?
Of the three problems facing our startup ecosystem referenced above, technology is the hardest to solve — so we start there. The lack of competent, experienced, technical co-founders is the bane of 99% of the startups we meet.
Gemini Development hopes to fill that gap through a number of innovative processes foreign to most outsourced solutions.
Like many other shops we have highly talented engineers that know how to build. Our difference is we also help the client know what to build by leveraging two decades of ecommerce experience.
To start, we build ecommerce solutions optimized for online customer acquisition.
Our team of full stack developers and user interface experts, work closely with a team of growth hackers to turn ideas into products, and products into fast growing ecommerce businesses.
“We build software solutions designed to acquire customers.”
Secondly, we believe in a customer-centric iterative development process that begins with construction of a minimum viable product, or MVP.
Put another way — we believe in launching fast and iterating. We believe that if you are not slightly embarrassed by the beta version of your product, you didn’t launch it fast enough.
But launching fast and iterating does not mean starting with a poor product — we work with the client to design and build a minimum viable product capable of accelerating time to market without sacrificing quality.
After launch, we work with the client to iterate to the final product based on data and customer feedback.
We like to build new solutions from the ground up. As such, we prefer working with early stage companies and established companies expanding into brand new areas.
“We prefer working with early stage companies and established companies expanding into brand new areas”
Time and money are of the essence, so we often recommend customized installs of off-the-shelf solutions rather than completely re-inventing the wheel. In addition, we work primarily in open source platforms like Ruby, PHP, SQL, NoSQL, and AWS.
If you’re interested in partnering with a crew that has proven skills in ecommerce, email marketing automation, conversion rate optimization, and supply chain management solutions we’d love a chance to discuss your unique project.
Email us at: info at geminimvp dot com or visit the Gemini Development website.