When we launched Markify a year ago we had been building our trademark similarity algorithm for more than two years. Why did it take so long? The simple answer is that our ambition was to build the world's best trademark search engine.
The more complex answer is that I was convinced that to launch with an inferior product would not give us a real test of Markify. It would not test if we had a "minimum viable product", to speak Eric Ries language.
But it was not an easy decision. We had a lot of discussion in the team on when to launch, and the term "good enough" was always challenging "the world's best trademark search engine".
So the feeling when we finally launched in December 2010 was one of great relief and anticipation. Since then everything has gone much faster, our learning curve has accelerated and we are having so much more fun!
Some of Markify's highlights 2011:
- Reaching more than 100.000 users every month, and rising, that are doing comprehensive trademark and domain name searches.
- Reaching 99% accuracy with our trademark search algorithm.
- Becoming number 1 in the US benchmark of trademark search services.
- Getting that amazing response from so many trademark attorneys at the INTA meeting in San Francisco in May.
- Lauch of the world's first free comprehensive trademark watch, together with the Pro watch for trademark attorneys.
What has been most challenging 2011?
I think Steve Blank put it best: "A startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model."
We have been fortunate to have very good investors in the Nordic VC firm CNCP. But VC money is NOT a business model, even if you are sometimes lead to believe that.
To balance business development and product development. That has been and will be our greatest challenge going forward.
When Markify now moves into 2012, I can promise you some soon-to-come exciting new releases. And I believe these will have the right mix of a great product and a good business opportunity - for both you and us.