Danny Robinson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Perch, an always-on video portal.
Associate your unknown brand with a brand that already has a reputation and an image you’d like to emulate. It lets people understand where you’re heading and gives them a sense of your brand even before you’ve established it.
We let our employees work wherever they are most productive. Remote working is also how we eat our own dogfood. There are Perch portals set up all over the office, so the team is constantly in communication. You’ll rarely see emails or phone calls between the internal Perch team.
Visiting the office where Perch has been installed. We actually send over our product team to sit down next to our customer. It helps us get a bead on how the product is working and it also gives us a first-person view of our customers use the product.
Start with the benefit not the feature. Make sure that you’re focusing on the why not the how. Nobody cares how you do it until they’ve bought in.
1-5 is usually your own personal network. Seek out the people in your network that you know and trust. They’re great first customers and you should be able to count on them to be honest about your product.
Pivoting Perch from security to live video communication. The security play would have worked but it wasn’t exactly where we wanted to go. We wanted to make a product that brought people together through video. Moving to live, always-on video communication was a big leap and so far it has paid off.
You’re never going to raise money by going through the front door. Getting funding is about trust, and you earn trust through people. It may seem obvious that you should use your contacts to get your foot in the door, but many people don’t.
Solid company culture. It’s not so much a hack as a best practice. Within the first few hires I ensure that everyone gets together and has a few laughs outside of work. In a startup environment you spend a lot of hours with a small number of people, you’ll want those people to get along and enjoy each others company.
Giving up on a project because I was worn out. In truth I should have just taken a breather instead of throwing in the towel. There would have been a very different outcome if I would have taken a step back for a few.
See above! Take a break. But that said, be pragmatic and validate your work. Check with people who you trust and who will give you an honest opinion.