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What is Lucky Oyster?
The consumer hypothesis behind Lucky Oyster is simple: as social beings, we naturally exchange personal recommendations all the time (a great new restaurant, a doctor, where to stay in Florence, etc.), but technology hasn’t yet helped us make that activity more useful, efficient, or joyful. Lucky Oyster helps people manage the recommendations they receive, easily share the pearls they love, and discover great new experiences when their friends do.

What’s your traction been like thus far?
To validate and better understand whether our vision and product are on the right track, we have to date focused on a dedicated core of about 100 alpha users. We live and die by their feedback, so for the time being, we measure traction by the engagement of that core group. What we will say is that for many of these folks, using Lucky Oyster has truly helped them live richer lives, by exposing them to great new experiences.

What do you know now that you wish you would have known when you started Lucky Oyster?
Thankfully, we learned very quickly that the ultimate arbiter of great user experience is, in fact, the user. Crazy, right? So many of what we thought were our best ideas, or the best ideas of “experts” we spoke with, simply fell down in the face of actual user behavior.

What’s a hypothesis that you’ve had that has failed? And how did you respond?
Initially, we believed the fundamental consumer problem was not having technology to manage, curate, and share our own best experiences. What we learned–by talking to and observing dozens of early customers–is that there’s a more fundamental set of tools missing from our lives: a way to easily capture–and then take action on (i.e. experience)–the recommendations people give to us. People are far more interested in their future experiences. Today, when we learn about something we want to try from the people we trust, we jot it down and then forget about it, or lose it in email, etc. And when we focused on the latter problem, it had the additional benefit of solving the former as well.

What’s your favorite startup in Seattle? (Besides your own!)
We are great fans of Yabbly, because we respect Tom Leung and his set of entrepreneurial values, and we’re excited to see how he develops his ideas over time.

What’s your favorite thing about being a startup in Seattle?
Access to broad-minded consumers who are early adopters. A growing core of angels who encourage local entrepreneurs to think big.

What’s your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?
A few things come to mind. First, entrepreneurs are makers of the future, and that’s a precious endeavor few get to tackle in their lives. Secondly, literally every day brings the promise of being able to help people live richer lives. Finally, it’s one of the scariest things in the world to try and build something from nothing and change the world in the process, but that fear is completely energizing.

What does the success look like for Lucky Oyster?
Ultimately, we want to take an existing behavior (sharing personal recommendations), and make it more fun, useful, and actionable. Our proof is in the adoption pudding.

Seahawks, Sounders, Mariners or Huskies?
Huskies

If you were to take Lucky Oyster on a date, where would it want to go?
We’re in the “pearl” business, so likely The Walrus and The Carpenter in Ballard.

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