You will be right when you say that the Silicon Valley citizenship is not the key for success and prosperity, but you won’t deny the fact that it matters for IT-startups. Let’s bet it, no one would ever name Latvia as a potential supplier of advanced programmers and cool software solutions? Nevertheless, a small Latvian IT-company Ascensio System SIA bravely struggles to get its slice of the cake on American IT-market and willingly shares its experience in launching startups.
“No Money No Success” – Absolutely Wrong!
We come from Latvia and last year launched a tiny startup. We wanted to make our project recognizable and decided to start with the USA. It’s pretty hard to get our place in the sun but we’re proud of the fact that we’ve got some positive results. And we think the things we learned in the process might be very useful for other startup optimists.
The Internet is the most powerful investor and the place for investments. If your product is competitive, useful and meets the needs, you won’t look for support of Y-Combinator, Google Ventures or Business Angels. All you need to make your startup a success is to hold it in bootstrap frames and know the right places on the Internet.
Word of Mouth is the cure-all for IT-toddlers. Yes, it is nice when your product is mentioned in the articles of Business Insider, Techcrunch, ZDNet Magazine and other IT-news moguls. But for the moment we cannot afford such publications although we sent dozens of messages to the editors. But who said that there are no other fish in the sea? Do your job faithfully and grateful customers will spread the word around the world!
“We are the Champions” – Your Motto!
Competitive spirit should be present as well as shoulder to shoulder instinct. Our team is our strongest point which likes to face challenges. We admit out loud that there were drawbacks and real breakdowns. But we love our TeamLab-startup and understand that only the team can improve the situation. Be optimistic about your future just like we are.
A negative experience is as valuable as a positive one. And the mentioned above competitive spirit won’t let you sink if there is the need to start from the very beginning. Our first startup version failed. We released our product as a desktop application. There were many downloads, installations… And then people simply forgot to use the tool. We understood that we had to take decisive actions in order not to go to pot. That’s why we developed a webbased solution for better interaction and productivity. Yes, there was a false start but we learned our lesson.
Competitors. Never be afraid of them. Improve your product, take the best from smart decisions and invent your own. But first and foremost, be geared by your customers’ wishes and requests. What is the point to spending your efforts on developing the features that no one will need and value? And by the way, it is always easier to breathe down your competitor’s neck in order to make the decisive jerk on the final straight, isn’t it?
Clients Are the Startup’s Best Friends
Your customers should trust you as if you were their bank account manager. Joke. Anyway, they really have to know that you’ll answer all their questions, fulfill all their requests and support them. They also need to see that you do your best. We made our project’s source code open in order to show our users that there are no hidden tricks in it. We also trust and respect our customers. And they value it.
Even if you come from Latvia you can find your customers in the USA, EU, Asia, or in Oceania, or in some other part of the world. The customers will be yours if you don’t give up and constantly make your product better. It is the matter of valuable findings and reasonable ideas and not of geography.
Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars
This July our TeamLab-project turned one year old and we think that it is a great achievement for a small project. We try to put our philosophy into practice and now get the first optimistic results. We showed you our point of view and will be glad if you find it worth taking into account. At the same time we are sure there are many other interesting know-hows that might contribute to your success.