by Tim Jahn on September 10, 2010
Kris Petersen was simultaneously training for the Chicago marathon and buying tons of Groupons. He couldn’t use all the Groupons he was buying and ended up losing the money he spent on them. He thought there had to be a secondary market to sell his unused deals.
But there wasn’t. So Kris created one. Every night after his full time job, he sat at the kitchen counter and coded away at his idea.
The fruit of Kris’ labor is DealsGoRound.com, a site where people can sell their unused daily deals from sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, YouSwoop, and many more.
How did Kris successfully launch a secondary market for daily deals from his kitchen counter? Watch my video interview with Kris Petersen to find out!
My name is Kris Petersen and I’m the founder of DealsGoRound, which is the first secondary marketplace for the daily deal industry.
Everyone’s buying into these daily deals, daily, weekly, and accumulates this inventory of them, and for one reason or another, decides they either can’t make it to that massage six miles away or are never going to be able to use this restaurant certificate before it expires in two days.
Now they have a place to go unload those or resell those to the rest of the community so they can basically not be lost to that restaurant or to whatever merchant sold those deals.
My background as an entrepreneur, I’m always looking for things to make my personal life easier. I’m not ever really searching out that billion dollar idea that’s just going to come right away. It’s something to make my life easier and that’s really where DealsGoRound was launched.
I took the technical skills I had from previous startups and built DealsGoRound basically from the ground up on my own. So that was launched in very early March, and I launched on a Sunday night. By the time I woke up Monday, I already had my first deal posted by a complete stranger.
It was pretty surreal to wake up and see that, and then less than three weeks after that it was on the front page of the New York Times technology section. It just exploded very quickly. I think at that time, anything related to the daily deal industry was hot news, so it was a twist on something that was already hot, so I think that’s kind of what really propelled it into the mainstream media for a quick blip of time.
And then it kind of ceased back a little bit, but since then it’s been gaining steam and growing and growing, so it’s kind of taken on a life of its own, so it’s very exciting.
How did the stranger who bought the first deal and the New York Times – how did they both find you, and find the site?
I was just wondering that, before you came in, so I could explain this part of the story, and I honestly can’t recall. I may have put a post on Craigslist saying hey come check out my new website, but literally, it was twelve hours later that there was somebody there that had posted something.
There was no SEO going on, no PPC…it was very – no, no press release. Very grassroots. Launched in the stands of a basketball game at a gym, so this was nothing that I was in an incubator with a bunch of funding to launch this thing.
It was really something I built to put out there to serve my own needs and that I thought was a good idea that other people could benefit from.
What were your hopes on that Sunday night, for waking up Monday morning? What were you hoping would happen?
I think my hopes were, I was going to get ready to send out that email to all my friends and my Facebook friends to say hey, look what I created. It was very satisfying to wake up and see that, prior to even sending that out, someone saw the value in what I was doing.
They say it’s all in the execution, but how do you actually say, alright, here’s my idea, let’s do it?
Right. For me, that’s just a natural part of my personality. I like doing those kind of things. I like taking an idea and bringing it up to be something useful, and again, make my life more simple.
The execution of it was really a lot of thanks that has to go out to my wife, who sat and watched me sit at the kitchen counter and code this thing for months at a time, in the evenings after my full time day job.
But that’s my personality. I got this idea – I probably sat on this idea a month or two before I really thought, you know, if someone’s going to do this, it’s got to be done now, if I want to be the first person out there.
It’s got to be done right away. And I need to do it right. So, I went into that full speed ahead as much as I could part time. So in the evening s after work from 6pm to 2am coding at the kitchen counter was really what it took for me to get this launched.
It was something that I knew would be valuable to folks and it was motivating enough for me to go home every night and jump on this and keep it going. It was really my personal drive that wanted to get this up and running. As opposed to maybe a blog or something that I’ve talked about starting for four or five years and I kind of do a piece here, a piece there, but I never really see the personally, the success in that, compared to something like this where I realize, no one is doing this.
This is a huge area of opportunity and I think I can do it right.
