Problems over problems. It all started back in September 2018, when I wanted to build another online magazine like I had been doing for most of my life. This time, it was a bit different. I wanted to create an online magazine about blockchain technology – an area that was of great interest to me. I am far from being an expert in this field. However, I saw many problems in this space, and I had trouble finding reliable information about real projects and case studies.
Photo by Olav Ahrens Røtne
The initial plan was to build an online magazine targeted at professional users, providing a knowledge base with basic information, some automated content, and a video course area. I also wanted to partner with a "blockchain expert" who would offer various blockchain-related services. Additionally, I planned to generate leads through the magazine area.
When I started my first community in 2011, my priority was to provide the best experience for users. I also wanted to remain independent so that I could build a community that trusted the magazine so that the user would return for more information or even daily.
However, I had a few problems with my initial plan:
To stay independent, I had to include more experts who would offer services and engage in discussions to help each other or provide feedback. To that end, I would need to add an expert directory and a forum where they could participate in discussions. However, this would have worsened the user experience problem. After all, online forums are outdated, plus the platform would have been very sophisticated, with an online magazine, a knowledge base, a directory, a forum, and more.
Next, I tried to find more experts in this technology field. I used a Google search, which was a waste of time, as the results were far from what I expected. I also tried my best at LinkedIn. That was impressive: Thousands of people seemed to be experts in this field. However, I knew that this wasn't possible. To verify their credentials, I visited the websites of some of these experts. Besides a lot of bad structured sites, I found it hard to wade through all the buzzwords and determine which of the candidates were real experts and what services they offered. All in all, it was a nightmare.
I asked myself: If I can't find and identify experts, and what products or services they offer, how can others do it?
I returned to the expert with whom I'd been connected and talked to him. He offered me content, such as case studies, feasibility reports, and information about how customers had benefited from his work in different industries. That was perfect. It was the best possible content he could have provided, and through this information, I could better understand what he did. Something similar happened with another expert who wanted to share his knowledge so that he could increase awareness of a product he was planning to sell.
So, I thought: Why should I pay thousands of dollars for editors, with somebody else needing to verify the correctness of the information? And on the other hand, I would never be able to obtain the kind of quality content that these experts wanted to share.
I took a step back and asked: Why do I even want to build a magazine again? My skill is not in the editorial part but, instead, in planning and organizing the platform?
On a Monday morning, it hit me – the famous AHA moment.
What would happen if I took me out of the picture? What if I give the experts a place where they could prove themselves as experts? And then those experts could curate content from others in their niche to further build their reputations. And as the idea was before, I could give them a place where they can transparently offer their services and products.
A few hours later, I had written almost half of my college block with different scenarios regarding the possibilities and how users could benefit from them. For example, this is the best educational platform for professionals of any level, due to all the knowledge that will be shared and curated. The whole platform was in my mind. It was so logical and straightforward, and there was nothing like it – a win-win situation for all users.
That same day, I was creating mockups to present the idea. The next day, I received feedback during two meetings. This feedback was terrific, and I was directly offered support. While working on a side job, I planned the platform and developed the prototype.
My goal was to attend the Mobile World Congress 2019 to talk about the project for the first time with some tech industry leaders I knew. Again, the feedback was great. For example, the UX lead designer of a major German car manufacturer was interested in the project and even had a bit of time to give me more detailed feedback. As I was walking away, someone from the marketing agency of this car manufacturer ran after me. He had been listening to our conversation and asked for my presentation, as he thought it would be attractive to other clients.
From all the feedback, I realized that the platform solves problems and addresses real pain points in different industries.
At that time, trustedd was born. While getting our first version out was a long and challenging process, we are here now and working towards our mission:
"Our mission is to give everybody the freedom to educate themselves with the best information and bring the right people, companies, and organizations together to share information and collaborate to grow businesses and foster innovation and the adoption of new technologies."