Upcoming.org was a collaborative events calendar that first launched in 2003. It was later acquired by Yahoo! and later “fell into disrepair” in 2007. Yahoo! was forced to shut down the website permanently in 2013. Seeking to revive the forgotten website, Mr. Baio launched the Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $30,000. Luckily for him, the campaign was a huge success, scoring a total of $104,983 from 1,787 backers.
While speaking to Mashable about the Upcoming.org’s unfortunate past, Mr. Baio stated, “What we didn’t anticipate was how giving up ownership sells the community instead. I definitely have regrets associated with it. I regret it because I feel guilty that the community entrusted me with this stuff and I made a bad call.
“I’m going into this with a more experimental mindset and I hope the backers are too. I really want to bring them along every step of the way and they can help shape the direction everything goes, which is exactly the way I built Upcoming in the first place.”
Sharing how Upcoming.org stood out from the others, Mr. Baio said, “The problem Upcoming solved was that it was public and it was social and it didn’t make an attempt to be comprehensive so it ended up being really high quality.”
Before launching the campaign, Mr. Baio was asked by Yahoo! if he wished to purchase Upcoming.org for a “normal” fee. He later decided to turn to Kickstarter for funding. Mr. Baio’s served as early advisor and chief technical officer for the crowdfunding giant and knew he could reply on its support during the campaign. He currently is planning to relaunch the site in a way that will allow him to keep it completely independent.
Although the new design for Upcoming.org has yet to be determined, Mr. Baio believes the website will rely on Foursquare’s API for venue data. He hopes to have the public beta set up by March 2015.
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