Yesterday I launched a new site I have been working on since early January: Upstartly. Upstartly helps startups get validation for their idea before they launch.
The idea is that one of the best ways to validate your startup idea is to get people to commit to pay for it once you launch. The problem is that it's very easy for people to say "sure I'll pay for that" and then not pay you once you actually launch. So, to solve that problem I created Upstartly.
On Upstartly, you create a page to give the pitch for your startup. Then you send it out to potential customers. They can validate your idea by either sharing it with others, signing up for your mailing list, or pledging $X dollars for some reward (say being 1st on the beta, or receiving your product once you launch). If they pledge money, a hold is put on their credit card (with Amazon Payments) and they are not charged. Once your startup launches, their credit card is charged, you get the money, and the user gets whatever reward you set. Before a startup launches on Upstartly I make sure they can actually deliver and then give the users 24 hrs notice.
So, it's a bit like Kickstarter for Startups.
I launched it yesterday on HN. Wow, I was not expecting as much traffic as I got. HN can send a lot of visitors if you end up on the front page for a while. Luckily, my little Linode server did just fine, even while running 3 of my other apps, including this blog. I also got some really good feedback and had a lot of fun talking to visitors to the site on oLark. I think I'll write a post later on why I think oLark is awesome.
For now, the goal is to keep working on Upstartly, adding requested features and building up the startup community on there.