Upload a photo of the traffic ticket the cop gave you.
Watch lawyers bid on your case.
Pick one.
Done.

When I first heard about this idea from Terence McEnally around February of this year, I thought that surely someone already had built this. But I was wrong. What I found was that there were several systems that matched you up with lawyers, but they were more like referral systems, not a traffic ticket bidding and matching system. There was one out there that indeed was an auction-like bidding system, but it was in Canada, not in the USA.

In the Beginning….
So we decided to partner up, explore this concept a bit, see what the marketplace looked like, and then began iterating on some wireframes and mockups. After about 6 weeks of work, almost every single working day, we came up with a concept and working prototype and had built the core of the underlying database platform that would ultimately drive BernieSez. We had also, by then, come up with a logo (courtesy of a contest on 99designs.com), come up with the color scheme, established an LLC, and had hired a graphic artist to render the initial marketing website screens.

Flash forward to today, almost 6 months into this new idea, and we are really close to launching a real working product! The web application is well on its way to completion, and we have already begun building the native iOS and Android phone apps, as well. Our website analytics indicates growth in every single metric. With nearly 13,000 Twitter followers, 300 Facebook likes, and 3 keywords now ranking our website #1 organically on Google searches, we are confident that this product will succeed as long as we execute well and don?t run out of money.

Our next big push is to get to beta. That means a limited, private beta test in Wake County, mostly to prove out our concept a bit, get user feedback on the UI, identify bugs, and improve the product before rolling it out more widely.

What?s the point of this article?
The point of all of this is that Terence came to me with an idea, a theory, a hunch: that people that get traffic tickets are tired of sifting through a bunch of envelopes from lawyers soliciting their business after they get cited by a cop for speeding. That a better way of vetting lawyers is to use more modern technologies that are already available today.

That conversation occurred in February of this year, not even 6 months ago. We are now really iterating and improving the product, which is starting to really take shape, and even take on a personality all its own.

It hasn?t taken 3 years to develop, or $100K either. We haven?t had to find seed capital from angel investors or venture capitalists. We?ve done it by being frugal, by picking contractors and freelancers carefully, and by doing a lot of the work ourselves. And we did this on a part-time basis, as both of us work on other things that pay the bills.

You Can Do It, Too
So if you have an idea for something, but don?t know where to start, don?t simply give up. You can do it, too. It doesn?t take a gargantuan amount of money and time. It CAN be done. You just have to believe enough in yourself and the idea to simply get started. And keep taking small steps forward.

Feel free to contact me at any time: linkedin.com/terraine

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