We want to make sure we are addressing our Kickfurther community's questions and that everyone has the opportunity to be heard. With that, we believe that a biweekly public forum with one of our team members is a good way to achieve that. So, we are planning to host "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions on our subreddit for the next few weeks. Afterwards, we will publish a blog post with the session's top questions from you and our answers.
Community Question: Is there an option to automatically recieve emails of comments, company updates and/or KF updates?
Sean: Some of that is live already, check your e-mail settings. We want to add more optionality here in the future.
Community Question: How has the screening process changed over the last year?
Sean: Pretty extensively. A year ago it was just Erik onboarding almost all the new companies and it was an interview process they went through. Now that interview process is formalized and data is plugged into a soon to be deployed KF scoring process. All offers pass through our in house legal, Jackson, as quality control to verify credibility metrics before posting live. Additionally we are engaging Experian and Transunion to verify the information provided in the interview process. We're in the final stages of starting that engagement. Finally we file UCC-1 liens for all PO's now, which was not happening before the introduction of in house legal.
Community Question: What happens when companies violate contracts in their use or misuse of funds from sales?
Sean: There are 3 kinds of contract breaches we see. In each case we would report it to the buyers and take the action we can.
- No monthly update provided - This triggers a request to the inventory to do an on site inspection.
- Refusal to provide access to inventory - If the brand refuses to provide access for us to do an inventory accounting we can take no further action until the offer is cancelled.
- Inventory sold but payment not remitted - In this case the amount due begins accruing 5% interest.
Community Question: What can be done to prevent or handle contract violations?
Sean: In order to tighten up the process we are going to deploy third party integrations to get real time inventory tracking. We have some of the first Shopify enabled businesses coming on soon, and that's just the start.
Additionally, we are considering engaging a third party logistics (3PL) for an inhouse product soon. For the newest brands we might require that they send us the inventory to be managed by our logistics company in order to be onboarded. If we have the inventory we can shut the door completely on breaches. This is something that is on the road map but probably won't be live this quarter. Big improvements on the way! For one, we are going to be debuting a KF branded product soon and through that we will be able to build out our logistics and distribution. We're also working on the first liquidations for inventory we have in house now and will have some data on what liquidation looks like soon.
Community Question: What is the point of using the comments section?
Sean: The comment section is to give the community a place to ask questions and review responses that are provided to other users. Information that might not be provided elsewhere can be requested there. For instance "What makes your XYZ product different from the competitive products?" or "Why do you charge xx% more than the same kind of product available on Amazon?" These kinds of hard questions can have very revealing answers and their responses are not the kind of information we can verify.
Community Question: Are there stats available for overall campaigns? Success, late, cancelled, etc?
Sean: I think there is valuable learning in those pages and I want to make them accessible through the cancelled offers page. This page isn't pretty but provides some of that data. You'll notice that cancelled offers include many that never were funded.
Community Question: What is your biggest challenge right now?
Sean: I very much consider KF a start-up still and I think the biggest challenge start-ups face is how to allocate resources. In my particular case right now the time resource is the most scarce, hence running this AMA on a weekend instead of during the work week. We have a lot of interesting things cooking and I'm very excited about the future, but it's hard to be everywhere I need to be. In particular I feel really badly that the community feels we have gotten "colder." That was never my intention but it is my fault so I'm doing my best to rectify. Kickfurther is my pride and joy and the most exciting thing I've ever done, but our vision for the future means nothing without the community and I know how important communication is.
For more information, and to view any follow-up questions and answers, please follow this link to view the full AMA: https://www.reddit.com/r/getgrowing/comments/4i9vsw/hi_everyone_its_me_sean_here_to_answer_your/