A Story of Engineered Serendipity
Dan Smigrod is a much loved Atlanta Tech Village Member and the Founder of We Get Around. He shares his story below. Renting space at Atlanta Tech Village is so much more than just renting space. Looking back at my journey at the Village, creating and building my startup really did take a "village." Today – with lots of help from Village Members – and three major pivots later – the We Get Around Network has hundreds of monthly recurring revenue clients! Three years ago this week, I joined Atlanta Tech Village as a Hot Desk Member with an idea. While others in the pre-construction, 5 th floor Village workspace dreamed (really) big – including the founders of Yik Yak – I simply wanted an Atlanta tech-centric photography business. One of the many people I met my first day sharing that temporary workspace was Ninja Post Founder Mike Wilt. That meeting would later prove integral to growing my startup - exactly what the Village talks about happening as a platform for serendipity. Today, the We Get Around Network is deeply integrated within the Ninja Post cloud-hosted Forum community platform; and, We Get Around shares an Atlanta Tech Village Suite with Ninja Post. So how did we get there? I bought a special 3D/Virtual Reality Camera in July 2014; started the Forum in August 2014 and the first generation We Get Around Network, in November 2014. With my now friend Mike’s guidance of what makes a successful community, we set out to aggregate 3D/VR photographers in our Network. To start, I simply published everything I learned from using the new camera tech. One-by- one, we added Members. Today, we add nearly 100+ freemium Members monthly with an eight percent conversion to one of three paid monthly Membership tiers. Today, user generated content has created the world’s largest knowledge base of its kind, consisting of 27,000 posts among 3,400 topics generating 1.2 million page views annually. The community – and that content – is the honey that attracts and continues to build our community. In July 2015, Mike tricked-out his Ninja Post community platform to accommodate my subscription model. That lead to Ninja Post’s first success story for revenue generated from a forum community. Integrating monthly subscription tiers helps Ninja Post differentiates itself from all other Community Forum-in the-Cloud platforms with revenue generation subscription tiers. We Get Around Network deep collaboration with Ninja Post is just one example of the magic of “engineered serendipity” among the “Village People” at Atlanta Tech Village. There is no place I'd rather be.[caption id="attachment_12199" align="alignnone" width="604"]
Dan Smigrod (left) and Mike Wilt are close collaborators and share office at Atlanta Tech Village.[/caption]
Try a WalkAround™ 3D Tour of Millennium Gate Museum by We Get Around!