Share:

  • Facebook
  • Hacker News

Follow:

  • Twitter
  • RSS
DoesWhat

Interview with Kyle Bragger (Forrst)

Forrst is an online community of developers and designers focused on helping themselves and others get better at their craft, sharing their knowledge and providing thoughtful critiques to build better websites and applications.

I interviewed Kyle Bragger, Forrst founder to find out more. This interview is the twenty fourth in a series of DW interviews. Big thank you to Kyle for the interview!

How would you describe Forrst in under 24 words?

It’s an awesome community of developers and designers that’s all about giving/getting real, actionable feedback on your work.

What made you decide to start working on Forrst?

Initially it started as an experiment. I was curious what a product would look/feel like that blended interesting bits of Delicious and Tumblr, but geared specifically towards sharing dev/design content.

How hard was it to get $205k in seed funding?

Somewhat difficult. I chalk that up to my inexperience pitching, and also because communities are hard things to scale well. Most folks weren’t interested in Forrst because they don’t see it as a billion dollar business. Frankly, it’s probably not (at least right now), but that’s not to say we won’t be extremely successful financially.

How different is the current version of Forrst compared to your initial launch?

The initial launch was bare bones, ugly, but worked in terms of the broad idea. It’s come a long way in two years, largely by listening and responding to user feedback, but more importantly, observing things users weren’t saying, but rather doing.

Is your background in web design and development?

Yep, I’m a programmer/engineer/developer/whatever.

How much time do you spend working on Forrst on an average day?

12 hours give or take a few.

Was making it an exclusive community your idea?

Yes.

Do you think making Forrst exclusive has been one of the main reasons for its success?

I think it helped create some mystery, and therefore interest, around the product, but the reason for our success thus far is most definitely the community that has been curated.

You’re extremely open about Forrst, even openly stating how many paid members you have. What’s with the openness?

Why not? :) I think it fosters a sense of honesty and trust with our community. There’s no good reason -not- to discuss that stuff, so until I find one, we’ll keep on being open about all sorts of stuff we’re doing/thinking about.

Who is your biggest competitor?

There are a myriad of sites where we share some overlap, but our closest “competitor” is Dribbble, if only because we both allow posting screenshots. Though, there is a perception that we’re somehow just a Dribbble ripoff or “Dribbble for people who can’t get in to Dribbble”. I think those assertions are mostly incorrect, though.

What is the biggest hurdle you have faced or are still facing?

Scaling revenue in a healthy way.

Two months ago you had 31,000 registered users and 17,000 waiting for an account. Did you expect the growth you’ve received when you launched?

Not in the least. It’s been amazing to watch the site grow — and grow well. We just hit 40k users and have a huge (50%) active user rate. Engagement is solid, and it’s a blast to be at the helm.

Finished reading? Check out Forrst!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 at 8:40 am GMT. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.



Quick links

Print | Email this story

You might also like

Most Popular


Recent Articles

Has Codeplane got the feedback and growth you expected since launch?

Codeplane is sooooo small if you compare it to Github or Bitbucket. There are 3k registered users, and about 1k users that actually pay for the product...
Nando Vieira (Codeplane)

Nando Vieira
Codeplane

How long did it take to put together ActiveCampaign?

The first version of ActiveCampaign took a couple weeks. It was basic in its form but I immediately made it available to businesses and clients started to trickle in. I have...
Jason VandeBoom (ActiveCampaign)

Jason VandeBoom
ActiveCampaign

Who uses GooodJob?

We have about 30 clients, including Microsoft, ECI and HP. Their employees simply love our platform, and the companies have all increased their...
Assaf Eisenstein (GooodJob)

Assaf Eisenstein
GooodJob

You were recently featured on TechCrunch, have you seen a spike in traffic and sign ups?

Definitely. We received most of our public beta traffic and sign-ups from Hackernews, TechCrunch, and AppStorm. As you know, most HN and TechCrunch readers are...
Lu Wang (Reamaze)

Lu Wang
Reamaze

How did you meet co-founders Toni Birrer, Patrice Neff and Felix Hürlimann?

We have all been working together for 8 years since the we created local.ch, the largest web-site in Switzerland. Following our exit from local.ch, we created...
Dorian Selz (Squirro)

Dorian Selz
Squirro

What is the biggest hurdle you have faced or are still facing?

The biggest hurdle so far has been in communicating just what evemi is to people. I think a lot of people on first impression think it is just...
Paul Brown (evemi)

Paul Brown
evemi

What are you most excited about at the moment?

Expanding internationally. Starting my day at 6AM with emails from Japanese clients and ending them at 1AM with emails from clients in California makes...
Emeric Ernoult (AgoraPulse)

Emeric Ernoult
AgoraPulse