Yesterday we have finished the last step in the great migration of Kolektiva away from us. Exported databases, switched everything, and closed this case. Yes, Kolektiva is no longer our client, at least not in the way it used to be.
We have started working on Kolektiva almost two years ago with Jeffrey Treichel and Martina Usmiani. They were Kolektiva, we were the full service agency supporting their project. Couple of months later, first Kolektiva version hit the web and it turned out to be a success. The Kolektiva general idea was nothing new, it was a Groupon clone, but it was the first clone in this region, and among the first ones in Europe (at the moment there is over 20 clones just in Croatia, which all followed and often unsuccessfully copied Kolektiva). We had no idea what we are building, how will the market react and how should it scale. Everything we did had to be super flexible in order to properly scale later, both server-side and design/front-side.
Kolektiva started with one daily offer in one city, and it quickly grew into more cities with more than one offer per city, from 2 employees to dozens of them. Then it went regional, outside Croatia, and even further, outside the Balkans. This growth was made possible by our flexible and customizable approach to our work. Everything is scalable, everything is upgradeable, everything is modifiable.
As Kolektiva was growing, they required outside financing to support branching to other countries. It really takes manpower to scout for the good deals in distant countries as well as good lawyers to bind everything together. Financing was found, and with it came the demands of the financiers. One crucial demand was that Kolektiva should be switched to the open-source solution for the backend. From their perspective, this is a logical requirement. First, this ensures that the project can continue even if the bubonic plague decimates everyone in Nivas - there will always be someone else that could open up the open-source backend and continue to work. Second - should anyone ever want to buy Kolektiva, the project needs to be one neat package which can be sold without ties to the outside Agency; us.
We nurtured Kolektiva to its full potential through scalable solutions, and now that it is full blown and it's specifications are well known, it can detach from custom built solution and go to adequate open-source platform. This could not be done from the start as in the start no one knew what would the project look like few months in the future. The future was uncertain, so everything had to be custom to support incoming situations, which sometimes were borderline paranormal.
As with all in life, you win some - you lose some. Kolektiva required open-source. Some of our other clients required closed proprietary system. Our backend is our closed proprietary solution which runs all of our projects. Although it's running on open source stack, our policy is that we keep our system closed; we do not give away the source code nor allow clients to write plugins or modify our code. For those, and many other reasons there will always be a need for open-source as well as custom built systems. We are here to offer custom built solutions with security and scalability when clients have no idea what the future will actually hold.
Kolektiva, through our joint efforts, bumped up a notch regional online shopping awareness as well as woken up some banks and institutions. During first year of Kolektiva's life, almost a third of the people who bought something on Kolektiva stated that this was their first online shopping experience. Kolektiva was Croatian online shopping enabler. A year ago, the amount of daily credit card transactions reached daily limits, which bank and credit card processor has never seen before. When the number of transactions reached certain limits bank just shut the gateway down for fraud protection prevention. Well, that wasn’t fraud what happened, but pure Kolektiva success. Afterwards, this repeated twice more and we hope that will repeat in future as well.
So long Kolektiva, it was a fun ride while it lasted, we had a great time working with you guys.
xoxo Nivas crew loves you! :)