Interview with Brian Kirsten, CTO and Co-Founder of FictFact.
Web site: www.fictfact.com.
Tell us who you are and your role in the company:
My name is Brian Kirsten, I’m CTO and Co-Founder of FictFact.
What did you do before creating your company?
I’ve been developing software professionally for over 15 years. I’ve worked in a variety of industries; most of my career has been spent developing software and websites for the travel industry.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘Startup of the Day’ per Microsoft BizSpark?
We are honored that you would select us! We hope that this will give everybody that reads book series a chance to learn more about us and start using our valuable, time saving site.
What is your company’s mission?
To help users keep track of the fiction book series they are reading with an easy to use online tool.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does:
FictFact helps you track the book series you’re currently reading and recommends series based on your tastes.
How did you get the idea for your company?
We got the idea for FictFact because our co-founder, Christine, was spending a lot of time researching what the correct reading order should be for her favorite series. She searched online for a one stop resource that will tell her the correct order as well as inform her when new books were out. Since we could not find one on the web that did what she wanted, we decided to build our own tool hoping that other users would also find the information helpful.
Tell us about your funding history. A re you currently looking for funding? If so, how much?
We are currently self-financed. We are starting to look at ways to raise more funds. We hope to raise $200,000 to allow us to continue to grow.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
We have 3 part time employees. 2 employees in a developer role.
Are you hiring? If yes, what are you hiring for and where?
Not hiring at this time.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
We originally launched as a web site, and we are currently working on a mobile version of FictFact. It’s a feature that our users are clamoring for, the ability to access their “Next Book List” everywhere. We’re focused on a cross platform mobile site, then based on demand possibly developing apps for the individual mobile platforms. A majority of our software has been developed in .NET with a SQL Server backend and our servers are currently running on Amazon EC2.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/Internet area?
We think the biggest opportunities will be in the mobile world. More and more of our users are looking to be able to access the information and tools we provide everywhere they go. I think that if you are looking at starting a new internet company, you have to have a mobile strategy. This is almost more important than a desktop designed site.
What do you think about the BizSpark Program?
We are extremely happy with the BizSpark program. Christine has tons of experience in the corporate world with Microsoft products, but it was hard to start up a brand new company without the BizSpark support. We were able to quickly translate her skills to our start up without having a new learning curve.
Do you have any advice for young Software entrepreneurs?
Go for it! If you have a great idea, spend the time and effort to make it happen. If you love your product and are passionate about sharing it with the world, there is no reason not to build it and let the world experience your vision.
Who’s your role model?
Folks know me as a huge Disney nut. Although aspects of his life are controversial, I’m amazed that Walt Disney was able to build a lasting empire out of nothing. I’d love to see what his Twitter feed would look like if he were still alive.
What’s the ONE THING you would like readers to take away from this interview?
A curiosity about our unique product for fiction series readers and the desire to help us spread the word about our great website that fills the gap many other popular book sites are missing.