The news earlier this week about the impending shutdown of Svpply, the social shopping and personal product curation site acquired by eBay nearly two years ago, was met with a fair amount of sadness. Svpply’s been known from the start for its clever design, user experience, and functionality, and many of its dedicated fans lamented that there’s nothing out there to take its place once it’s gone for good.
So Svpply’s founder and former CEO Ben Pieratt is setting about building it.
Today, just 40 hours after eBay announced plans to shut down Svpply, Pieratt launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the development of Very Goods, a site that aims to “rebuild the Svpply experience and revert to the days when it was a private, passionate community.” Very Goods will be built by Pieratt along with New York-based web and iOS development firm Fictive Kin.
There will be a few key differences between Very Goods and Svpply, according to the campaign. There’s an element of exclusivity to making sure the community is passionate and engaged: The only way to become a member of Very Goods will be to have supported the Kickstarter, or be invited by someone who did. Very Goods won’t take on any VC funding, which will eliminate any outside pressures to rapidly scale or sell the company. In fact, Very Goods will explicitly never be up for sale, which means that it will never be the victim of a corporate-ordered shutdown like Svpply’s. “We actually almost called the new site ‘Not For Sale,’” the Kickstarter page says.
Pieratt will also not be the CEO of Very Goods, a point which the Kickstarter page says is “important.” Pieratt has been forthcoming in the past about the challenges he faced while being the CEO of Svpply, and he’s staying away from taking that role this time around.
So far, Very Goods has been met with a good deal of enthusiasm. As of this writing, just about 8 hours after launch, the Kickstarter campaign for Very Goods has raised nearly $25,000, almost half of its total goal.
The “sunsetting” of beloved products in the months and years after an acquisition by a larger is not uncommon, but it’s always a bit sad. So it’s nice to see a founder who cares so much about an idea and a user base to tackle it again, and try to make it better a second time around.