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Michael started FilterGrade in 2013. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on FilterGrade?
I started FilterGrade in late 2013 after getting some encouragement from a friend and mentor of mine. I was selling digital products on a few different marketplaces and just starting to get curious about entrepreneurship and software. In the beginning, it was just a collection of Photoshop Actions I made and packaged under the FilterGrade brand. I didn’t even launch my website with a store at first, I sold through Creative Market to test the products and see if there was any traction. I wrote more about this on Medium where I detailed the experience of using marketplaces to build an MVP.
> Business models that worked 2-3 years ago are not as effective anymore, so we are constantly looking at new ways to adapt and better serve people who are both buying and selling on the marketplace.
After 6 months and some reasonable traction, I decided to set up a full eCommerce website and store using WooCommerce. It started slow. I was just focused on product development, marketing, and building the brand and learning about the industry.
Getting traffic and consistent sales were extremely hard in the early days, but I was determined to keep trying new things. Getting more and more focused on FilterGrade, it was at this time that I realized I needed to make a decision. Should I give this company my all? Or study business and try to manage it on the side?
I made the logical decision a naive, overconfident kid like myself would make and drop out of college after just one semester. I had no plan or strategy, no real idea of how to make the business viable. I just knew that I was more determined to do this than anything I had ever done before in my life, so I committed my all to it. I was fully immersed in entrepreneurship, social media, the internet, Silicon Valley, and the like at the time.
Reading relentlessly about new ideas and companies popping up left and right. I remember Product Hunt launching and the community exploded. People from all walks of life were starting to celebrate this world of startups more and it was quite exciting.
Another year or so later my brother, Matt, joined FilterGrade as a cofounder and started to get much more involved in the business. Together we tried to figure out a way to reach a larger audience and offer more on our website. How could we appeal to more people? What problems could we solve? We pondered over these questions and many others for a long time. It was three or four months before something materialized. We were at fashion week in New York City over the summer exploring, meeting new people, and taking street style photos.
Around the same time, we started to notice photographers selling their custom presets. So we contacted a few people and worked to get their products on FilterGrade. Over the next few months, it started to pick up and we rapidly added new presets from popular photographers and influencers to the website. People started to notice and wondered what our site was all about.