Last week we were just sitting around talking about 2009 and how excited we all are for it. Cashmoney and Steve then started talking about all that we had accomplished in 2008. Sometimes it feels to us that ibeatyou has been around for much longer than it really has; other times, it feels like we just started a couple months ago…so, we thought it’d be fun to share a little today about how we started…
ibeatyou feels like it’s been around for much longer than it has (just ask ImHungry about the number of grey hairs he’s “discovered” this past year!). However, we launched the site publicly on March 24, 2008. A few months earlier, we first started throwing around the concept of ibeatyou. After a couple of meetings, several long phone calls, and a ton of mockups of the site, we decided to finally go for it. Everyone already knew each other prior to this (from school, past jobs, childhood, etc.), so we knew from the start that we’d get along, work hard and have fun doing this. We quickly got to work and started building out the site, fueled by lots of buffet dinners (lunch was not always an option), cheap wine and midnight Madden ‘08 breaks. Not long after, we launched an invite-only “alpha” version of our site.
We have lift off…
That Monday in March was a very exciting day for us. We had put countless hours into building the site and got very useful feedback from our early users, but didn’t know how the public would like it. To help kick off the launch, we had also decided to have some fun and film a Group Lip Dub video, starring the entire team and several members of our extended ibeatyou family, including Jessica Alba, Romany Malco and several enthusiastic L.A.-area users. The nervousness subsided as we saw new users really take to the site. From this point on, we realized that we had something fun here, but also realized we had a TON of work to do as well.
Since that March, we’ve made a lot of changes to the site. The competition “player” that you see on every competition page, like this one, has undergone major design changes at least five times. We saw users putting a lot of effort into their entries, and thus, we worked on making competitions fair for everyone with various anti-cheating systems. We saw a lot of people starting to compete with friends, so we launched the Groups section, which later came to include forums, group points, and roles. After seeing that many of you wanted to expand the competition field, we launched our Quizzes, where users can create and take timed quizzes as another way to compete for points. The design of your user profile page (check out GotGame’s) has also evolved to include more fun stuff like your photo album, Smack-2-Smack, a battlecrog and more. Steve could probably name 1000 more things, but you get the idea.
The team grows…
From a team standpoint, the original founding team included BoomDizzle, CashMoney, FlashGordon, ImHungry, Mike, Steve and Waynester. Bongster was instrumental in introducing some of us to each other early on. Since we’ve launched, the ibeatyou team has grown to include CDubYa, rsoni and the one and only Ms. Game. We’ve also been fortunate to add some great friends to the site. Since we launched with Baron, Jessica and Romany, we’ve had some other friends join, such as Anna Faris, Chris Bosh, Gilbert Arenas, “Boy Toy” Jesse Lozano, Lady Gaga, Steve Nash, and Will Ferrell.
We’ve also been very fortunate to get some great exposure this year, particularly on TV: The Daily 10, a recent episode of NCIS (see below), and on Extra with Kim Kardashian! Thanks to our recent partnership with the Extra team, ibeatyou users have had chances to be on national TV too. I mean, the whole country now knows the wonders of joeym333 and crackdownjr!
It’s amazing to see all of you share in this fun with us. You’ve given us great ideas on how to improve the site and make it more fun. Even more, we love watching all your creative, funny and amazing entries and seeing the work you’ve put behind them. We really want to thank all of our amazing users as you have shaped ibeatyou and helped it become where it is today. Without you, this wouldn’t have been possible at all.
We look forward to a kick-ass year in 2009 with all of you. We have lots of cool things coming soon and we know that you’ll come up with other neat ideas as well. It’s gonna be a fun year! Are you game?
Love and Peace,