Miika Hakala is the founder and CEO of BucketList®, an online community focused on helping people fulfill their bucket lists.
Miika originates from Ostrobothnia in Finland, a place where communal work has been a necessity for as long as it’s been inhabitable. The idea of working together has been taken online to create a crowdsourced community focused on helping people achieve their life goals.
Currently Miika and his team are working on a BucketList app and on updating the user experience of the site.
Sully: Is BucketList.net a place for people to record their bucket lists or is there more to it than that?
Miika: Creating a bucket list and defining dreams as achievable goals is naturally a big part. So to that end the community also shares bucket list ideas, sort of the “best of the best” of what the world has to offer.
Once listed users can share their goals with the community and get help from friends and fellow “buckaroos”. Users can also post “swap requests” to swap favors with other users.
In time we’d also like to put more focus on communal goals like stopping deforestation etc.
Sully: Where did this idea come from? What drove you to make it happen? Was it on your bucket list?
Miika: The idea is sort of a mesh of concepts form different sources. Bringing together the concepts of
– a list of life goals (bucketlist)
– helping others (pay-it-forward)
– greater good (crowdsourcing)
What drove me to develop the site, was a close call for a “Darwin Award” …or so I like to think of it 🙂
One of my top goals is to “be a hero”. Now the title may be a bit misleading, but it’s basically just to be the best person I can be. Matthew McConaughey described it pretty well in his Oscar acceptance speech.
Sully: Let’s talk about the domain name. You have bucketlist.net. The dot com is a parked page and the .org is occupied by another site. Are you concerned about the eventual use of the dot com or the current use of the .org?
Miika: Naturally it’s a concern, but we have key social media accounts (@bucketlist on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest) and we have a registered US trademark. So we’re working with what we have and doing our own thing.
Sully: Were you the first to register the name or did you buy it on the after market? If so, can you talk about the purchase process?
Miika: I wasn’t the first to register the domain and if I remember correctly I got it at a GoDaddy auction. Some people collect stamps, I collect domains.
Sully: What kind of traction has the site gained? How many visitors do you get?
Miika: The traction thus far has been somewhat seasonal, around New Year we can see a peek. Whereas summers may be more quiet. Now we have about 20k visitors per month.
Sully: What’s the business model behind the site? How do you generate revenue?
Miika: The idea is that users could find products and services (like skydiving, travel, etc.) through our site and we would get a small sales commission from these services. With limited or no funding, it’s taking longer than expected to validate this model.
Sully: Anything else you’d like to add?
Miika:If you have something dreamy or bucketlist worthy to share, give us a shout and mention @bucketlist on Twitter or Instagram. We’ll pass it along to other Buckaroos 🙂
Nice interview. It’s great to see successful start-ups using a .Net and hearing about how they are dealing with the .com being owned by someone else.
Yes, great strategy capturing the social media names.
It reminds me a little of 43Things.com, which was a very popular site but went out of business after 10 years (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/43_Things).
I didn’t realize that site is now gone. I remember it well.