Have you had other ideas like this in the past? Not this specifically but have you had ideas where you just – the ideas were so important in your mind you had to spend 6pm to 2am every night on the kitchen counter?
Yeah, this is really number two in the startups that I had launched. The original startup that I launched is called NeighborHuddle.com, which is basically a CMS for condo and homeowner associations. I’m a condo president, good or bad, wrong place wrong time, ended up as the guy who needed to tell everyone in the building…
It always sounds like nobody wants to be the condo president!
It’s a volunteer job that you don’t get paid for and it’s nothing but problems. Nobody ever comes to you and says hey, great job for being president! Actually, I shouldn’t say that – once in a while I get an email.
In general, it’s something that takes time away from everything else in your life. So I needed a way to stop going door to door and passing out flyers, and trying to figure out who was in this parking spot when they should have been in that parking spot.
So I built an online platform for all the residents to really have a sense of community, and it’s the go to source for all of the information from the legal side all the way down to the community, meet my neighbor I’m having a barbeque perspective.
That was really my sandbox for teaching myself the technical skills to what ultimately turned into DealsGoRound and some of the other projects I’m working on. I have a business degree in school but I’m self taught technically. All of that information that I took here was that 6 to 2am time slots sitting at the kitchen counter learning PHP and learning MySQL and A/B testing of what works and what doesn’t work.
Check out all our interviews with entrepreneurs!
|Need Parking for the Entrepreneurs Unpluggd Law Summit?|
- 37signals - Jason Fried
- A Space Apart - Jason & Gretchen Goodrich
- Airbnb - Nathan Blecharczyk
- AirRun - Rob Matthews
- Alexis Grant
- Allie Osmar Siarto (2010)
- Allie Osmar Siarto (2011)
- Annie Sorensen
- Apply in the Sky - Emily Chiu and Chiara Piccinotti
- Arment Dietrich - Gini Dietrich
- ArtistData (2009) - Brenden Mulligan
- ArtistData (2010) - Brenden Mulligan
- Awayfind - Jared Goralnick
- BabbaCo - Jessica Kim
- BatchBlue Software - Michelle Riggen-Ransom
- Behance - Scott Belsky
- Bignoggins Productions - Jerry Shen
- Bingo Card Creator - Patrick McKenzie
- Bite Size PR - Ryan Evans
- Black Cat Strategy - Beatriz Alemar
- BlogDash - David Spinks
- Bonsai Interactive Marketing - Danny Brown
- Braintree - Bryan Johnson
- Brazen Careerist - Ryan Paugh
- Buffer - Joel Gascoigne
- Buzz Referrals - Jordan Linville
- Carol Roth
- Catalyst Ranch - Eva Niewiadomski
- Centered Chef - Ryan Hutmacher
- Centro - Shawn Riegsecker
- Cheezburger Network - Ben Huh
- Chegg.com - Aayush Phumbhra
- Chris Bennett
- Cimaglia Productions - Matt Cimaglia
- Code Academy - Mike McGee
- Cool People Care - Sam Davidson
- CoSupport - Sarah Hatter
- Crosstown Scenic
- crowdSPRING.com - Ross Kimbarovsky & Mike Samson
- Dabble - Jessica Lybeck
- DealsGoRound.com - Kris Petersen
- Disqus - Daniel Ha
- Doejo - Phil Tadros
- DreamChamps - Jill Felska and Jenn Krenn
- Dwolla - Ben Milne
- Endagon Enterprises - Logan Lenz
- EnGreet - Adam Weinstein
- Fathead Design
- FeeFighters.com - Sean Harper
