Pivot: The 5 Year Startup Journey So Far
For the third time around, I began searching for a new CTO/co-founder to join me on my adventure, and met with a few potential candidates. I worked with a few of them for a little while, to assess how the dynamics would potentially work, but it just didn’t feel right. One day, I came to realize that focusing all my time and effort on finding the perfect partner was resulting in me not spending my time building stuff. And so, one day, I decided to simply stop, let it go, and continue to build stuff.
To help my junior developer with back-end tasks, I asked a developer I had worked with in the past to jump in and help us out once a week, and luckily for us, he had the time. Today, he’s our CTO.
When you choose to go at it alone as a solo founder, you get a lot of backlash from investors about that choice. It’s not for everyone — however, when you look closely, in some cases that’s the only way you get to create what you want.
To respond to the feedback I had gotten for being a solo founder, I wrote a post about the topic, highlighting successful solo-founders who created incredible companies.
From a conversation that took place with a friend who’s also an investor:
Friend: “If two different companies at the same stage, with the same pitch, would have entered my door, I’d go for the one with two or three co-founders, and not the one with the solo founder.”
Me: “Knowing what you know about our company today, and how co-founders can bring you down as well as up, are you sure that would be the right call?”
Friend: “In your case, it wouldn’t be the right call — you do thrive better alone, apparently — but in most cases, it doesn’t work that way, and I’d go with most cases.”
Friends with Images
One of the things that you don’t really think about when you’re such a small business is creative copyrights. Since keeping high standard of imagery was always part of our product designs, and we didn’t have the funds to spend on it — we had to come up with quality images to work with on a very low budget.
Luckily, my friends were on board. They supported me and my startup from day one, and it so happens to be that one of my closest friends is also a renowned photographer. I remember the day I called to tell him that the photos we wanted cost $1,000 (which we didn’t have) and together, we decided to create an image bank for the sole use of the company.
Thanks to him, and all the friends who generously agreed to model for us, we’ve never had to worry about creative copyrights and the company never made any purchases from stock image websites.
Taking everything we learned about team building, market analysis, competitors and the tech world — we know that independent service professionals indeed need an outstanding and simplified scheduling app.
We also noticed the scheduling space was growing a bit crowded and that we simply did not have the resources to keep four standalone apps live and functional.
And so, we decided to take SPOT off the air and remove it from the app stores, and dive head-first into our first-ever pivot.
Chapter 6: The lesson of quality (hint: quantity has nothing to do with it), Superr’s first “Fans” and the return of the app
Chapter 7: What’s going on today, building a kick ass team tips and tricks, handling failure on the way to a possible success, and who gets to play our characters in the movie.