I’m really, really excited to be writing this post today. Big things are afoot at Forrst, and I’d like to share a few of them with you.
I am pleased to announce that Forrst is part of the latest 500startups Accelerator batch. Dave participated in our seed round in March, and when he asked us to come out to Mountain View this October, it was quite simply an offer we couldn’t refuse. I’ll post more thoughts later on how great 500 has been for us thus far, suffice to say we had a pretty decent month* this month, the partners & founder/mentor network are amazing, and things are only going to get better from here. It’s also great to be around a bunch of companies doing some pretty neat things in the industry. There is something invigorating about sharing an office (and what an office, indeed) with tons of smart folks.
Our goals while we’re out here are simple: kicking ass on product, growing the Forrst community in a meaningful way, and ramping up revenue. On the revenue side, we’re focusing on moving our primary revenue source from an internal one (the community paying for X) to an external one (people paying for access/exposure to the community). The most direct path to that thus far has been the launch of our new jobs platform, which I cover a bit below. All in all, it’s been a fantastic start, and I’m immensely looking forward to the next few months.
We also officially launched our jobs platform around a week ago. (PS - We can help you hire.) While it’s just the tip of the iceberg, I’m eager to continue iterating on what we’ve got planned, and the response so far has been simply fantastic. There are already a ton of rad companies like Meetup, Tumblr, LaunchRock, Storenvy, AppFog, blip.tv, A9.com, Visual.ly, Assistly, and more participating, and many are already having success connecting with great developers and designers from Forrst.
While it may look like “just another job board” on the surface, a Forrst account is needed to apply, and because of that we’re able to provide much more context around who’s applying, including a sampling of their public content, Forrst reputation, photo, and so forth. To date, most of the listings have been for fulltime positions, but we’re also playing around with an experiment called Tinyproj that aims to connect our users with great freelance work. I expect big things to happen on both of these fronts. Everything we do has to answer a basic question: “is this great for the community?”. We can answer a resounding “yes” here (who doesn’t love getting paid to work on awesome stuff?), and it feels good to be able to focus on helping our community in even more ways.
I’ve also been thinking a lot about the overall vision for Forrst. It’s become increasingly clear that we’re in a really great spot to become the place where up and coming (and presently un/under-known) talent is discovered and hired. We’ve made a big push over the last six months to focus on high quality, thoughtful feedback around development and design projects, and there are some more fundamental product changes in store (all good things, I promise!) that should help to further focus the community around this vision.
There’s something incredibly powerful about being able to learn about how someone works, not just what they can produce. It’s also amazing to watch talented folks paying it forward and helping nurture budding talent; we were all starting out once, and I believe this is one of the best parts about the Forrst community.
So, over the next couple months we’ll be rolling out product updates that aim to make Forrst much simpler, faster, and focused — all keeping in mind the vision we’ve got for what the community can become (and quite frankly, already is in many ways!).
Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the people — our team, friends, colleagues, investors, mentors, and advisors — who’ve believed in and helped grow and build Forrst over the two years that we’ve been around (they know who they are), and I’m honored to have so many people rooting for us.
By the way, that “decent month” I mentioned earlier? We are profitable.
Kyle Bragger, Founder