Kick It Labs
Kick It Labs rapidly builds and tests products inspired by youth culture for high schoolers and college students.
In 2018, we believe to build the next one billion person consumer social experience, teams must rapidly (by “rapidly” we mean days and weeks not months and years) build and test imaginative experiences and clinically kill middling products, in lieu of being wed to a specific idea. Teams must build expertise in working with their demographic (ex: How do we reach them? What matters to them?) and write code with reuse in mind to shorten development time for subsequent products. Creativity is everything. There is ample evidence this model works: look no further than recent consumer hits like Hims, HQ Trivia, Discord, Slack, GOAT and more that were born out of experiments. The old model of dedicating oneself to a specific idea is challenging in today’s world where consumer psychology is harder than ever to predict with the fierce competition for mindshare by incumbents driving up the bar for novelty and interestingness.
In particular, we believe young people today are craving social experiences that are novel, fun, and creative - that actually allow them to express themselves in new ways and feel closer to their communities. People - us included - are exhausted by the social experiences that prey on our insecurities and make us feel more isolated, depressed, and “like” addicted than ever. In spite of this discontent, however, we believe that people will not try new products unless they feel truly fresh and novel. The challenge, then, is conceiving experiences that are pioneering.
Our team in their twenties, obsessed with youth culture, from Harvard and Stanford have been building apps for high schoolers and college students for over six years now and have launched over a dozen social products in the last six months alone. They have ranged from anonymous social apps on college campuses to AI assistants that automatically organize events for groups of friends. We’ve been able to build social experiences that take advantage of cutting edge technologies (such as ML & AI) as our team also brings experience from Andrew Ng’s AI Lab, Nervana Systems, Amazon, Google and Intel; the intricacies of these technologies, however, are packaged in such a way that they remain invisible to our users.
Our products have gotten tens of thousands of daily active users, have seen users send out an average of 25 invites to friends, and have received national coverage. Over the years, we’ve figured out how to reliably do one of the most challenging parts of launching a new product (our “secret sauce”): seeding the platform and helping it grow virally. We have gotten better at intuiting what may or may not be novel enough and what new technologies could help us broach that bar (ex: two recent technologies we’re excited about are Apple’s depth camera and Animojis). But, we are the first to admit that we are yet to build a product that stands the test of time in the current landscape (has gotten retention, engagement, and growth simultaneously) -- but we’re getting better and better each time and are within shooting distance of a truly special consumer social experience. Today, our most promising and exciting experiments are in street wear, high school social products, and men’s fashion.
We’re not pitching you traction or a Facebook hockey stick growth graph and realize this is immediately disqualifying for many investors. For those investors, we hope to speak to you when we do have traction. For those of you that believe we could be on the cusp of a truly delightful consumer experience that one day you or someone you know uses and would like to partner with us today, we’d be more than thrilled to speak with you.
Founders: Akshar Bonu, Sathish Nagappan