Profiles

How Get Worm was created from the ashes of a failed startup

Dinushi Dias /

After attempts to launch a “LinkedIn for creatives” failed, Melbourne entrepreneur Sarthak Moghe was left pondering a simple problem.

“We kept building it for about nine months but we failed to get traction,” Moghe tells StartupSmart.

“How do we build validation from the get-go?”

This dilemma provided the inspiration for Moghe’s latest venture Get Worm, which aims to become the world’s largest platform connecting startups with early adopters.

“The big vision would be to build the number one community for people to discover things,” he says.

“Just as you would do a Google search to research something, if you want to be in the know with what’s new out there you would go to Get Worm.”

Embracing failure

Learning quickly from earlier mistakes, Moghe and his team began small.

“We ate our own dog food in terms of we would only build it if they come, we didn’t build anything until we got validated,” he says.

They started with a launch page in February 2015, monitored its traction then rolled out a simple MVP.

Continuing to listen closely for feedback, they developed this into Get Worm.

Since its official launch in February this year, Get Worm has attracted more than 400 startups and nearly 2000 early adopters.

On average, a startup on Get Worm gets 15 to 20 early adopters and Moghe says he wants this to increase to about 100 early adopters per startup.

He also has lofty goals to grow the Get Worm community to more than 30,000 “users” worldwide.

“[We want] to create the platform which helps startups find their first users whether it’s 100, 1000 or 10,000,” he says.

Though Get Worm is free to use now, the team is planning to introduce a pay-per-conversion model where startups are charged a fee for each early adopter that signs up to them.

With a community of about 10,000 early adopters and 2000 startups, Moghe says this model would bring in more than $500,000 in annual revenue.

Unlike other review and testing platforms on the market like Product Hunt and Beta List, Moghe says Get Worm adds value by creating a public domain for early adopters to get rewarded, promoted and recognised for their support of the startup space.

“[Beta List and Product Hunt] have been running for a while and they have been quite successful in doing what they do but we just want to open that up,” he says.

“We have the incentivisation for the users, we’re not restricting startups in terms of where they are in their journey, plus it’s more around the [interaction between] startups and the users.”

How Get Worm works

Get Worm gives startups access to early adopters of services or products through published campaigns named “worms”.

On these campaigns, startups can offer their first 100 or 1000 users exclusive offers to try them out.

Users are then notified of these early bird offers through a system that links them to worm campaigns that match their specified interests.

Startups get detailed feedback and ad hoc comments on how to better their product or service including new ideas and constructive criticism.

They can also track engagement and conversion rates.

“The more important part than signups is getting feedback, to help them pivot and change their strategy,” Moghe says.

In return, founders can reward early adopters with a direct thank you or other ways of recognition.

This is fundamental in Moghe’s ultimate vision of connecting a community of like-minded people exploring new products and services with the startup world.

“When the startup is off-the-ground, these are the users who [will] envagelise their product or service,” he says

“Get Worm is a platform for startups and early adopters to get together.”

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Dinushi Dias

Dinushi Dias is a freelance journalist and a former StartupSmart reporter and multimedia content producer. She is the co-founder of Melbourne-based production house Dinushi & Power.

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