Pivoting SellSimple After $250k, 3 Years & 150k Downloads

With over 15,000 active listings, 150,000+ downloads, a spot as the #1 free lifestyle app and a feature from Apple as a ‘New & Noteworthy’ lifestyle app – SellSimple is undergoing a radical pivot.

SellSimple was, by most accounts, moderately successful.

The problem is, when you take money from investors for a tech startup – moderately successful is as good as nothing.

Mediocrity is not celebrated, and as the game goes, that’s where most of us will end up. Very few products ‘break through’.

We set out to build a rocket-ship, and anything less than reaching outer space was not our destination.

We had a pretty awesome concept for a rocket, but when we turned it on, it didn’t get us there.

That doesn’t mean we didn’t do great things along the way – we innovated on many different levels, but the product as a whole didn’t ‘click’.

Houston, tengo un problema…


This left us in an interesting and somewhat toxic position where the product wasn’t bad – it was actually working.

There was growth, but not the levels needed to sustain our vision.

It’s really hard to kill a project that’s technically ‘working’ – it’s pretty much dead, but still totally alive… Zombie mode.

SellSimple is still to this day growing by 1500+ / users per month, roughly 12 months after we stopped actively working on the project.

This means people are seeking out the concept – there’s a pain point here somewhere, but our existing solution may not be the right one for mass market adoption.

The viral loops were wrong. The retention mechanics didn’t work properly.

Even with a great concept, if the above things aren’t nailed, your idea becomes irrelevant.

There is a ton of friction in bringing an idea from the world of theory into the world of practice.

This is where most things break down. This is where the winners are made.

SellSimple the philosophy and vision is standing the test of time, but our concept & actual implementation seemed to failed us in the long run.


Moving forward, it’s important to do less. Do less of everything, but do it better.

Perfection is just a lot of little things done well.

That’s what magic feels like, and if you can capture magic in your product, you win.

The new SellSimple explores an interesting take on a fast-moving trend – video.

Almost every social platform today is seeing high growth in the consumption of video.

Vine, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat – all these platforms are thriving with video.

Cameras on iPhones and Android devices have become extremely high quality and on screen editing allows users to create impressive content with very little skill.

Mobile video will account for 66% of global mobile data traffic by 2017, up from 51% in 2012.

It’s also interesting to note that 87% of marketers in the US use video as a way to market their content.

Video is already big, but we think it’s going to get bigger. Much bigger.

We want to build a product that blurs the line between content and commerce.

While SellSimple 1.0 focused on selling products, SellSimple 2.0 focuses on selling stories.

If a picture’s worth 1,000 words, what’s a video worth?


Introducing SellSimple 2.0:

15s Commercials – Sell Your Story!



Download: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sellsimple-sell-everywhere/id564844291?ls=1&mt=8

I’ll be following up with more stories on the build process, design process, branding updates, and our marketing strategy.

Prepare your humans.

– J