This week’s Startup Files features Sidelines. Sidelines is a platform that lets fans engage in rich discussions about their favorite teams and sports, connect with other fans, and build their reputation as sports experts.
We asked them a few questions to get some behind the scenes deets.
How did you come up with this idea?
Three of us are avid sports fans, with multiple fantasy leagues. Even though sites like ESPN are great for reading sports and places like Twitter are great for breaking news, there was not a single destination where we could have a smart conversation with other knowledgeable sports fans that would not quickly devolve into trash talk. To keep the level of conversation high, we designed our unique reputation system to filter out the noise, reward the smart fan and be a true representation of your sports acumen. In all, I’d say we started Sidelines as a refuge for the fan who wants a better way to talk sports online.
What are your must-have apps?
Hipchat: We use hipchat every day, it has drastically reduced the amount of email we sent to each other and completely changed our workflow for the better
Asana: We use Asana for our project management
Spotify: Because we code better when we’re in the zone
Making a product that people love and come back every day to use. Working for a startup means we get to measure our success not only in terms of how many users we bring in Sidelines, but how many users return to Sidelines day after day. Every single decision we make always starts and ends with the question “how would this improve the experience for fans?”
Could you add one piece of advice that you would have to future folks hoping to launch their own business?
Focus on making something that users want and proving out your thesis before doubling-down on growth. Always ask yourself the question: if your product disappeared tomorrow, would your users be disappointed?
What companies out there do you admire?
We really appreciate companies that put their users first. On the consumer side, we really like Venmo and how they disrupted the P2P payment space with a really great User Experience. We also admire StackExchange/StackOverflow and how they build out a really great community.
Last but not least–Apple or Android?
Between the three of us we have iPhone, Android and Windows Phone devices. Generally we try to keep up with current trends and not particularly married to any platform
Where can you follow Sidelines?