#98 - Product Innovation: How aligning business model with profit model results in remarkable value for customers

An interview with David Semerad, Co-founder and CEO of Kindest

Product InnovationThis podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to help Not for Profits raise more donations and achieve their cause faster. My guest is David Semerad, CEO of Kindest.

David is a driven entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience in the software development field. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in information technology from the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague. He also studied at Technische Universitat Munchen in Germany and Universidad de Malaga in Spain and is a member of the Forbes Agency Council as well as the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC).

In 2004 he co-founded STRV, a one-stop mobile app and web development shop working with top-tier startups and brands.

In addition to STRV has spun off several companies. The Game, acquired by Spark Networks in 2014, followed by Surge, the world’s 3rd largest gay social network (3M+ users) and one of the world’s fastest food delivery startups Ordr.

David’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Wired and TechCrunch.

What triggered me to invite David to my podcast was his most recent startup Kindest. Kindest and here is why: Just as nonprofits rely on the generosity of their donors, Kindest business model relies on optional tips. It’s what allows Kindest to remain completely free for all nonprofits that need them.

In our podcast interview we explore the underserved market for small and medium sized Not for Profits and how the basic needs of donors – transparency – are even today still not met. We also discuss Kindest business model, and how exactly that business model gives them the ultimate incentive to do exactly the right thing for their ideal customer. And this pays off.

Here are some of his quotes:

There is a huge opportunity to bring something extremely, intuitive, simple and effective in the hands of nonprofits, because right now all the tools available there are focused on large nonprofit organizations that have big teams in house.

But actually, the fun fact is that there is 1.5 million nonprofits in the US, and 92% of them are actually small to medium size. And no one is focused on those 92% of nonprofits

They don’t have a marketing expert in house. They don’t have an engineer in house and there is no tools available for them.

So we decided to jump into the space. We basically build a solution that is extremely easy, effective, and also free to help all their fundraising and donor management needs.

Whereas we don’t charge any monthly or annual fees. We don’t take any cut on donations and everything is just directly going to nonprofit.

During this interview, you will learn three things:

  1. That creating a cool-looking app doesn’t always mean it will take off. If people are not waking up in the middle of the night around the idea of your solution, it likely doesn’t solve a valuable and urgent problem.
  2. That momentum starts when you’ve created a solution that gives your users their focus back and allows them to do what they are good at.
  3. Why its key to avoid conflict of interest by aligning your mission and your business model. If the two are optimally aligned it will create your flywheel.


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