Bill Kenney

Sidecar 2015 Recap

We did it! We got through our first year. Sidecar was a completely new venture for Focus Lab and although we had expectations, we wanted to keep them low. Our first year was simply about getting off the ground and making sure to add value to the design community. If we impacted just a few people that would define success for us in our first year. Seven months later, we couldn’t be happier with how it’s gone and the love we’ve received.

How it all went down

In 2015 we kept it simple. We planned and built our MVP. Of course we wanted to do it all but understood the value in getting to market. Testing the waters with a variety of products and journal entries, we were diligent in keeping our eyes and ears open to what the community loved and items that were just noise. It’s important for us to not be “just another marketplace”. In fact I would never use that term to describe us. Our current MVP could feel like that to some visitors but our long term goals are much greater than that (see Our Mission). We want to be a knowledge center and a part of a respected community of designers that truly care for their craft. We understand that will take time; all good things do.


Since we love transparency we figured it would only be right to share some stats with you.

  • Sidecar went live on May 27, 2015
  • Products we built: 31
  • Journal entries we wrote: 38
  • Total items sold: 1185
  • Our most popular product: Branding Delivery Template
  • Most shared journal entry: Standards: Work to Live (248 shares)
  • Most viewed journal entry: Crafting a Great Branding Delivery (14,304 views)
  • Highest single day in sales: $1007.00
  • Total visitors: 298,890 views
  • Average email click through rate: 26.1%
  • Total awesomeness delivered: TBD

The community

We were hoping to hear from you and we did!

In building Sidecar we wanted to be sure to feel like a design “friend” and not a vendor. We wanted to be open, approachable, and real. The last thing we wanted was to feel distant or all-knowing.

We love community and it’s extremely important for us to be inclusive and interactive. It’s a two way street so thank you to everyone that engaged with us.


In 2015 you guys have given us great ideas for products that you would find helpful and have suggested some great journal topics. Such as, How We Do: Photography for Websites—suggested by @sidd82, Developers and the Creative Process—suggested by @hasanga, Managing Simultaneous Projects—requested by @hello_wood, Lighting Tips for Product Photography—from Damian, and Sharing Your Work in Progress—requested by @BrianPerezer.

We have bigger plans on incorporating the community into Sidecar for 2016. One way will be to interview you, the customer! We want to know how you are using our products and showcase you and your work in our journal. Please hit us up and let us know if you are interested.

Giving back

What’s most exciting to us is giving back. A big component of Sidecar is having a positive impact on our local community, specifically to our local art programs for children. A percentage of all proceeds each year goes toward a local program of our choice. I won’t ruin the surprise for the lucky recipient who has been selected this year, but the contributions will have a huuuuuuuuge impact for them. Stay tuned for more specifics on this.

What’s coming in 2016

So what’s next?

Great question. We have a ton of ideas and we are also realistic on what will happen this year versus 2017. In the end, our focus will be on new quality content, targeted and unique product offerings, and serving you better overall. Our goal for Sidecar is quality and value over pure growth, so all decisions will be made with that in mind. If there is anything you would love to see from us that fits within our goals, get at us!

2015 Recap 3

Thank you to everyone who has supported us and sent us love. Hit us up anytime; we couldn’t do what we do without your feedback.

Cheers to the new year!

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