In 2015, THEFANDOME’s founder Eugeniy Gololobov conceptualized a global platform for geeks worldwide, inspired by ideas of his previous projects. At the same time, he started testing hypotheses about the market, its players, audience expectations and the entertainment industry ‘s essence.
Each month of scrupulous audience research has been leading to a clear understanding of what product fans need and what problems it must solve.
Later in the year, Alexey Grigoriev joined the project team. He became engaged in THEFANDOME’s philosophy and decided to invest in the product from his own resources. It was the start of active work on the implementation of the site idea.
Alpha Version Development
Development of an alpha version of thefandome.com began almost immediately with the participation of Kirill Kuznetsov and Alexander Marchuk, owners of the web development company AIRWS and reliable partners with whom THEFANDOME cooperates ever since.
In a few months, the first iteration of the portal saw the light and waited to be tested on real users. The first enthusiasts, among which were not only fans but professional cosplayers and bloggers as well, greatly contributed to the site development and debugging.
It was an important stage with regard to the assessment of THEFANDOME’s viability. Alpha version testing left no doubts about the project potential. Therefore, Eugeniy and Alexey started to look for resources needed for the next development stage.
Beta Version Development
In the summer of 2016, Eugeniy and Alexey met their old friend Eduard Mirchev and shared their plans for THEFANDOME with him. Eduard found the idea very interesting and invested in the beta version development of the portal.
In June-2016, AIRWS team came back to the work on thefandome.com while Eugeniy, Alexey, and Eduard were delving into the economics of the project and additional site functionality generation.
At the same time, it was decided to present the product to the general public at the largest geek event in Russia Comic Con Russia 2016.
Comic Con Russia 2016
Presentation of THEFANDOME to the wide audience at Comic Con Moscow 2016 became a major milestone of the project. Eugeniy, Alexey, and Eduard rented a large exhibition stand and decorated it in the geek style. They show the event guests how many different types of fans there are in the world and how THEFANDOME is going to deal with them. Also, they let anyone willing to learn more about the site features.
By then, substantive work on the beta version of thefandome.com was almost complete but there were some flaws and bugs. Despite that, hundreds of people were signing up to thefandome.com right at the exhibition while posting photos with THEFANDOME’s stand on their new profiles. The team arrived at Comic Con Russia with a sourcebook about geek culture #Geekyourself written by Eugeniy Gololobov. All the books were sold well before the end of the event.
Live communication with the potential audience and media sources (including TV Rain), as well as positive feedback from the guests, brought many good emotions and strength for the further achievements.
Upon returning from the Comic Con Russia, THEFANDOME’s team collected all the feedback, statistics and proved hypotheses and presented their product to IQDEMY International whose President agreed to invest in the project development and offered his mentoring. In November-2016, THEFANDOME formed its own staffing capacity. Meanwhile, Eugeniy was improving the portal structure and its features. The results of his efforts are already preparing for release.
Each day there was something new about hobbies and unusual kinds of fans, dozens of people offered their grant assistance and took responsibility for communities’ administration. In addition to awareness of geek culture versatility, it had become clear that thefandome.com is a vital product for fans. In the first instance, THEFANDOME’s team focused on the feedback gathering and fast implementation of their and users’ interesting ideas. It was a time of endless improving and upgrading on the way to the best site version.
THEFANDOME’s team reviewed the portal activity and came to the conclusion that it hit a resource ceiling: purposes and tasks went beyond budgets. In the last 6 months, the work aimed to cooperation with the audience while business issues were secondary. It was time to focus on the latter, using already tested and proved models.
At the end of summer-2017, the team decided to give up the idea to participate at Comic Con. They concentrated on seeking investment and further developing the product. At that time, Eugeniy already had a prototype of the third and final site iteration absorbed all THEFANDOME’s experience.
Release Version Development
In October, the final site iteration went into the programming work. Despite the fact that the development is not over yet and the release is scheduled for the Summer of 2018, the team can guarantee the quality if the product. It represents the unity of values, experiences, and knowledge of all the people who somehow belong to the work on the project: from founders to users. THEFANDOME is literally the most universal and full fan site.
At the same time, the project was joined by Maxim Shpak, the expert in the PR. With his advising and assistance, THEFANDOME’s team considered launching a crowdfunding campaign and started to prepare for it.
Product Release & Crowdfunding
Preparations for the crowdfunding campaign are almost done. Soon THEFANDOME will start selling of lifetime Ultimate accesses to the product which final version will be released in a few months. Meanwhile, the project’s team was joined by business experts from IQDEMY International to scale the product worldwide. Their assistance will help THEFANDOME to enter Asian, European and American markets.
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