Tales from Kagi

Celebrating our first 20,000 members

Dear Kagi community,

Today, we’re happy and proud to have reached 20,000 paying members, including over 1,500 families all over the world, in our community. We have come a very long way since the first few lines of code and the crazy idea that a search company could not only displace giants for every day use, but do it in a sustainable, user-centric way.

Early Kagi team, two years ago

The community has always been at the center of our mission. You all have supported us through thick and thin, have sent us so many lovely messages of support at times when it seemed like the mountain was too high to climb, and enabled us to seed a new internet, better for humans.

Just wanted to drop you a note and let you know that I love Kagi. It’s awesome.

Thank you Jason, without support from you and 20,000 other Kagi lovers around the world we would not be able to be here today. 🙏

For all of this, we’d like to thank you. As we previously announced, we’re going to launch a merchandise store this year. It’s been quite a journey to set it up, and we’d hoped to align its launch date with today, but unfortunately the paperwork gods have decided otherwise (plus we did not expect we will reach 20k as soon!)…

Nevertheless here is what we’re going to do:

When the merch store goes live in about 8 weeks, first 20,000 Kagi members will get a free Kagi T-shirt + sticker pack (excluding shipping). If there are unclaimed shirts left after a few weeks, we’ll send vouchers to all the new members that joined in the meantime on a first come, first serve basis. Sizes are first come first serve too.

We have four t-shirt designs to pick from. Here is what they look like (click to enlarge):

And of course, Doggo sticker pack!

Setting up this project was a significant challenge, and true to our ethos, Kagi approached it with a ‘hard mode on’ mentality, aiming for high quality and meticulous attention to detail in the t-shirts. We initially engaged with several popular merch providers used by many large companies, but after months of testing, none could meet our standards for precision and quality.

The journey led us back to a modest print shop in a small town near Novi Sad, Serbia, where we first created our remarkable t-shirts years ago. Despite initial doubts about their capacity, they impressively accepted and successfully fulfilled our large order of 20,000 t-shirts on schedule.

The process from here involves setting up a business entity in Germany, so we can import the t-shirts, store them in a warehouse, connect inventory logistics and ship them all over the world. This includes building a website and connecting it to a back-end database. So, we basically ended up owning a merch production operation end-to-end, just so that we could ensure premium quality of these t-shirts!

Now, you may ask, why did we go through all this trouble and allocate nearly a third of our investor-raised funds to produce and freely distribute 20,000 t-shirts?

  1. We would not be here without our early adopters (you!) and we deemed it important to pause, reflect and show gratitude.
  2. We acknowledge that our journey is a marathon, not a sprint. With a long road ahead, supporting our member community is both rewarding and meaningful.
  3. Simply put, wearing the Doggo t-shirt is an incredibly awesome experience.

Video courtesy of Matthew Bradford ❤️ Kagi member from Austin, Texas

Thank you for your support, and we are setting the next milestone at 50,000!

Discuss on Kagi Discord | Hacker News

#kagi