From Hackathon to Private Alpha

The idea for “Budge It” came about last summer, when I was living day-by-day in the ChezJJ hacker house. I had determined that after paying rent and student loans, I should keep the budget for everything else at $300 or less. This includes groceries, transportation, eating out, entertainment, etc. But keeping track of $300/month was too abstract for me, so I thought $10/day would be easier to grasp.

This is where the idea came in. $10 a day wasn’t a hard limit the way $300 was. I could borrow from yesterday or tomorrow’s budget if I wanted. It wasn’t until a couple weeks ago at the Capital One People & Money Hackathon that I realized the importance of “Rollover” allowance. Until then, I had focused on, and “named” the idea after, a UI element I imagined: a “gravity slider” as it might be called — but that’s a topic for another post.

I finally had the opportunity to work on this idea when my friend came into town to join me at a FinTech hackathon. Devin and I worked all night that weekend to get our prototype polished and presentable. We branded the mobile-optimized webapp as Budgie, using a blue bird as the logo. That might be too similar to Twitter, so we’re open to changing now that we’ve decided to work more on it. After winning third (woohoo!!), we created a landing page and submitted to Beta List to gauge interest.

Astonishingly, Google Analytics reported over 800 visitors! They came in two waves, first at 11AM when the newsletter went out, and then again around 11PM when traffic from the eastern hemisphere doubled our visits. In total, we’ve collected 212 signups for our beta. That’s all we needed to decide to continue working. It was icing on the cake to see some genuinely interested tweets coming our way.

Today, Budgie has 2 users. Join us at www.gobudgie.me

-Ray