Episode #473: From idea to TechCrunch in 8 weeks – with FindIt co-founder Levi Belnap

Episode #473

Remember the time before the Internet and mobile when we all took time to classify our things? Books on a bookshelf, albums on a shelf (alphabetized by artist), CDs in a CD rack, documents in manilla folders, digital documents in virtual folders and photos in photo albums? Remember those days of complete organization and classification? Boy have things changed.

The Internet made us lazy – not on purpose – but search engines and cloud hosts and the Kindle and iTunes and Amazon have all but eradicated the need (and desire?) to take the effort to “folder” anything. Meta data, a search bar and a little bit of context is all we need to find what we are looking for these days. Now this might have worked in the old, lunky days of the desktop computer but not in our new world of 4″ screens.

This is where findit wants to help – and do it in a way that doesn’t require you to change your learned behaviour.

Levi Belnap is the co-founder of this TechStars-funded startup with a plan to reinvent search and help us reclaim our lost sense of digital stuff. It’s up there, we just need a better way to find it. This episode focuses on three areas: The inspiration to start the company, the challenge of starting the company and launch of the findit app. We discuss building a founding team, being an entrepreneur and the strains on family, the TechStars experience, the call of the west, the marketing plan that landed them on TechCrunch and PandoDaily and the plan to generate revenue.

Oh, and did I mention that they came up with the app idea, built it and launched it to great success in 8 weeks? No more excuses for you I guess 🙂


Key takeaways from this episode. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip

1. About Find It 1:35
2. Why attack the “find” problem in mobile 2:30
3. What’s the difference between desktop, web and mobile search? 3:20
4. What is the impact of context on mobile find? 7:30
5. How is mobile is the gateway drug for additional services 9:00
6. What are the others not doing that Find It is? 11:10
7. What went into the development of the company? What is your founding team? 14:10
8. What was the Techstars experience like? 16:50
9. What has the investor response been? 24:00
10. Why is FindIt a “California” company? 26:20
11. What has the impact been on your young family during the startup phase? 28:55
12. What went into designing the simplified UI/UX? 35:25
13. What is the target use goal? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? 36:50
14. Why native app vs. web app? 37:35
15. Why not use location or the calendar on day one? 38:50
16. How are you marketing the app? What was the result of a giveaway? 41:00
17. Why do a cash incentive? 42:25
18. What has your launch process been? 45:00
19. What was the impact of Techcrunch, Pando coverage? 47:15
20. The after launch, “then what” process for customer engagement 48:45
21. What is the revenue plan? 50:20
22. When is the right time to turn revenue on? 52:00

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About Levi Belnap
Levi Belnap finditLevi has spent his career in entrepreneurial management and sales positions ranging from tech startups to cleantech non-profits. He spent three years building a cleantech non-profit from the ground up to educate and drive the adoption of solar energy across the western US. Levi received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his BA in Political Science/Arabic from Brigham Young University. Levi discovers problems and surrounds himself with amazing teams to solve them. Levi is the co-founder and CEO of FindIt where he is changing the way people search for their information across cloud accounts using a smartphone.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of UNTETHER.tv and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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