Ohad Frankfurt is the co-founder of Swayy, a personalized content curation and management platform that helps you discover and share the most engaging content with your audience on social media.
One of the things that makes a great leader in my opinion is his ability to make other around him flourish and be better all the time. A leader should not only know how to lead others but also let them lead by themselves.
We started focusing on responsibilities rather than on roles. Sometimes, even if you’re the CEO – it doesn’t mean you need to be handling every aspect of your company. sometimes there are things that others can do much better than you, even if those things are something a CEO is expected to handle by himself (and that goes for any other role in the organization).
Since we started Swayy, we made sure to have an open dialog with our users. At first, all we wanted is to get genuine feedback on how can we make the product better, but along the way we realized something about this open dialog – if you’re willing to listen to your customers and hear their thoughts, they will not only give you feedback, but also become “ambassadors” for your product, and as a marketing/sales perspective thats pretty awesome to have others who talks about your product with their community.
We’re always trying to share our experiences (good and bad ones) on FB/Twitter and on our blog, we’re trying to be transparent as possible about our journey. I think that by showing potential hires how it feels to operate a startup from within – you can attract new talents to your company.
We just stopped working in an office. Last month we discovered Sqwiggle – a remote working tool, and I must say – our productivity as a team has improved greatly. Each one of us is working from his home or a coffee shop (except for 1-2 days a week where we go to the office), where he can concentrate and think properly, and the best part – with Sqwiggle it feels like you’re actually working in an office. I defiantly recommend it.
We have tried several strategies throughout our run as a startup founders. we used HackerNews, FB ads, PR, etc to generate traffic to our website. but this time with Swayy we decided to launch in a private beta (invitations only). our first 100 customers were people and companies from the startup community in TLV. we just knocked on their doors and asked them to use our product for free in exchange of providing us with their feedback. it was highly important for us to understand what our first 100 customers think before we go after 6000 customers.
Swayy is actually a pivot. About a year and a half ago we had a product called “Summer”, after we had about 10K users and raised funding, we realized that it would be almost impossible to monetize. It may sound simple, but killing your own product in order to build another one (especially after you already raised funding) is not a trivial move, but we did it because we had a strong vision of where are we’re to be 3 years from now, and thats a ballsy move I’m very proud of and I think that no one should afraid of pivoting. life is too short to be working on bad products 🙂
Raising money is sometime a journey, and a long one. it means that investors not only want to see numbers and figures, they also want to see a way. they would like to see how you (and your company) evolve and improve, and if you get a “No” today – it dosent mean that if you will try again tomorrow – the answer will be the same.
Have a mentor who you trust. A mentor who will allow you to get a genuine feedback from someone who is not a part of the company. this is very important to understand things you may never even think of.
I do stupid things all day long as an entrepreneur, Its hard to pick only one.. 🙂
Failing is a part of the game. learn from your failures and understand exactly how to do things different on the next round. This is the most beautiful thing about being an entrepreneur – the ability to fail really fast, come back and eventually – win.