Déjàmor - From 0 to 6 figure revenues in less than a year

We had the chance to sit down with Rodrigo, co-founder of Déjàmor and ask him about the early days of their startup and what it took to go from 0 to 6 figure revenues in less than a year. Here’s from Rodrigo and Chris, another successful match, who went on to create Déjàmor which has since become a steady source of recurring revenue. Enjoy!


Rodrigo, tell us a little bit about yourself and your co-founder.

I am an engineer, entrepreneur, and IP lawyer. Previously, I founded KIUBOshop, an e-commerce site that sells nostalgic Mexican products to the growing Hispanic population in the U.S. I also litigated several patent lawsuits on behalf of e-commerce and financial services companies.

Chris and I met on Founder2be, and together we started Déjàmor, a subscription commerce company that delivers romantic experiences for couples every month.

Chris is the CTO, creating joyful experiences on Déjàmor’s website. Previously, he founded and operated a successful e-commerce startup for 5 years. Chris has worked on all aspects of a web-based business. He has also led developer teams in building software, such as a real estate listing management platform.

Since we managed to turn Déjàmor into a steady, recurring source of revenue, I sought my next challenge and co-founded FeatureKicker.com, a SaaS tool that helps you test user demand for unbuilt features before developing them.

What’s the problem Déjàmor is solving and how are you solving it?

Studies show that 52% of Americans are “dissatisfied with their love life.” Worse still, 25% of people stray to infidelity as a result of relationship boredom. Nonetheless, 80% of people are open to receiving help with their relationship.

Déjàmor is the cure to fading passions. We instill relationships with romance and intimacy -- delivering monthly experiences and products that are easy, fun, and exciting.

How did you come up with the idea for Déjàmor? And how did it evolve over time?

I've always been interested in the topic of relationship self-help. In particular, I was influenced by Gary Chapman's book, "The 5 Love Languages." The initial idea for Déjàmor was actually focused on a "relationship checkin" app, that would ask couples to catalog "acts of love" that they performed for each other. I formed a team around this concept during the NYC Startup Weekend in June 2011, and we prototyped the idea, which we called ">Show Me The Love". Unfortunately, we concluded that couples want help, but "checking in" to every loving act was more exhausting than helpful.

For various reasons, my Startup Weekend team was going separate ways and I began searching for a co-founder. It was the Fall of 2011 and I joined Founder2be. One of my first tasks was posting the "Show Me The Love" idea on Founder2be for others to see and contact me.

Eventually, I met Chris who had already built a B2B product named callTrackingFox, and he asked me to join him. So I did, leaving behind the "relationship management" app. But, unsurprisingly, the relationship problem invaded my thoughts from time to time.

Chris and I joined DreamIt Ventures in NYC in May 2012, and we quickly invalidated the callTrackingFox product. With 8 weeks left in the incubator program, my co-founder and I sought a new business concept that we could test before Demo Day. Then it hit me: we could address the relationship problem with a subscription commerce model that sent romantic "date night" packages. Within 8 weeks, we market tested branding, messaging, product, in addition to building a website and making more than 100 sales.

How did you guys launch and what was your path to revenues?

We began market testing Déjàmor in June 2012, and we officially launched in August 2012. Our path to revenue went something like this: in 24 hours, we built a rudimentary site on Wordpress, added a shopping cart plugin, and began sending traffic to the site using Facebook Ads. Within days, we had a few sales without building our first box... Today, Déjàmor generates significant revenue and is a profitable and growing business.

When did you start looking for a co-founder?

I began actively looking for a co-founder following that Startup Weekend when attendees slowly drifted in different directions. Before then, I was passively looking for a co-founder through introductions from my personal network. As it often is, not all of your friends want to become entrepreneurs and not everyone is passionate about the same ideas.

Tell us a bit about your experience using Founder2be to find your co-founder?

Founder2be was great at giving me a wide audience of like-minded entrepreneurs looking to collaborate. The best part was getting to meet so many talented folks, some of whom I keep up with today.

In comparison to other ways of finding a co-founder, such as meetups, I found that I got better value for my time. I loved being able to quickly filter candidates based on criteria relevant to me, such as geography, skills, and experience.

I just checked back on Founder2be and it’s amazing to see how many more talented folks have joined since Chris and I met.

What advice would you give to others wanting to start or join a startup and looking for a co-founder?

If you're thinking about joining a startup, you need to love the team and the industry. It's obvious to say and hear that, but it takes deep introspection to accurately answer whether you actually love the team and industry. Don't rush into it. Your opportunity cost of working on something for 18 months is too high.

As for finding a co-founder, you must battle test the relationship. Go to a hackathon or Startup Weekend together. Work on a side project on nights and weekends. You need something to simulate pressure and attitude under fire. You'll learn much about each other, and you'll get a glimpse of what it's like to work together. Move on if it doesn't feel right. Trust your gut, and pay attention to subtle clues that you're not going to be a compatible team in the future. Most importantly, don't pick a co-founder who has fundamentally different "ambitions", as it will be a constant source of tension. Here's a warning signal: you want to build the next Google, but your potential co-founder wants to build a 4-hour work week lifestyle business.

What's next for you? What are you working on now?

Déjàmor is largely on autopilot, generating revenue, which has given me time and freedom to explore new opportunities. Reflecting on my experiences and frustrations with product development, I co-founded a new company called FeatureKicker.com.

FeatureKicker empowers software companies to test user demand for features before releasing them. We collect and report Feature Analytics, so you can prioritize your product roadmap, win arguments with customer data, and ultimately find product-market fit quicker and cheaper. Our patent-pending tech is changing the game for product teams, and this 90-second video gives you a taste.

If you like what you see, sign-up for a demo and click on this link to tweet this out: "Check out @FeatureKicker: test demand for unbuilt features before releasing them. Better product, less waste. #prodmgmt"


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