- Firebelly Design - Dawn Hancock
- Firespring - Jay Wilkinson
- Flowtown - Dan Martell
- Foiled Cupcakes - Mari Luangrath
- Foodie Registry - Ben Reid (2010)
- Foodie Registry - Ben Reid (2012)
- FoodTree - Derek Shanahan
- Foursquare - Dennis Crowley
- Freckle - Amy Hoy
- FusionCharts - Pallav Nadhani
- Giftiki - Bryan Jowers
- Github - Chris Wanstrath
- GiveForward - Desiree Vargas Wrigley
- Goshi - Jack Eisenberg
- Grasshopper - David Hauser
- Groupon - Andrew Mason
- GrubHub.com - Mike Evans & Matt Maloney
- Grubwithus - Eddy Lu (2010)
- Grubwithus - Eddy Lu (2011)
- gtrot - Brittany Laughlin
- Hello There - Shane Mac
- Hudl - John Wirtz
- Ideal Project Group - Andrew Wicklander
- Inkling Markets - Adam Siegel
- Instant Technology - Rona Borre
- ItStartsWith.Us - Nate St. Pierre
- IwearYourShirt.com - Jason Sadler
- IWearYourShirt.com - Jason Sadler (2011)
- Jun Loayza
- Junto - Marcy Capron
- Life After College - Jenny Blake
- Life In Perpetual Beta - Melissa Pierce
- Lifesta.com - Eran Davidov
- Little Independent - Lesley Tweedie
- Lockboxer - Jennifer Morehead
- Mac 'n Cheese Productions - Saya Hillman
- Maternal Instinct - Kat Gordon
- MCC Recycling - Michael Mills
- midVentures LAUNCH - Jonathan Pasky
- MightyNest - Chris Conn
- Mightyvites - Christopher Stump & Stephanie Stump
- Milk Products Media - Todd Tue
- Mindlight Films - David Miller
- Mineful - Jaime Brugueras
- Ms Career Girl - Nicole Crimaldi
- MyZeus - Patrick Algrim and Brandon Weiss
- NextStep Test Prep - John Rood
- NowSpots.com - Brad Flora
- One Day One Job - Willy Franzen
- OneSheet - Brenden Mulligan
- Paul Singh
- PerkSpot - Christopher Hill
- Photogram - Bob Armour & Brian Hand
- PitchEngine - Jason Kintzler
- POP! Social Media - Jill Felska & Jenn Krenn
- Power2Switch - Seyi Fabode
- Proxibid.com - Joe Petsick
- Red Frog Events - Joe Reynolds (2011)
- Red Frog Events - Joe Reynolds & Ryan Kunkel (2010)
- Reddit - Steve Huffman
- Restaurant Intelligence Agency - Ellen Malloy
- RIPT Apparel - TJ Mapes
- Roeder Studios - Laura Roeder
- Scriptito.com - Chad Stansbury
- SeatGeek.com - Russell D'Souza
- Sevans Strategy - Sarah Evans
- Short List - Jason Goodrich
- Shotfarm - Mike Lapchick
- Sittercity - Genevieve Thiers
- SocialKaty - Katy Lynch
- Sole Search - Brandon Williamson (End of 2011)
- Sole Search - Brandon Williamson & D.J. Grant
- Spartz Media - Emerson Spartz
- SpotHero - Mark Lawrence
- Sproutbox - Mike Trotzke
- StorageByTheBox.com - Phil Murphy
- Storenvy - Jon Crawford
- Storymix Media - Ariane Fisher
- StudentOfFortune.com - Sean McCleese
- StyleSeat.com - Melody McCloskey
- SYDCON Web Development - Dave Devitt
- TandemSpring - Tomer Yogev
- Tatango - Derek Johnson
- The Big Playoff - Chris Vankula
- The Founding Moms - Jill Salzman
- The Printed Blog - Josh Karp (2010)
- The Printed Blog - Joshua Karp (2009)
- Threadless - Jake Nickell
- Threadless (2009)
- Total Attorneys - Ed Scanlan
- Visual Website Optimizer - Paras Chopras
- WeaveThePeople.com - Paul Caswell
- Wedobo.com - Amanda Sudimack
- Wendy Piersall
- Where I've Been - Craig Ulliott
- WooThemes - Adii Pienaar
- Wufoo - Kevin Hale
- Young Entrepreneur Council - Scott Gerber
- YouTern - Mark Babbitt
- Zaarly - Bo Fishback
- ZealousGood - Brittany Martin Graunke
- Zipments - Garrick Pohl
- ZocDoc.com - Cyrus Massoumi