THREE TIPS FOR UPCOMING ENTREPRENEURS

APPLAUS: THREE TIPS FOR UPCOMING ENTREPRENEURS

Save up some money for a decent burn rate

When we first started working on Applaus, we were either studying while having a student job or working full-time. We put all our extra available hours into the project but started to realise that doing a startup is more than a full-time job on its own! But going full-time on a project is quite daunting since most startups do not get funded before they launch.

In the period transitioning from our normal careers to going full-time (about 6 months), we therefore saved enough funds on our own to have a burn rate of about 12 months. Having a decent burn rate in the period where little to no income is generated will make it possible for you to focus on what really matters, building up your great startup!

Put the right team together

No matter what type of startup you are going to launch, it is important to set the right team. However, getting the right people onboard can be very time-consuming; we have put in countless of hours finding the right people for our founding team. Knowing the people you start the business with can sometimes be a good idea since you are familiar with their strengths and weaknesses. But at some point you might have to look for people outside of your network.

From our experiences, two considerations are important when deciding to give equity to a new team member. Firstly, the person should have a skillset important for realising the type of business that you are starting, preferably complementary to your own, and be great at it too. Secondly, doing a startup is normally quite a bumpy ride and it is therefore important that everyone has a passion for the business field in which the startup operates while getting great along with one another – we know that this might sound cliché but when having to put in 80 hours a week from time to time this is really a necessity.

Be willing to change direction

The initial idea for Applaus was solely to display and sell last-minute tickets. However, over a period of a couple of months, we realised that it would be too time-consuming for the individual venues to create last-minute tickets on our platform from scratch. We only realised this due to the feedback provided by the venues during our development process. Instead of making the venues create the content themselves, we therefore chose to collect the data through public API’s, enabling the venues to just add the number of last-minute tickets they would like to offer as well as the price at which they should sell.

Product development is rarely a straight process, getting feedback from day one and being willing to change direction if necessary can therefore be crucial.

Good luck with your future entrepreneurial endeavours!

Team Applaus

Meet Applaus at CBS Entrepreneurial Day 2017!

MEET THE STARTUP: APPLAUS

MEET THE STARTUP: APPLAUS

How to know if the startup world is something for you?

Starting a company is no walk in the park. It requires tremendous motivation, dedication and passion to start from just an idea to launch the actual product or service. We all know this but sometimes forget that behind all the success stories lies rejection, long working hours, and tremendous perseverance.

Applaus is no multi-million success story, at least not yet, however, we would still like to share what it is like going from just an idea to an actual working product and what some of the struggles that we have faced so far have been. Maybe knowing about what we have learned until now can make it easier for you to make the decision of going startup instead of corporate!

Not more than a good idea

Having a good idea for a startup is a start but the most important point in our opinion is how the idea is executed. An idea is no more than an idea until you try it out. Our idea was and still is quite bald; we want to do for the cultural scene as what Spotify has done for the music streaming industry, i.e. make cultural events more accessible for everyone. You are probably thinking something like “Sounds great but is that really achievable” – yes, we think it is otherwise we would not be doing what we are doing. We believe in our product and that it is possible for us to do this since we have a great team, the motivation and passion for the area we are working within.

Being able to execute our idea correctly is not easy at all, we face many challenges every single day. These could e.g. be how the design of the app should be, what database provider should we use, how do we make our product scalable, what should our marketing strategy be like, when should we get investors onboard and so on. Faced with these problems we have been forced to break down the problems into smaller parts, solving these individually and then putting all the solved pieces together to get the full picture. Working on a startup is like solving a puzzle, you cannot see the full picture before all the pieces have been put together. Starting your own venture or working for a startup will teach you great lessons about solving difficult problems, giving you a new perspective on things.

Reaching out

We started out about 6 months ago and since then we have had coffee meeting with more than fifty people (and personally talked with hundreds of people about the project). These people have been willing to take time out of their busy schedules because they think that our project is sympathetic and something they could see themselves use in their daily lives. We have not been afraid to reach out to a lot of people even though it has been daunting at times but getting feedback from leaders within the theatre world, advice from a CFO of a financial institution, or talking with a music artist has been helpful for us on our journey so far. All the meetings we have taken has provided us with valuable information that we have either acted on or are keeping in mind when our situation change.

We all know that time is limited, especially when working on a startup, it is therefore important to only take meetings when it makes sense to do so. We have said no to talking with investors since we at the time did not feel it would make sense to do so, we did not have a product ready nor were we in need of capital. Maybe we should have talked with the investors since that could have let to something useful but we made sure to keep a good spirit while providing a legitimate reason for not taking any meetings with investors at the time. As such that door is still open and a coffee meeting is only an email away.

Creating an app

We started out building the app in SWIFT (if you are not familiar with code this is Apple’s native language for building ios apps) and rewrote the entire app to React Native (Facebook’s framework for building native apps for iOS and Android. Apps written in this language is e.g. Facebook, Instagram, and Airbnb). This was quite a decision taken by our technical co-founder since it required getting to know an entirely new framework for building apps. However, doing so has made it possible for us to only work on one code that is native for both iOS and Android, meaning that we are able to deploy new versions of the app faster and make it easier to maintain. Moreover, the same was the case for our website. It was originally written in Node.js (a framework for building websites based on Javascript) and rewritten to React (also from Facebook and using Javascript too), making the integration between our website and app more streamlined.

As you can see from our story above getting a startup up and running is nothing like going in a straight line but more so like a bumpy ride with an upward trend.

 

Good luck with your future entrepreneurial endeavours! See you at CBS Entrepreneurial Day 2017!

Team Applaus