KeebWorld aims to solve and reduce the pain that beginners and enthusiasts experience when shopping for mechanical keyboards. We dream of a world with a mechanical keyboard on every desktop in the world – that journey begins with uniting the marketplace.
Tell us more about your venture.
KeebWorld aims to solve those pains by developing an online tool that allows users to quickly search and filter among thousands of keyboard parts to find what they are looking for. It’s a great tool for beginners and enthusiasts to navigate the marketplace with ease. For vendors, it is an invaluable tool that allows them to increase the visibility of their products.
What inspired you to start KeebWorld?
When I got into PC gaming I wanted to build a mechanical keyboard to gain a competitive edge over other players. However, when it came time to select what parts to buy I was extremely frustrated. I was confused over what parts were the best and I didn’t know what sites to buy from. The parts I wanted to buy were sold out and I didn’t know where else to look. Many of the cooler parts were sold in limited runs that already ended. It took me two weeks to figure out what I wanted, and it was then I realized that someone had to bring some clarity to the marketplace.
Why is this problem important?
Mechanical keyboards are a really engaging and beautiful hobby, but it means absolutely nothing if the barrier to entry is impossible to traverse. Beginners should not have to stress over educating themselves or struggle to find what they are looking for. Many people avoid the hobby because it takes so long to become accustomed to the marketplace. This should not be the case.
Who is your target market?
My target market in the beginning are people just getting into the hobby who are looking to buy their first or second mechanical keyboard. They may not be familiar with the best places to buy parts and I want to help make that search less stressful.
How is B-Lab helping your venture develop?
B-Lab has helped me to take a step back and solve some of the big assumptions that I had about KeebWorld. With the help of Jason Harry, I realized that the KeebWorld revenue model is based upon affiliate link programs with vendors. Therefore, our paying customers are NOT the end-users, but the vendors selling keyboard parts. Over the summer, I worked hard to reach out to vendors and verify that they would be interested in KeebWorld and establishing affiliate link programs.
What is something surprising that has happened thus far?
I always find it surprising when someone else really believes in the success of KeebWorld. Starting a business can be hard, but it truly means the world to me when others believe that my idea can one day become something big. I wouldn’t have been in B-Lab had Jonas Clark not pushed me to apply. Thank you, Jonas!
What’s some of your favorite video games?
Fun fact: I play on Brown’s Rainbow Six: Siege Collegiate esports team. When I’m not working on KeebWorld, I’m grinding Rainbow with my teammates to become better everyday. The desire to play Rainbow on PC led me to buy my first mechanical keyboard. So, in a weird way I have Rainbow to thank for KeebWorld!
Anything else you’d like to share?
If you are interested in building a mechanical keyboard, contact me! I would love to help. I want nothing more than to share this hobby with as many people as possible!
Ryan Burnett, founder of KeebWorld, is a rising senior at Brown studying BEO Organizational Studies. He grew up with a passion for building computers and programming, yet loved to write and pursue creative projects. Mechanical Keyboards was the perfect union of those interests, and he wants nothing more than to share the hobby with others.