The Sims had been my favorite game for years — I would spend days building and designing homes. I loved how I could be creative and feel like an interior designer.
Towards the end of college I wondered, why isn't there a way to design real rooms virtually? What if it was more than a game, and people like me could help others design their homes?
And thus, Decorator was born.
Two and a half years later, after hundreds of product discussions, thousands of lines of code, and tens of thousands of users, I have accomplished a lot and learned more than any business or tech books can teach.
Here are the highlights.
- Built iOS app, which Apple featured in "New apps we love" on the App Store in August 2017
- Built an analytics tool for $25/month that did everything the $1000+/mo services offered
- Automated the process to add furniture to the Decorator catalog from product feeds and retailers' websites
- Built website in Express.js; ported almost full functionality from mobile to web in 1.5 months
- Automated emails to show users how others engaged with content they posted
- Built another iOS app and another website to test two hypotheses about user behavior; each went from idea to launch in 12 days
- Hired and led four employees (two engineers with 15 combined years of experience, a designer with both an interior design and UI/UX background, a business intern)
- Pitched at dozens of events
- Raised $250,000
- Created strategic relationships with furniture retailers including Wayfair, One Kings Lane, and Apt2B
- Figured out how to get a CAC of 5.8 cents on Instagram, with over 10% follower engagement
- Grew Instagram page to over 8000 followers in a few months
- Ran in-app contests which increased engagement 3x and cost under $50
- Featured on Product Hunt as #4 launch for the day