As the Entrepreneur-In-Residence of the new Upstart Accelerator in Memphis, Mara Lewis has spent the last week telling women to just do it. Women have to fight perfectionism, and if they try to make a product perfect before it launches, it’ll never launch.
“You iterate. You put it out there. It can’t be pretty. If you wait until it’s perfect, you’ve waited too long.”
Lewis’s co-founders back in California were shocked when she took her own advice and made the announcement about their own product: Launch it. Put it live.
And that will forever be the story of stopped.at’s launch into the world. But, of course, it really isn’t the beginning. The beginning happened two years ago when Lewis and her team pivoted their old “Foursquare for the Web” site and began formulating stopped.at.
In the last two years, they have perfected an algorithm similar to Pandora. A user signs up for stopped.at, drags the bookmarklet to their browser, and goes about their business. As they use the web, they “check in” on each site via the bookmarklet. Over time, stopped.at’s algorithm will begin to read the traits of the websites a user visits. Then, it suggests new sites, apps, or services the user might be interested in.
Stopped.at has all the features we love about social sites. You can connect it with your Facebook or Twitter account and you can follow friends. There’s also a rewards system. For each task you do, you earn rewards, which you can then redeem for prizes.
They also have “folders,” similar to boards on Pinterest. Using the folders it’s easy to create collections of the websites, apps, and services you use every day. Then your friends can browse your folders and discover their next must-have app or website. This feature is the one stopped.at’s team is most interested in testing during beta. They want to know if and how people will use them and if they are a good value for the site.
Right now stopped.at is only available on the web. “One regret is,” Lewis admitted with a sigh, “at the time, I wish we had done mobile-first. But, we know it, and we recognize it, and it’s top of our priority list.” Since more than half of American adults use their smartphones to browse the Internet, stopped.at will probably see a lot of growth when they launch on mobile.
The team hopes to launch out of its “super-super-beta” at the end of August, and the goal is to have 50,000 monthly users by October.
Lewis has been at the entrepreneurial game for a long time. This is her third company, and this version of stopped.at has been in production for 2 years. Kyle ran into Lewis during SXSW this year, where she pitched in the Dolphin Tank.
Those of us in the tech world could find stopped.at to be the perfect engine to discovering the best apps and websites out there. Join the public beta and let the team know what you think.