For the last two months, Houston startup CheckedTwice has been on a wild ride. The brother/sister startup targets the gift-giving market, providing a site that makes it easy to manage a family-size wishlist. This is the busy season for gift-giving, and CheckedTwice has already doubled in size.
Here’s my Q&A with founder Andrew Swick:
What is CheckedTwice? What is your value proposition?
CheckedTwice keeps your family’s wishlists all in the same place. Particularly in the holiday season, we’ll keep you organized with your shopping by helping you know the exact thing people want and eliminating duplicate gifts going to the same person. But we keep the fun! You don’t see what you’re getting, and you can add surprise gifts to others’ wishlists. It’s free, and easy enough for grandma and grandpa to use.
My sister, Rebecca Hyatt, developer extraordinaire. And me, Andrew Swick, handling the business and hacking on the side.
So… how is CheckedTwice different than Amazon?
Amazon wishlists are all about you. They’re a great way of telling family what you want for the holidays. But what does your niece want? When you sign your family up for CheckedTwice, every individual family member has their own wishlist off a central family portal. Amazon helps you get what you want. CheckedTwice does that plus it helps you shop for others.
When we were chatting at OpenCoffee, it sounded like you’ve experienced a lot of user growth recently (congrats!) – what are the numbers?
We went from 2500 full account users at the end of September (9/27) to 6300 today (11/19). These are users that have signed up and verified their email. Lots of emails going out still, so I expect us to have at least 7500 users by the end of the month.
Why do this in Houston? Why not elsewhere?
My sister and I are from Houston. We grew up here, went to college here, and our roots run deep. We want to be successful in Houston and we want Houston to be a part of our success.
Who uses CheckedTwice? What are your users like?
Since we’re still a startup, our users are mostly people that are on the early adopter side. The thing I love about early adopters is that they take complete ownership of the product as soon as they get their hands on it. They will tell you what you’re doing wrong. They will suggest (or demand!) new features. And if you give them good support and answer their questions and concerns, they will put up with the occasional bug.
Do you have any superusers?
Our biggest family has 41 people in it. Imagine trying to organize a gift exchange over email with 41 people. Yikes!