Small Business Spotlight of the Week: The F-ing Word of the Day Amanda | September 1st, 2011
Sometimes, I really believe in fate. Just last week I used the word “chortle” at the cS office. To which one of our beloved co-founders, Ross, responded with: “What is it, 1913?” And that same afternoon, while browsing the site, I found today’s spotlight: The F-ing Word of the Day.
Note: despite its name, the site is relatively work friendly with small, cursive-like font.
The name basically says it all. Each day a word is posted with a definition. You subscribe via RSS, email, iPhone app, Twitter– even Tumblr– and the word of the day is sent directly to you. I was thrilled to learn words like “nescience” (a noun meaning a lack of knowledge) and “pugnacious” (an adjective meaning inclined to fight). This is not your mother’s dictionary, either: the example sentences are delightfully inappropriate.
Founder, Chris, talked to me about how learning is just easier when it involves sex, drugs and swearing:
How would you explain what you do to somebody’s grandmother?
My website uses comedy to make learning easier. When learning is incidental, rather than prescriptive, it can make a world of difference.
What made you use crowdSPRING?
It seemed like the one crowdsourcing website with the largest user and creator base.
What are some industry specific challenges you faced?
I suppose making something irreverent, yet sophisticated in terms of a logo can be a difficult undertaking.
What was your biggest learning curve/experience?
Learning how to give constructive feedback. Especially when many first round designs were quite poor.
What’s the craziest story you have from starting your own business?
I started the site in ten minutes while waiting for Tylenol PM to take hold at the zenith of a week long bout with the flu (possibly of the swine persuasion). That’s nuts, right?
If you could go back, would you do anything differently? If so, what and why?
I would have built out more social channels earlier on. My site in particular is based around subscribing to daily content. When I launched, people had the option of email or RSS. Now I have it set up so that people can follow on Tumblr, Facebook, email, iPhone app, RSS, and Twitter. I’m now seeing a much higher subscription rate now that people can follow their own way.
Six words of advice to those looking to start their own company.
Here are three: just do it.
How do you see your company growing in the future?
We’re going to be producing flashcards for SATs, GMATs, and a few more apps. Stay tuned.