July 25, 2012 by emarketingrookie
I stumbled upon Unbucket the other day – the site that lets you make lists of things to experience with your friends and loved ones – and I am hooked. So I thought we could take some time out from our hectic social strategy planning to have a look. Or you can use it to plan your social goals.
After I signed up, I got a personal email from one of the founders of Unbucket, Elliot Darvick. Feeling like a celebrity, I replied. A great site with even better customer service? Are you kidding me? Miracles do happen!
Naturally, I asked a whole bunch of questions. Here’s what Elliot had to say:
1. Brief history – where were you born? Did you study? What were you doing before the idea for Unbucket hit?
Both my co-founder Brian Berman and I were born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. We went to rival high-schools, Brian to Detroit Country Day (famous alum: Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft) and myself to Cranbrook-Kingswood (famous alum: Tim Westergren, Founder of Pandora). We both met while attending Washington University in St. Louis where we were in the same fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi. Brian studied Political Science, Spanish Language and Literature while I studied Political Science, Business, and Writing. Brian also attended UCLA law school (he is of the rare programmer-attorney breed!)
When we begun working on Unbucket, I was working for a digital marketing firm and Brian was an estate planning attorney counseling high net worth individuals and families. We’ve both been building projects for the web since were 14 or 15. Before Unbucket, Brian’s most accomplished creation was LadinoType, an online tool for the use and preservation of the Ladino language. It’s the only site of its kind in the world. I myself co-founded HipHopInspires.us, the largest collection of inspiration hip-hop quotes on the web. I was also the co-creator of #FreeConnie, a successful movement to free a deserving woman from prison. I guess you could say using the web for positive change has always been a primary motivator for both of us.
2. How long did it take for the site to become a reality?
Unbucket is over a year in the making. We spent a couple months developing the idea and a prototype that we vetted with customers and users. From there we began development which we’ve done all ourselves. Brian is a very skilled programmer specializing in backend architecture, and I’ve taken responsibility for the user experience and design. We’re both self-taught and have learned a lot along the way. We finally launched a private beta of Unbucket this past June.
3. What has the response been like?
We ask people on a daily basis why they sign up for Unbucket and it’s been one of the most rewarding things to have people regularly share that they plan to use Unbucket to become closer to their loved ones and close friends. For us this is total validation that we’re on to something. We’ve been very pleased with the response and even more pleased at how willing people are to share their feedback and help us refine the application.
4. What is on your Unbucket list?
Brian and I have multiple Unbucket lists! I share an Unbucket list with my sister and we just added the item “Listen to an entire album together while on Skype.” (We live on opposite coasts). Brian and his wife are expecting and they keep an Unbucket list of things they want to experience with their newborn as he grows up.
The site is still in beta, but Brian and Elliot made a special invite code just for us – erookie. Thanks guys!
So there you go, a present from me to you.
What are you putting on your Unbucket list?