From Unemployed To President Of Canopi.me (A Founder’s Story)

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There have been many “up days” like when we won a $10,000 award from an international design agency, and many “down days” such as the time when we had to start a pitch by explaining what a blog is… “Well, first there is this thing called the Internet?”

By Erin Flynn (Co-Founder, Canopi.me)

Like many graduates in 2009, I found myself holding a diploma in one hand with no job in the other.

Fast forward five months, 300 applications, and one unpaid internship later and I was on the brink of a slight depression that involved a lot of late mornings in pajamas, way to much Kathie Lee and Hoda for me to admit to, and an unfortunate habit of forgetting to shower (don’t judge).

After reading an e-book written by Charlie Hoehn, I decided to create a blog. This was a rather uncharacteristic thing for me to do seeming how I still was under the impression that bloggers were overweight men with unshaven beards and rooms in their
parents’ basement. Never the less, I decided to start one.

Challenge #1 – Running Into The Idea

A lot of times you don’t come up with a magical idea, you simply “run into it.” I soon found out like many bloggers that it was continually difficult to get new and interested readers. The current method of promoting my links and commenting on blogs just wasn’t working in 2010. Not to mention it was completely annoying. So I began to wonder… if I was having trouble finding more readers, were readers having trouble finding me?

Challenge #2 – Starting Up

Today, anyone and everyone can become a publisher on sites like Blogger, WordPress, and Tumblr all which have made blogging more popular than ever before. That being said, it has also made blogs more fragmented across the entire web making it almost impossible for readers to navigate. So after much thought and a delicious burrito (naturally how all life-altering decisions are made), my husband and I decided that we were going to to disrupt the blog industry and create our own startup company, Canopi.me, the central source to find top blog content. There’s no editorial staff, just you.

Canopi works like this:

  1. Bloggers pull in their content
  2. Readers share their favorites
  3. Each post is scored based on # of shares
  4. The highest scoring posts land on the leaderboard

Challenge #3 – Disrupting the Market

Attempting to disrupt any industry, let alone the blog industry, creates challenges. There have been many “up days” like when we won a $10,000 award from an international design agency, and many “down days” such as the time when we had to start a pitch by explaining what a blog is… “Well, first there is this thing called the Internet?”

Challenge #4 – Startups Are Hard

You always hear that startups are hard but no one really tells you why. We have found that there are an insane amount of obstacles that you have to overcome in a startup. And it’s often how you react to those obstacles that determine whether or not your startup will succeed. You run into them all while under-staffed, over-worked, and often with no budget.

When one startup “makes it”, everyone forgets that it took them a rough three years to do so. It’s important to remember that startups are not normally overnight successes even if it sounds like they were on TechCrunch. So don’t be surprised when yours isn’t magically one either.

I’m proud to say that now one year into the creation of our startup, I not only have had the opportunity to go from unemployed to president of Canopi, but my husband has also left his Fortune 500 position to come onboard.

Though we are early in our beta stage, we have many new and upcoming features for both readers and bloggers in the works! We’d love to invite you to join Canopi and help us in creating the first central source for top blog content!

Women 2.0 readers: How are you disrupting an industry with your entrepreneurial venture? Let us know in the comments.

About the guest blogger: Erin Flynn is a co-founder of Canopi.me, the all-access pass to top blog content launching soon – request an invite. Find and follow bloggers who share your interests, all in one place. If you like blogs, they got you covered. Follow her on Twitter at @getcanopi.