Review of the Most Successful Lean Startups - Carbonmade


Carbonmade is a portfolio app that lets creative professionals show their stuff online. The product began as an in–house tool for the startup, which spent its time concentrating on a different product while the portfolio app grew quietly among an audience of friends, friends of friends, and friends of those friends.

The startup was founded by Dave Gorum, Jason Nelson, and Spencer Fry. From the beginning, the three knew they wouldn't seek investors right away due to their experience with previous startups. During the course of founding the company, Gorum developed a product for displaying his own creative work–he and others liked the app so much, they shared it with friends, which is where the growth story began.

In 2007, the three used the app to launch Carbonmade, offering a $12 per month plan for users. The team intended to create a suite of apps aimed at the creative audience, but within a year they realized several things:

·      They had a viable product consumers were demanding

·      They liked working on the product

·      The community surrounding Carbonmade was passionate about the brand

The trio made a decision to drop the other product in development and concentrate on making Carbonmade–the thing customers wanted–better. As of 2015, the company offers three portfolio packages ranging from $6 to $24 per month, and consumers pay for over 880,000 portfolios.

Carbonmade illustrates the validated learning premise from Lean Startup.  By reevaluating its goals and interests - as well as listening to what the customers were saying - Carbomade turned its attention to a proven product.  The result?  Millions in revenue every month.

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Ross Blankenship is an expert on startup funding,  angel investing and venture capital.

Ross Blankenship is also the Founder and CEO of  Angel Kings is an investing platform that provides accredited angel investors the opportunity to invest in top startups and companies in sectors like cyber security, biotech, mobile, data and financial services.  Angel Kings provides both venture capital funds for startup investing as well as private equity funding for early and middle-stage investments.